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SGP Worlds: Madsen biggest loser after Saturday’s wash out

Triple header in Prague


Billed as a double header in Prague, the 2021 FIM Speedway Grand Prix actually started with three days of racing in the Czech capital after Saturday’s Round 2 was abandoned after Heat 11 due to heavy rainfall. According to SGP rules, at least 16 heats must have been completed for the results to have carried over to Sunday’s meeting. So fans in Prague were treated to a full 23 heats before Artem Laguta (pictured) was crowned champion and Maciej Janowski declared as the current leader of the series on Sunday afternoon. The Polish rider leads Laguta and fellow Russian, Emil Sayfutdinov by six points after the first two rounds.

Good racing; bad planning?

SGP Race Director, Phil Morris kept to the rules, but with bad weather forecast in Prague it meant that there was always a good chance the meet would never make it to Heat 16, despite the best efforts of the racing staff.

It could be argued that the fans won out getting to see the best riders in the world race 57 heats against each other over three days. Alternatively, the SGP organisation might consider it was bad publicity for the sport to have a half finished event.

In any case, we can say that there were both winners and losers to prematurely stopping a round and starting again from scratch the following day.

Losers

The definite loser in the decision to cancel Saturday night’s event was Leon Madsen who had a maximum 9 pts from three heats on Saturday and was in first place when the competition was abandoned.

By contrast, at the end of Sunday’s Round 2, the Danish rider only had one heat win, had amassed just 7 pts and finished in 10th place with no chance of taking part in the semifinals.

Likewise, Tai Woffinden also had a worse time of it on Sunday finishing just above Madsen in ninth. When the Round was interrupted prematurely he was fifth placed having scored 6 pts from three heats.

Winners
However, at the same time as some lost out, there were also winners among some of the riders who benefitted from an extra night’s sleep and a fresh start. They were primarily Martin Vaculik and Anders Thomsen. The Slovenian had just 3 pts from three heats, whilst the Danish rider had failed to score at all by Saturday’s Heat 11.

The restart was the perfect remedy for these two as they raced their way to the semifinals on Sunday more than tripling their scores with 10 pts and 9 pts respectively. For both riders it was their best result of the series so far.

Next Rounds in Wroclaw

The first two rounds of this year’s SGP were won by Sparta Wroclaw riders, Janowski and Laguta. And in two weeks time we will travel their southwest Poland city for another double header in Rounds 3 and 4 of the World Championships. With home track advantage no-one will be surprised if the same two names finish off at the top of the podiums again as they did in 2020s double header in the town. So, all things being equal these two should also continue to be the leading riders in the SGP series by 10 pm on Saturday 31 July (weather permitting).

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SGP WORLDS: Form check before the championship

Tonight the 2021 FIM Speedway Grand Prix finally gets underway with the first of a double header in Prague. The series will consist of 11 rounds in 2021 including a number of back to back meetings in the same venue, as tonight.

Three in a row for Zmarzlik?

Bartosz Zmarzlik, the current World Champion, is looking to retain the title to make it the third championship in a row. And whilst he is many people's favourite for the 2021 series, and whilst he is the top scorer in Sweden's Elitserien, he is not actually the best rider in the Ekstraliga. We take a brief look at the individual standings in Poland's and Sweden's top league to give a feel for the riders' form coming into tonight's event. In both leagues Zmarzlik, Maciej Janowski and Artem Laguta occupy the top three spots for riders who are going to participate in the SGP.

Ekstraliga

It will be of no surprise that 10 of the top 16 riders in the Ekstraliga are already in the SGP with Janusz Kolodziej and Nicki Pedersen the only riders who are in the Top 10 who are not in World Championships this year.

