Polish Speedway star Jaroslaw Hampel was delighted to defy his doubts and put an injury-ravaged 2012 behind him after storming to victory in the Buckley Systems New Zealand FIM Speedway Grand Prix.

Hampel topped the rostrum at Auckland’s Western Springs stadium, heading a Polish one-two with Tomasz Gollob. Nicki Pedersen finished third and American Greg Hancock was fourth.

Hampel spent much of last year on the sidelines after breaking his ankle in the Danish Grand Prix at Copenhaen’s Parken Stadium in June. He missed four Grand Prix rounds, and when he did return he wasn’t in the best of from.

The Leszno-born racer was worried he may need some time to rediscover the scoring power that took him to second in the world in 2010 and third in 2011. So he was delighted to start 2013 with a bang in the land of the long white cloud.

By John Hipkiss

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