CAPTAIN Darcy Ward has dedicated his podium placing at the British Speedway Grand Prix to the Poole Pirates fans who backed his cause in Cardiff.

Wimborne Road’s charger moved up to third in the series with a 15-point haul at the Millennium Stadium following his frenetic battle with championship rivals Greg Hancock and Tai Woffinden.

The trio were the stand-out performers from start to finish with 22-year-old Australian Ward the only contender to remain on the coattails of the pacesetting pair.

And while the success of winner Hancock and reigning champion Woffinden did little to aid his pursuit of title glory, Poole’s main man insisted the result had been a real crowd pleaser on his British SGP bow.

Ward told the Daily Echo: “You can’t compare the atmosphere with anywhere else, it’s just so different. The air horns and everyone cheering under the roof is something else.

“All the Polish clubs have great atmospheres but to be in a stadium with around 50,000 people cheering you on is what you dream of as a boy and as a Poole rider it’s always great to see more of our flags and colours out there compared with any other club.

“It makes you proud to be a part of the Pirates when you know you have the best support in Britain. We have done for years and I think we will do for a long time to come because we keep winning and Matt (Ford, promoter) puts his heart into the club.

“Most of the crowd would have wanted this top three so I was pleased they got it. I wanted to win but I was happy and I hope the Poole fans were too because they were great.”

Overall standings: (top eight) 1 Tai Woffinden 90, 2 Greg Hancock 87, 3 Darcy Ward 75, 4 Niels-Kristian Iversen 74, 5 Nicki Pedersen 68, 6 Matej Zagar 66, 7 Jaroslaw Hampel 59, 8 Krzysztof Kasprzak 59.

  • Our report with heat details and video from the British Speedway Grand Prix can be found here.