Individual rankings 2021 (Ektsraliga)

1. Maciej Janowski WRO 2.672

2. Bartosz Zmarzlik GOR 2.644

3. Artem Laguta WRO 2.397

4. Martin Vaculik GOR 2.339

6. Jason Doyle LES 2.175

7. Tai Woffinden WRO 2.167

9. Leon Madsen CZE 2.121

13. Robert Lambert TOR 2.036

14. Emil Sayfutdinov LES 2.036

16. Anders Thomsen GOR 1.947

21. Matej Zagar ZIE 1.771

25. Max Fricke WRO 1.695

27. Fredrik Lindgren CZE 1.655

38. Krzysztof Kasprzak GRU 1.367

In EWinner 1 league:

27. Oliver Berntzon OST 1.792

----

Elitserien

The last few years have seen a trend for the SGP riders to not race in Sweden with half of the Top 10 in the 2020 World Championships not competing in the Elitserien. Most notable of these was Sweden's own Fredrik Lindgren. However, this year has seen a return of many riders to the top league in Sweden particularly as the regular season in Poland comes to an end. Although the Ekstraliga's rules that mean you can only race in one country outside Poland has meant that the Danish riders have almost all decided to race in their home country, including Leon Madsen and Anders Thomsen as well as the newly crowned European champion, Mikkel Michelsen who will have to wait until 2022 to return to the SGP Series. However, in the last few weeks Emil Sayfutdinov has signed for Rospiggarna and Lindgren makes a return, this time to Västervik.

Whilst these last two riders have not yet acquired an officical average, let's take a look at the scorers so far for those SGP riders who have been racing in Elitserien:

Individual Standings 2021 (Elitserien)

1. Bartosz Zmarzlik VETS 2.857

2. Artem Laguta WSMK 2.593

7. Maciej Janowski DAC 2.429

8. Robert Lambert LEJ 2.400

12. Jason Doyle DAC 2.344

17. Max Fricke IND 2.138

23. Krzysztof Kasprzak LEJ 1.941

25. Oliver Berntzon LEJ 1.900

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Jaimon Lidsey: I like it in Sweden

Australian U21 World Champion, is racing for Unia Leszno in Poland as well as doubling up for their development team, Rawicz. Part of the reason he is racing in EWinner 2 is the new regulations in Ekstraliga that means the riders are only allowed to race in one other country outside Poland. And the young Australian has chosen Sweden to be that other nation, making 2021 his first ever season in Elitserien when he signed with Västervik Speedway.

“I chose Västervik because Morgan [Andersson] got in touch,” he replies, “I think it is going good so far,” he adds and with a heat average of 1.667, Lidsey is Västervik’s fourth highest scorer in a team that includes Artem Laguta, Pawel Przedpelski and Bartosz Smektala.

In addition to this high-powered arsenal, the east coast club announced this week that they are signing none less than Sweden’s top rider, Fredrik Lindgren. He also said that Andersson was the main reason he was coming to the team after a year off from Swedish speedway. With the signing of the Czestochowa rider, the club are showing that they mean business in 2021.

What’s the difference between Poland and Sweden?

“The Ekstraliga is very intense and there’s a lot of pressure and high expectations,” he says from behind his shades as sun streams into the depot in Motala, “It’s much more relaxed here in Sweden - that suits me,” he says keeping his words few and to the point.

But is that pressure from you or the club?

“Yeah, from me, of course, but from the club too. Last year there was no pressure, but with winning the Worlds then more is expected,” he explains, “and this year it has been a bit up and down in Leszno,” he says with a hint of frustration. The Australian currently has a heat average of 1.458 for the three times League winners and whilst this is respectable, he is probably hard on himself as he scored 1.787 last year when he was a Junior.

He continues, “but there’s only a few matches left now so I’ll be racing with Rawicz as much as possible”.

Currently, Lidsey has clocked up a 2.100 average in eWinner 2, although this is not an official heat average after just two matches. But he in not just a heat leader for the development team, he also is looking out for young Australian, Keynan Rew, “He’s only 18 yrs and broke his femur when he was just 16 yrs so he’s had a tough time. He’s doing alright,” he says about his compatriot’s performance, “he just needs more racing now, maybe go abroad to get more experience,” the 22-year-old says in his “older brother” role (Rew has raced all season in eWinner 2 and has a 1.200 heat average).

One disadvantage for Australian riders is that they do not have an individual competition like the SEC to aim for outside the highly competitive SGP series. But having been part of the Australian Speedway of Nations team as the country’s U21 rider from 2018-2020, Lidsey is keen to emulate that at senior level.

