ROBINS skipper Troy Batchelor slipped out of the Grand Prix top eight this evening following an up and down performance in Stockholm.
The Aussie never really recovered from consecutive last places in his first two rides, managing just six points before being eliminated before the semi-final stage.
While the meeting was won by Jarek Hampel with a perfect 21-point maximum, big performances from Chris Holder, Andreas Jonsson, Hampel and Freddie Lindgren have now made things difficult for Batchelor, who sits 11th going into the final round in Torun on October 11.
The Swindon skipper is now two points behind Hampel, Lindgren and injured Dane Niels-Kristian Iversen in seventh, eighth and ninth, with Jonsson a point further behind the trio in 10th, leaving a titanic battle in store for the final round.
In the race for the world championship, Greg Hancock is 12 clear of Krzysztof Kasprzak and 15 ahead of Tai Woffinden with one meeting to go.
Batchelor’s night got off to a bad start as he missed the gate and was boxed in during the first heat of the evening as he finished at the back, before not quite finding the drive he needed round the outside in his second outing as he again failed to score.
Having lost eighth place in the standings to Lindgren, the Aussie got things moving with a comfortable win in heat 11, where he had to do things the hard way following a tough battle with Chris Harris and Greg Hancock.
Batchelor moved at the start of heat 15 but only punished himself as he gated third, but looked to have rectified the situation following a superb move on Kim Nilsson, only to lose out to the Swede for second after making a mistake in the final corner.
A second in his last ride, behind Holder wasn’t enough as he missed out on the semis, leaving him needing a big performance in a fortnight’s time if he is to save his GP career.