Sayfutdinov claims two wins in three

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The Independent Online

Russian sensation Emil Sayfutdinov claimed a second Grand Prix win in three rounds in a dramatic Swedish SGP at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg.

The 19-year-old, floored in the first running of the final in a crash that led to reigning champion Nicki Pedersen's contentious exclusion, came from third to first in the re-run ahead of World Championship leader Jason Crump and wild-card Antonio Lindback, who had top scored ahead of the semi-finals with 12 points.

Crump, battered and bruised after hitting Sayfutdinov's bike when he laid his machine down in the first running, was happy enough to finish runner-up on the night, and now leads the title race on 52 points.

Sayfutdinov has moved into second place on 46, while Andreas Jonsson, who gleaned 12 points from the night after running a third in the first semi-final, is now third overall on 39.

A dry, slick surface rutted up badly as the night wore on, and conditions became increasingly more challenging. Fortune favoured the brave, and there were few braver than Sayfutdinov and Lindback, who chanced their arm to maximum effect.

The final saw the young guns up against Pedersen and Crump, two riders with five World titles between them, and was shaping up as a memorable shoot-out.

Some spectacular jousting saw Pedersen, Sayfutdinov (both had qualified with 11 points) and Lindback trade places at the front until Pedersen drove up the inside of leader Sayfutdinov going into lap three and the Russian slid off after the pair made contact.

Crump, seemingly out of contention at the back, did well to drop his machine but couldn't avoid colliding heavily with the Russian's bike.

An incensed Pedersen was excluded, and in the re-run Crump, who was walking gingerly after the crash, looked to have taken command. But Sayfutdinov, who possessed tremendous speed throughout, came storming up the inside of Lindback and then passed Crump as they went into the final lap to celebrate another stunning victory.

Lindback's rostrum finish was conclusive evidence that the Brazilian-born Swede's career is on the up again - and he was quick to praise the input of his mentor, six-times World Champion Tony Rickardsson.