But the Leszno rider is currently the fifth best Australian rider in the Ekstraliga when you look at the individual rankings. He has two former World Champions and two current SGP riders ahead of him so there is tough competition to be part of the only southern hemisphere team in the team World Championships. But Lidsey is keen to strike the positive tone, “the 2021 team’s not decided yet, so I just need to keep working hard and earn my place,” he says with a determined voice.

That determination has got him racing with week-in-week-out with the most successful club in the best league in the world – all that and he’s only 22 yrs. Plus that he also the U21 World Championship trophy on his mantlepiece. The other Australians who have won that competition since the 1990s are Leigh Adams, Jason Crump, Darcy Ward and Max Fricke. So, chances are it is a question of “when” rather than “how” that he will be following after Leszno teammate, Jason Doyle onto the highest podium in the senior’s competition.

________

(Please note, that photo is not Jaimon Lidsey but Peter Ljung in Västervik colours in 2019).
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ELITSERIEN: Round 6 - Piraterna v Västervik

#PIRWMSK

New riders come to Motala

It was 27 degrees and barely a cloud in the sky when Motala took on Västervik at home tonight in the Bauhaus Elitserien. It was the first time since the regulations changed in Sweden on 1 July that up to 3000 fans, although only 827 people made it to RMV Skog Arena tonight.

It was also the first time that Piraterna’s Peter Kildemand had raced in Sweden this year. Another new rider at this track was Västervik’s Jaimon Lidsey, the U21 World Champion from Australia. Not only that but it was also the first match back at Motala for Pawel Przedpelski who raced for the club in 2018 and 2019.

He was one of the players who did not receive full pay from the club when they nearly went bankrupt at the end of the season and was the only rider signed by Stefan Andersson before he left when the financial problems were revealed. The Polish rider only managed to break his contract for 2020 when new regulations came in because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Perfect Weather

It was not just the perfect weather, but the perfect track with overtaking possible right from the first heat. That meant, for example, that Kildemand was able to overtake none other than Artem Laguta (pictured) in Heat 2 as he came out of turn 2 as the home side took their only 5:1 for the evening.

After last Thursday collapse in Målilla, even the most faithful Piraterna’s fan was expecting an away win. But the riders’ themselves were having none of it, surprising everyone with advantages in Heats 2, 4, 9 and 11. Meanwhile, the visitors could only manage one heat advantage before the nomination heats were called. That was when Bartosz Smektala (9) and Lidsey (9+1) won a 2:4 for the guests. So, it looked like Piraterna were about to take their first win of the season with the scores at 40:32 before the nominations.

Nomination Heats Drama

However, as Västervik were eight points behind, they were able to do a double replacement with Laguta and Przedpelski (10+1) coming in for the young Swedish riders, Anton Karlsson (1+1) and Noel Wahlqvist (0) for Heat 13. Their 5:1 was the start of a comeback for the visitors as they scored two 5:1s to give us a last heat decider with the scores tied at 42:42.

Przedpelski falls in final heat

The final heat pitchedLaguta and Przedpelski (again) against the Gneizno duo of Kildemand and Oskar Fajfer. And it looked like an easy 5:1 again for the Västervik duo until Kildemand and Przedpelski started to tussle for second place. The Danish rider looked like he was going to pass the Pole on the inside on turn 2, but the former Motala rider went down into the shale. The heat was stopped and there was a nervous wait for the fans to see whether Kildemand or Przedpelski would be excluded. But the crowd breathed a sigh of relief and cheers went up as the white light went on and the Västervik rider was not allowed to return to the track.

That led to the re-run of the final heat and with Laguta taking the checkuered flag first it led to a 45:45 draw. For the home side it felt like a loss as Piraterna’s captain, Tomas H Jonasson (7+1), said afterwards, “I am disappointed that we did not win but we’ve got to be pleased with our first point this season.”

