Speedway: Grajczonek claims bronze as Holder wins fifth Australian title

Bournemouth Echo: PIRATES ASSET: Josh Grajczonek PIRATES ASSET: Josh Grajczonek

PIRATES prospect Josh Grajczonek highlighted his rich potential by claiming a bronze medal in the Australian Championship.

The emerging talent edged out former Poole team-mate Rohan Tungate in a run-off at Gillman yesterday to secure third place overall.

Grajczonek’s effort earned him the chance to compete in the Grand Prix qualifying rounds later this year to fight for a spot in the prestigious series.

The 23-year-old, who was signed as a full Poole asset and rewarded with a team berth after his play-off heroics last term, enjoyed an impressive national campaign.

And despite missing out on an A final appearance in the third and final round, he made up for it by managing to overcome Tungate to claim a top-three finish.

Grajczonek’s success completed an exciting finale to the title race as ex-Poole captain Chris Holder continued his return from injury to bag his fifth Aussie crown.

Another former Wimborne Road star, Jason Doyle, led Holder in the A final and looked set to claim his maiden national title until he hit the shale. Doyle, who had racked up a 15-point maximum in his heats, was excluded from the restart, which guaranteed the silverware for Holder.

Back in action after recovering from the multiple injuries he sustained in a crash at Coventry in July, Pirates legend Holder told speedwaygp.com: “I am happy with how it all went. It was a tough series, which I knew it would be having come back from a long time on the sidelines with injuries.

“I wasn’t 100 per cent but I wanted to use it as a stepping stone to get going. I wanted to have some good competition. I had some tough nights, battled through, got to the final and finished in the top two in all three rounds. I was really happy with that.”

Title contender Troy Batchelor was ruled out of the Gillman round due to knee ligament damage.

Australian Championship top-12: C Holder 56 (18, 20, 18), Doyle 54 (20, 18, 16), Grajczonek 44+3 (15, 14, 15), Tungate 44+2 (11, 13, 20), Sedgmen 41 (10, 17, 14), Woodward 41 (17, 12, 12), Campton 37 (9, 11, 17), Fricke 34 (12, 9, 13), Masters 34 (13, 10, 11), Batchelor 32 (16, 16, 0), North 31 (6, 15, 10), J Holder 25 (14, 2, 9).

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