PIRATES star Darcy Ward insists his red-hot gating in Prague will count for nothing unless he can maintain that form throughout the rest of the Grand Prix series.

The Poole captain was in stunning form in the Czech GP yesterday and won every one of his heats from the gate.

However, despite another jet-propelled start in the first semi-final, the Aussie was overhauled by Matej Zagar on the back straight and Nicki Pedersen a lap later, ending his meeting.

A 16-point haul enabled Ward to close to one point the gap on joint series leaders Tai Woffinden and Greg Hancock, with the 22-year-old now fully-focused on continuing in that vein.

He told the Daily Echo: “It was a good feeling to be able to gate in the heats, although it didn’t pay off in the end.

“It was nice to go through the card, but I have to keep doing this for the whole series rather than just one meeting.

“In the semi I got caught out a bit as I didn’t think he (Pedersen) would be able to go round me, but he did.

“After that there wasn’t much passing that was going to be able to be done. That’s the way it goes, it’s a bit of experience and I’ll learn from it.”

Reigning world champion Tai Woffinden triumphed in the final at the Marketa Stadium, leading in Hancock, Zagar and Pedersen.

That result means there are just eight points between the top eight riders in the overall standings and although the title race is at an early stage with eight rounds left, Ward believes it could go to the wire.

He said: “No one’s going away with flying colours so it’s a tough year. I think it’s going to go down to the end unless someone breaks away.

“If someone does that it’s definitely going to be someone in the top four or five at the moment, but no one can predict what’s going to happen.

“There’s still a long season to go and I’ve got to stay fit and keep doing what I’m doing.”