Piraterna Motala: 45p
1. Adam Ellis (1*,1,1*,1*,1) 5+3p
2. Jakub Jamróg (2,3,2,1,1) 9p
3. Tomas H Jonasson (3,1*,1,2,0) 7+1p
4. Peter Kildemand (2*,2,3,2,1*) 10+2p
5. Oskar Fajfer (3,2,2,3,2) 12p
6. Rasmus Broberg (0,1*,0,1,0) 2+1p

Västervik Speedway: 45p
1. Bartosz Smektała (0,3,3,0,3) 9p
2. Jaimon Lidsey (3,0,1,3,2*) 9+1p
3. Philip Olofsson (0,0) 0p
4. Artem Laguta (1,3,3,3,3,3) 16p
5. Paweł Przedpełski (2,2,2,2,2*,0) 10+1p
6. Anton Karlsson (1*,0,0,0) 1+1p
7. Noel Wahlqvist (0,0) 0p

Scores from Speedwaynews.se

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ELITSERIEN: Round 6 - Smederna continue to win

#PIRWMSK

Piraterna looked on course to win their first match of the season until the nomination heats where visiting Västervik stole their thunder with two 1:5s in Heats 13 and 14 to level the match at 42:42 going into the final heat.

With former Pirate, Pawel Przedpelski excluded from the final heat after he fell, Artem Laguta (pictured) predictably won the heat for the visitors with the two home riders coming in second and third behind him. That meant a 3:3 and that the match was drawn at 45:45 all.

See a longer match report here.

Top Scorers:

Artem Laguta WMSK 16

Peter Kildemand PIR 10+2

Oskar Fajfer PIR 11+1

#INDSMED

In Kumla, Indianerna hosted the three times Swedish Champions, Smederna who are back after a year away from Elitserien in 2020. The match was also a battle between Australia and Russia with Chris Holder (10) and Max Fricke representing the home team and Grigory Laguta (13) and Gleb Chugunov (11+1) racing for the visitors.

Smederna led from Heat 5 when Swedish duo Pontus Aspgren (11) and Johannes Stark (1) took a 2:4 for the visitors. And they never let up to win the match, 39:51 and maintain they place at the top of the league.

Indianerna Kumla: 39p
1. Chris Holder (3,2,1,2,1,1) 10p
2. Ludvig Lindgren (0,0,0) 0p
3. Jonas Jeppesen (1,3,2,3,2) 11p
4. Andreas Lyager (0,1,1*,0,0) 2+1p
5. Max Fricke (3,3,1,3,2*,0) 12+1p
6. Joel Andersson (1*,0,0,2) 3+1p
7. Jonathan Grahn (1) 1p

Smederna Eskilstuna: 51p
1. Michael Jepsen Jensen (1*,0,2*,0,3) 6+2p
2. Grigorij Łaguta (2,2,3,3,3) 13p
3. Gleb Czugunow (3,1*,3,1,3) 11+1p
4. Andrzej Lebedevs (2*,2,2*,1,2*) 9+3
5. Pontus Aspgren (2,3,3,2,1) 11p
6. Johannes Stark (0,1,0,0,X) 1p
7. Maximilian Belsing deltog ej


#ROSMAS

Between Heats 2 and 11 Rospiggarna narrowly led this tie, even though they had to have Rider’s Replacement for their new signing, Emil Sayfutdinov.

And although they led 34:32 that would all change as Masarna took four heat advantages in a row to turned the match. In particular on it’s head as youngster, Philip Hellström Bängs (8) won heats 12 and 13 for the guests. Final score was 40:50 and with that Masarna took their first points of the season.

Rospiggarna: 40p
1. Kim Nilsson (2,3,3,2*,1,2) 13+1p
2. Kai Huckenbeck (1*,2*,3,1,0) 7+2p
3. Timo Lahti (2*,2,2,0,0,1) 7+1p
4. Emil Sayfutdinov R/R
5. Adrian Miedziński (3,2,2,2,0) 9p
6. Daniel Henderson (1,0,0,0,0,1*,2) 4+1p
7. Erik Gheorghe (0) 0p

Masarna: 50p
1. Piotr Pawlicki (3,1,3,3,2*,3) 15+1p
2. Przemysław Pawlicki (0,3,1,3,2*) 9+1p
3. Martin Smolinski (0,3,1,2*,3) 9+1p
4. Philip Hellström-Bängs (1,1,0,3,3) 8p
5. Dimitri Berge (2,1,1,3,1) 8p
6. Emil Millberg (0,0,0,1) 1p
7. Alexander Liljekvist deltog ej

#VETSDAC

Double world champion and Gorzow rider, Bartosz Zmarzlik again took a 15-point maximum as the Vetlanda won at home 48:42. They led from the very first heat when the Polish duo of Syzmon Wozniak and Dominik Kubera took a 5:1 for the hosts. And while Dackarna never let them match get out of their sight it was not enough to overcome the hosts who raced with four Ekstraliga riders in their squad as well as Tarnow’s young Swedish rider, Alexander Woentin.

