Newcastle speedway rider Jason Doyle can cap off a memorable week by putting last year’s title heartbreak behind him and claiming a maiden world crown.
Doyle, who has a commanding 22-point lead on top of the overall standings approaching the penultimate round in Poland this weekend, celebrated his 32nd birthday on Friday after captaining his Great British club side Swindon to a premiership on Wednesday.
It would be the icing on the cake for Doyle, who has again been consistent throughout the opening 10 grand prixs, but having crashed out in a similar position at the same Torun track 12 months ago he was taking nothing for granted on Saturday night.
“Of course I have it [the world title] on my mind, but I’m just going to go into Torun and do what we normally do and just take it as it comes,” Doyle told the Newcastle Herald.
“It's world championships so it's easy to score low points, but it's a fine line between having a good and bad night. I just need stay safe and get as many points as possible.”
The former Hunter Sports High School has accumulated a career-best 132 points in 2017, helped by 18 in Sweden last start and a record-equaling nine final wins this season.
His nearest rivals are Patryk Dudek (110), Maciej Janowski (108) and Fredrik Lindgren (107).
The best individual score from a single round so far this year is 19 by 11th placed Antonio Lindback.
It means a decent total and keeping those opponents at bay could see Doyle clinch the championship this weekend.
“My friends and family know how much it will mean to me,” Doyle said.
“And also how much last year’s heart break was a hard pill to swallow. It was a long six months after nearly killing myself in Poland in Torun. My friends and family are just happy I am in the GPS doing well. And my wife Emily needs a medal herself, she has put up with the battles of a professional motorbike rider and it's not an easy job I tell you that.”
Regardless of these upcoming results Doyle remains in the box seat with another round left in Melbourne on October 28.