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The World Pairs Final 1990
By Tracy Holmes

Jan O Pedersen joined up with Hans Nielsen to represent Denmark and they effortlessly won their Semi-Final. Simon Cross was back with fellow Brit, Kelvin Tatum and they won theirs. Biggest Semi talking point was the crash that put Polish rider Piotr Swist in hospital on life support. He would thankfully recover and continue his career but this really started the ball rolling to get rid of the 6 rider per race system.

Off to West Germany for the World Final on July 21, Landshut. 12,000 fans enjoyed the grand parade in the hot Bavarian sunshine and it wasnt long before the dramatic solids hit the air-conditioning!

Heat 1, England V USA V NZ. Before the end of lap one, England's hopes were smashed. Simon Cross had slightly tangled with the Yank, Ronnie Correy and fell. Didnt look bad but it was. The day was over for Cross, rushed to hospital with serious back injuries. He too would recover but for the moment, Tatum was all on his own. He would fight hard and earned a ton of respect!

Heat 2, Denmark V Australia V West Germany. Todd Wiltshire from Down Under made a brilliant gate only for the World Speedway Champion, Hans Nielsen to go flying into him sending them both to the deck. The melee taking out the home star Gerd Riss as well. Nielsen got to his feet but not so Riss who suffered a broken ankle. Now West Germany were down to one man. Nielsen was excluded and Wiltshire won the re-run from Pedersen.

For the 6 rider per race deal, it was three strikes and it was out! The injuries of Swist, Cross and Riss within about five weeks, saw the system well and truly on the scrap heap.

The meeting came to the last ever Heat 18 Final with a more different scenario than most expected. Super Swedes Per Jonsson and Jimmy Nilsen had not come up with the goods. Instead, Aussies Todd Wiltshire and Leigh Adams had the lead with 36 points. Nielsen and Pedersen had 34 while the Hungarians, Zoltan Adorjan/Sandor Tihanyi had 32.

And when the young Oz pair gated? Well, it simply brought out the best in their Danish rivals. Nielsen and Pedersen were soon in front leaving the others to dream of being THAT good. World Title number 7 for Denmark to equal the record of England. A further record of 6 in a row for Denmark. A record of 6 for Nielsen. And Nielsen equals Gundersen's record of 5 in a row. "Look man I'm talkin about classics. Janice Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival!" And the Speedway world could only continue singing, "Who'll Stop the Danes?"




r/run 1 Correy Shirra Tatum Bargh Moran Cross f/ex
r/run 2 Wiltshire Pedersen Adams Lausch res Bachhuber. Riss ns. Nielsen f/ex
3 Adorjan Nilsen Tihanyi Jonsson Matousek Kasper
4 Wiltshire Nilsen Moran Jonsson Adams Correy
5 Shirra Pedersen Kasper Nielsen Matousek Bargh
6 Adorjan Tatum Lausch Tihanyi res Bachhuber. Cross ns. Riss ns.
7 Tatum Adams Wiltshire Kasper Matousek ef. Cross ns.
8 Bargh Shirra Jonsson Lausch Nilsen res Bachhuber. Riss ns.
9 Nielsen Adorjan Moran Pedersen Tihanyi Correy
10 Correy Lausch Kasper Matousek Moran res Bachhuber. Riss ns.
r/run 11 Adorjan Wiltshire Tihanyi Adams Shirra Bargh f/ex
12 Pedersen Nielsen Nilsen Jonsson Tatum Cross ns.
13 Wiltshire Adams Tatum Correy Moran Cross ns.
14 Jonsson Nilsen Tihanyi Lausch Adorjan res Bachhuber. Riss ns.
15 Pedersen Shirra Nielsen Bargh Matousek Kasper
16 Matousek Tatum Kasper Lausch res Bachhuber. Cross ns. Riss ns.
17 Shirra Moran Correy Nilsen Jonsson Bargh
18 Nielsen Pedersen Wiltshire Adams Adorjan Tihanyi


1st Denmark 43
Jan O Pedersen 4 4 2 5 5 4 24
Hans Nielsen fx 2 5 4 3 5 19

2nd Australia 41
Todd Wiltshire 5 5 3 4 5 3 25
Leigh Adams 3 1 4 2 4 2 16

3rd Hungary 33
Zoltan Adorjan 5 5 4 5 1 1 21
Sandor Tihanyi 3 2 1 3 3 0 12

4th Sweden 33
Jimmy Nilsen 4 4 1 3 4 2 18
Per Jonsson 2 2 3 2 5 1 15

5th New Zealand 32
Mitch Shirra 4 5 4 1 4 5 23
David Bargh 2 0 5 fx 2 0 9

6th USA 28
Ronnie Correy 5 0 0 5 2 3 15
Kelly Moran 1 3 3 1 1 4 13

7th CZ 21
Toni Kasper 0 3 2 3 0 3 11
Roman Matousek 1 1 ef 2 1 5 10

8th England 20
Kelvin Tatum 3 4 5 1 3 4 20
Simon Cross fx ns ns ns ns ns 0

9th West Germany 15
Klaus Lausch 2 3 2 4 2 2 15
Gerd Riss f ns ns ns ns ns 0

Track Reserve;
Alois Bachhuber 1 1 0 0 0 1 3


This article was first published on 14th December 2014


  • Peter Hunter:

    "It was a pity Todd Wiltshire got injured like he did at the 1992 Aussie title at the old North Arm Speedway in Adelaide, that put a halt to his career for about 5 years. I was at North Arm that night and saw him crash. It looked fairly harmless until he didn't get up. And apparently (from what I've been told by others who were there in an official capacity) he would have been ok if not for a light tower located directly behind the kickboard where he hit.

    As for Leigh Adams.....the best rider I've seen who never won the World Championship. Won 10 Aussie titles though (the record by 4 over the late Billy Sanders), plus 4 Aussie Under-21 titles, the 1992 World Under-21 Championship and a 3 time World Cup/Team Cup winner. And despite the injury he's reportedly doing well. He's even provided television commentary for World Series Sprintcars here in Australia so he is definitely recognised as an Aussie speedway legend by both the car and bike brigades."

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