Vetlanda Speedway: 48p
1. Szymon Woźniak (2*,2,3,3,1) 11+1p
2. Dominik Kubera (3,1*,0,0,0) 4+1p
3. Brady Kurtz (1,2,1,1,3) 8p
4. Peter Ljung (3,0,0,1,2) 6p
5. Bartosz Zmarzlik (3,3,3,3,3) 15p
6. Filip Hjelmland (1,0,1) 2p
7. Alexander Woentin (1,1) 2p

Dackarna: 42p
1. Maciej Janowski (1,3,TT,2*,2*,2) 10+2p
2. Luke Becker (0,1,2,0,3) 6p
3. Rasmus Jensen (2,1*,2,2,1*) 8+2p
4. Jacob Thorssell (0,2,1*,3,2) 8+1p
5. Jason Doyle (2,3,3,2,0) 10p
6. Sammy Van Dyck (0,FX) 0p
7. Maksymilian Bogdanowicz (0,0,0) 0p

Scores from Speedwaynews.se

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EWINNER 1: Rybnik go top after home win

On Sunday afternoon there were two matches in the EWinner 1.

#GNITAR

Peter Kildemand (pictured) made an impressive return to speedway after over a month off due to a broken collarbone scoring 13+1 for Gniezno when they hosted bottom of the table, Tarnow on Sunday. He joint top scored for the home side along with Timo Lahti. Fellow Nordic rider, Frederik Jakobsen (12+2) also was in on the points as Start showed no mercy to the winless Union squad.

The final score was 59:31 and Tarnow’s usually reliable, Rohan Tungate had a rare poor outing with just 3 points. Sweden’s U21 World Championship representative, Alexander Woentin also had a disappointing display scoring just 1+1 and being replaced in his final scheduled heat.

#KROOST

Ostrovia travelled to this top of the table clash in Krosno in first place in the league. However, their Scandinavian riders - Nicolai Klindt (8), Patrick Hansen (4+1) and Oliver Berntzon (1) - all struggled leaving experienced Pole, Grzegorz Walasek to lead out the team scoring with 13 pts.

The match was tied 15:15 after Heat 5. But four heat advantages in the next five heats gave Krosno the lead as Andzejs Lebedevs (13), Tobiasz Musielak (12+1) and Vaclav Milik (9+2) all contributed to the team’s eight point lead after 10 heats.

And the Wolves would add two more to that to run out winners 50:40 by the end and also take the bonus point from Ostrow.

—————-

On Monday night there were two matches in EWinner 2.

#RYBLOD

The home side led from Heat 3 onwards not giving the visitors a chances to get in the match despite impressive performances from Alexandr Loktaev (14) and Brady Kurtz (12+1) for Łódź.

However, Rybnik had four riders who scored 9 or more points, the best of whom was Rune Holta (11+1) whilst Michael Jepsen Jensen scored 6 as the home side won 50:40.

That was enough to give them the bonus point and the lead in League 1 on points after 11 matches.

#BYDGDA

It took until Heat 9 for visitors, Gdańsk, to get their first heat advantage in Bydgoszcz tonight. And while Rasmus Jensen (9) took the checkered flag first for the travelling team, it was already too late with the scores at 35:19 in Bydgoszcz’s favour.

The home side again had to manage without the injured David Bellego. However, the team’s three top riders all scored 12 pts or more, whilst their Danish U24 rider, Andreas Lyager took 7 pts as the team romped home with a 59:31 win.

Whilst Bydgoszcz are last but one behind the luckless Tarnow, they have two games in hand, including the return match in Gdańsk and a home tie with Start Gniezno which will take place on Friday.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Thomas Jörgensen

Danish rider Thomas Jörgensen is 28 years old and lives in the UK where he started racing with Scunthorpe Scorpions in 2011. Since 2018 he has been racing in the Premiership with King’s Lynn Stars and doubling up with different clubs in the Championship.

