Czech Speedway GP Betting

Racing has long been popular in the Czech Republic. Its history of motor races stretches back to the 1920s and extends through the country’s liberation from the Soviet Bloc in 1993. One of the most enduring homes of Czech racing over the years has been the 353-metre oval-shaped track of Stadion Markéta, or Markéta Stadium, located in Prague. The first amateur motorcycle races were organised there by the University Sports Motoclub (Motoklub Vysokoškolského) in 1928.

In 1995, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) launched a new class of World Championship motorcycle racing called Speedway Grand Prix. It is a dirt track event conducted on 500cc machines, with a season that begins in April and runs through October with stops at eleven different venues along the way.

Each Speedway GP event involves 16 riders competing in 23 heats of four laps each. During the first 20 heats, every rider races against every other rider once in groups of four. The top eight scorers then advance to two semi-final events of four riders apiece, and from each semi-final the first and second placed riders advance to the GP final.

In order to participate in the Speedway GP season, a rider must have finished among the top eight in the previous year’s final standings or else gained entry through a series of qualifying races held in May-August. Special nominations from the sponsor round out the field. The 16 competitors that take the track are then comprised of 15 “permanent” season participants, plus one “wild card” rider. Additionally, two “track reserves” are on hand for each race, too.

Markéta Stadium was selected as the site for the first installment of the Czech Speedway GP in 1997; it currently holds the distinction of being the only track in the world used continuously in every season since then. The stadium’s inaugural race was actually the very first of the 1997 season, but more recently it appears third on the Speedway GP calendar, hosting the event in May.

In 2011, The Czech Speedway GP followed races in Leszno, Poland and Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2012, it will come after Auckland, New Zealand and Leszno, with the date set for May 12. This will be the 12th edition of the race under sponsorship of Benfield Sports International, an IMG company.

Already qualified for the 2012 race are last year’s top eight finishers, including current World Champion Greg Hancock from the United States and the 2010 title holder, Tomasz Gollob of Poland. Other countries represented by riders are Australia, Denmark, Sweden and Russia. From the United Kingdom, Chris “Bomber” Harris will be participating, winner of the 2007 British Grand Prix.

Betting on the 23 heats of the Czech Speedway GP can be very exciting. There are ante-post markets for the outright winner, top two, top three and nationality of the winner. Wagering on the victor of each heat and semi-final is available, and accumulators can be used to give a big boost to the odds.

Handicappers will be watching for form in the preceding two Speedway GP events, of course, while taking into account recent winners on the Markéta track: Denmark’s Nicki Pedersen in 2008, Russian Emil Sayfutdinov in 2009, Gollob in 2010 and Hancock in 2011, all of who are on the qualifying list for 2012.

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