PROFESSIONAL MOTORCYCLE RACER
2000 SWEDISH GRAND PRIX CHAMPION
1999 WORLD TEAM CUP WORLD CHAMPION 1998 BRITISH GRAND PRIX CHAMPION
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1999 ELITE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS 1995 UNDER 21 WORLD CHAMPION
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Sunday, June 10, 2001.
JASE IS ON
WORLD No.4 Jason Crump roared back into world title contention with a second place in the Egg British Grand Prix on Saturday night.
Under-pressure Crump, following a disappointing opening Grand Prix in Berlin last month, finished runner-up to Sweden's Tony Rickardsson at the Millennium Stadium Cardiff in front of 40,000 fans.
Crump has now moved up to joint fourth in the overall series but he had to work overtime to get to the A Final with another nerve-jangling performance in Wales. The Aussie passed series leader Tomasz Gollob in the final to finish ahead of him and surprise-packet King's Lynn team-mate Niklas Klingberg.
Crump admitted: "It was a tough night and I'm happy with second place. We had a few problems along the way but I was delighted to get to the A Final.
"I just kept chipping away all the time and with this formula a second place is just as good as a win in some respects so I settled for places in some races.
"It was always going to be a diffcult final with Tony Rickardsson and Tomasz Gollob but I made a decent start off gate four although there wasn't enough dirt to get me round the pack. I just kept it on and that was good enough to pass Tomasz but there was no catching Tony."
Starting from the pre-main event after not making the semi-finals in Germany, Crumpie won Heat 3 comfortably in his first competitive race at the impressive Millennium Stadium. He was then drawn into the first pressure-cooker heat of the night in Heat 7 against three home Brits, world champion Mark Loram, reigning British GP holder Martin Dugard and wild card Scott Nicholls who has been in scintillating form.
But Gold Coast-based Crump soared from gate two, just like he did in Heat 3, to beat the world champ and qualify for the main event.
Heat 11 saw Crump come up against opening Berlin GP winner Gollob, American Greg Hancock and Klingberg. But the fiery Oz star got left high and dry on the slick outside from gate three to trail Gollob and Hancock before executing a tactical inside move on Hancock coming out of turn two on lap two to grab the all-important second place and avoid an eliminator race.
With just a second place needed to claim a semi-final place, Heat 18 served up Crumpie's first problems.
Again off the unfavoured gate three (which only produced two race winners all night), he was left well back going into the first corner behind Jimmy Nilsen, Todd Wiltshire and Loram. As the Aussie tried everything to get back into the race, his chain came off as he hit one of the many ruts forming on the first and second turns. Frustratingly Loram fell on the next lap and the race had to be re-run with two riders only with Crump excluded for not being under power when Loram crashed.
That meant his first eliminator of the night and the knife edge scenario of first or second place for the semi-finals or anything else and OUT.
But off gate four Crump made a decent start and rode sensibly behind Klingberg to settle for second in front of Nicki Pedersen and Leigh Adams.
Heat 22 was definitely the most difficult of semi-finals but, off gate four again, Crump made a blinder of a start to comfortably win from Rickardsson, Ryan Sullivan and Nilsen to set up his third A Final in British Grands Prix in six appearances.
Pole Gollob, with first gate choice, surprisingly took gate two leaving Crump to take four - from where he had just made an electric start - Rickardsson taking one and Klingberg left with the ineffective gate three.
Once again Crump made a good start and was only half a wheel down on Rickardsson going into the first turn but as they all swung out the Australian was almost left out too wide but he kept it all on the outside for a lap to pass Gollob coming out of turn one. But there was no catching the three-times world champ Rickardsson.
But Crump was happy with second and that catapults him to joint fourth in the series...and everything is still to go four!
GP SERIES: TOMASZ GOLLOB 43, TONY RICKARDSSON 41, TODD WILTSHIRE 28, JASON CRUMP 25, RYAN SULLIVAN 25.
From Phil Lanning