“I was not sure if there was going to be any racing in Sweden or Denmark this year,” he tells me as we shelter from the blazing Swedish sun shine, “so, I decided to sign with Scunthorpe again for 2021.”

Success in Denmark

As it turns out, the Danish Metal League has started and Jörgensen has been racing with Brovst, who have rebranded themselves as Nordjysk Elite Speedway this year. Although the team are yet to win, Jörgensen is their second highest scoring rider behind Finland’s Timo Lahti and he has a 1.810 heat average. That is the same score as Polish veteran, Piotr Protasiewicz and ahead of Danish riders such as Andreas Lyager, Michael Jepsen Jensen and Motala teammate, Jonas Seifert-Salk. “Yeah, it’s going good in Denmark right now,” he summarises.

Racing in Sweden

The pandemic stopped racing in the UK and Denmark in 2020. But for Jörgensen it finally gave him a chance to race in Sweden, “I’ve been wanting to race here. The league is a good mix and you can prove yourself against the best riders from Poland and Sweden as well as Denmark,” he tells me, “But when Daniel [Davidsson] rang me, you know, with Corona, I had not really practised at all! So, I came here at two o’clock for a practice and then I was racing in the evening!” he says laughing at the memory.

So, even with Corona, every cloud can have a silver lining.

It worked out - the ambitious Dane scored 1.548, making him the team’s third highest scorer in 2020 ahead of juniors and fellow Danes, Seifert-Salk and Tim Sörensen as well as up and coming American, Broc Nicol.

The British Tyre Debate

But before we’re done, we get into the hot topic of tyres, “These Anlas tyres we can use in Sweden and Denmark are SO much better than the ones we are allowed to use in the UK! You know, you can gate really well in the UK, but it is all hit and miss, even if you’re riding on a brand-new edge, you just don’t know if the tyres is going to hold. It is much better to get these more expensive tyres that last, ‘cos the ones we have right now, you can’t use them after one meeting!” he says lamenting the situation in the UK.

And whilst he might not like the tyres, the 28-year-old is still putting up good numbers in the Premiership with a 1.833 average. That puts him in 20th place on the individual ranking, just 0.009 points behind three times World Champion, Jason Crump.

So look out for Jörgensen at a track near you in the UK, Denmark and Sweden in 2021.

*statistics correct as of 22 June 2021

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EKSTRALIGA: Top draw clash between Leszno and Wroclaw

#GRUTOR

The match in Grudziadz was cancelled due to poor weather forecasts and will take place on Friday 9 July at 7pm.

#LESWRO
However, there was beautiful weather as two of the top teams in the Ekstraliga met with Wroclaw travelling to Leszno with a four point lead from their home match.

It a close meet, it was the home team who were forced to chase from behind as Wroclaw took heat advantages in 2, 3, 6 and 9 to always have the edge over their rivals. In those last two heats it was the Wroclaw pairing of Tai Woffinden (7+1) and Gleb Chugunov (8) who were able to outpace their opponents to gain 2:4s on each occasion. On the other side of the depot, it was Russian SGP rider, Emil Sayfutdinov (12) would end up as top scorer for the home side whilst Jaimon Lidsey, who raced yesterday with Rawicz, only scored 3+1.

But until Heat 13 that lead was never more than two points. That was until Artem Laguta (13) and Maciej Janowski (12+2) were able to silence the home crowd with the visitor’s first 1:5 of the match giving them a potentially match winning lead of 36:42 going into the nomination heats.

And with Leszno’s Jason Doyle (10+1) falling in the last heat, Wroclaw were able to secure the bonus point and the win as they took the match, 41:49, and go top of the table by just one point over Gorzow.

Wroclaw
’s Dan Bewley would only score 3+1 and to see
all riders’ scores see Zuzelend.

*Photo shows Swedish SGP 2018 with (L to R) Janowski, Sayfutdinov and Artem Laguta in semifinal.

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EWINNER 2: Opole go top after win against Rawicz

#RZEWIT

When the bottom two teams in the league met today in Rzeszow, the German visitors where behind 14:4 after three heats giving an indication of how this match was going to turn out.

Wittstock Wolves did manage to 2:4 heat advantages, with Slovenian, Matic Ivacic (12) leading the pack home. But otherwise it was the hosts who dominated with Patryk Rolnicki scoring a paid maximum (14+1) and experienced Australian, Sam Masters (10+3) just two points off a paid maximum himself.

The final score 62:28 but at least Australian, Fraser Bowes (3+1) was able to make his Wittstock debut.

Full scores from Zuzelend.

#OPORAW

Opole's top rider, Jacob Thorssell, could not take part in the match because he is replacing the injuried David Bellego at the SEC in Gdansk today. Rawicz brought in U21 World Champion, Jaimon Lidsey to bolster their team. And twice at the beginning of the match when the visitors took the lead it was Lidsey who was involved. However, Opole quickly replied to make the scores level after six heats, 18:18.

But this top of the table clash was decided between Heat 9-12 when the home team turned the match to their advantage.

They took four heat advantages in a row, include three 5:1s to lead 44:28 at the end of Heat 12. Although he was not the team's top scorer in the end, Mads Hansen (11+2, pictured) was the architect of the win as he was involved in three of these deciding heats scoring 6+1.

The final score was 51:39 and with that Opole take the top spot and are favourites for promotion at this halfway stage.

Lidsey, of course, top scored for Rawicz with 15+1 from six rides. However, fellow Australian, Keynan Rew was not so productive with 0 pts from his two heats.

Full scores from Zuzelend.

#DAUPOZ

Lokomotiv Daugavpils have barely started their season as and this is only their third match of the season. However two of their team today have qualified for the U21 World Championships, Francis Gusts (8+1) and Ernest Matjuszonoks (3) whilst Oleg Michailov (10+1) represented Latvia in the competition last year.

And today, despite last of EWinner 2 matches, the home team made light work of visitors, Poznań with four 5:1s in the first four heats.

The final score was 55:35 and it was PNZ’s German rider, Kevin Woelbert who top scored 11+1 whilst their Danish U21 rider, Jonas Siefert Salk gained just 4+1.

Daugavpils’ foreign riders had mixed success, with veteran, Hans Andersen scoring 4+2 whilst Tomas H Jonasson took a more impressive 10+2.

You can see full scores at Zuzelend.

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Five One Racing

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EKSTRALIGA: Gorzow go top

Four days of speedway in Poland started tonight with two Ekstraliga matches as Lublin hosted Zielona Góra and Częstochowa took on Gorzow.

#LUBZIE

A series of heat advantages between heats 5 and 11 gave home team Lublin the win, 45:21, with four heats still to go.

Patryk Dudek, who started the season off with some of the best results of his career so far, seems to have faded and tonight took just 8 pts in six heats. Instead, it was Max Fricke who top scored for the guests with 11 pts.

But the night belonged to the home team, and Mikkel Michelsen (photo) again led out the squad with 14 pts, whilst Grigorji Laguta continued a great 2021, this time scoring 11 pts.
The final score was 58:32 and Lublin also took the bonus point as they continue to cement their peace as a top three outfit for this season.

#CZEGOR

With Częstochowa winning the first meeting between these two teams by just 44:46 in Gorzow in Round 4, there was always much to play for this match.

And until Heat 6 when the visitors’ pairing of Anders Thomsen (10) and Szymon Wozniak (9+3) won a 1:5, the home side were in the lead.

The teams then traded heat advantages and the match continued to be a close affair, was tied at 32:32 after Heat 12.

However, Gorzow found another gear for the last three heats winning every single one with a 1:5.

SGP pairing of Bartosz Zmarzlik and Martin Vaculik (11+3) did the damage in Heats 13 and 15 and the World Champions finished the match with a six heat maximum of 18 points.

The final score was 39:51 meaning that the bonus point also went home with the Gorzow’s team. They now lead the league, although second placed Wroclaw have a game in hand which they will play at Leszno on Sunday.

For Częstochowa’s Scandinavian riders it was another mixed meeting. Dane, Leon Madsen (11) was top foreign rider whilst Jonas Jeppesen scored 0 and was replaced in his last two heats by juniors, Mateusz Swidnicki (4+1). Fredrik Lindgren also seems to be missing a little je n’sa quoi finishing with a disappointing 5.

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