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CORRECTION: wrong figures given out at Five One Racing

Just wanted to 'fess up and say that in a couple of my articles around the teams for 2020 I have given incorrect figures for rider averages. I mistakenly quoted the point/ heat + bonus figure giving the riders' an overly high average.

The correct figures for 2020 can be found at SVEMO's site:

So for example, Jonas Davidsson (pictured), actually has a heat average of 0.840 where I quoted 1.041. A small difference, but it will affect Motala Piraterna where I expect he will be riding this year with his brother Daniel as manager as they rush to build their team by the end of the month.

What can I say? I love speedway and always try to give the best information, stories, facts and opinions. But, bloggers are human too! Maybe a reminder for us all to check our sources and remember that just because it's written on a website doesn't mean it's true! Hopefully, no harm done, but I value honesty so wanted to own up to my mistake.

Thanks to Thomas Johnsson for helping me out on the Piraterna Speedway (Supportersida) on Facebook to see that the figures were wrong and leading me to the SVEMO website.

The articles affected include:

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Five One Racing

Elitserien: Who wants to be a Pirate in 2020?

Yesterday, Motala Piraterna announced that they will race in the Elitserien in 2020 after 1.5 months of uncertainty. So now 36 year old team captain, Daniel Davidsson, has just two weeks to gather a team for his hometown club.

But he can at least thank short-lived manager, Stefan Andersson Skill for signing Pawel Przedpelski, the only rider at the club at the moment.

The regulations say Davidsson must have at least two Swede in the team. That surely means younger brother Jonas Davidsson is a dead cert for the club and Daniel himself could also fill up the roster, even if in practice, he stays in the depot most of the time.

We will now find out whether all the talk about four times world champion, Greg Hancock (above) coming back to the club was just hype. If he does return it will be expensive for the club in both money and points. He last rode for Dackarna in 2018 with a whopping heat average of 2.227, but that does not leave much space for anyone else. If he does come the club will be extremely reliant on him. So, if the soon 50-year-old American gets injured Piraterna’s playoff place is almost certainly out of the question. Fortunately, relegation will be out of the question again this year so the club has a year to get itself in order.

If Hancock signs Davidsson will have no problem getting a team together. But even so, he is going to have to rely on people he knows and probably that means those who have ridden for the club before. Potential heat leaders could therefore include Piotr Pawlicki (1.933), Adrian Miedzinski (1.728) and Peter Kildemand (1.588) and who all are without a contract in Sweden at the time of writing. However, I think Kildemand is the most likely to return to Motala of the three with Pawlicki staying in Poland and Miedzinski remaining at Smederna.

Perhaps a more certain bet is German, Kai Huckenbeck. 2019 was his first year in Sweden and he performed well at Motala with a 1.500 average by the end of the season. He is also the only 2019 import team member not to sign with another club in Sweden. Does that mean he was holding out for things to get better at Piraterna or is he negotiating with another club, such as Rospiggarna?

Another familiar face at Dunteberget is Joel Larsson, from their Allsvenskan team, VIP Speedway. He also was in the Piraterna's squad in 2016 and has ridden in the Elitserien since 2010 for both Dackarna and Västervik. He was signed with Västervik in 2019 but only rode 2 matches with them in the Vetlanda Cup collecting a 1.375 average. But his teammate at that event, Daniel Henderson, has just signed for Indianerna with a 0.500 average, which would be much favourable for the Piraterna team building.

My hypothetical Piraterna’s team for 2020:

1. Greg Hancock (USA) 2.227

2. Pawel Przedpelski (POL) 1.720

3. Peter Kildemand (DEN) 1.588

4. Kai Hukenbeck (GER) 1.500

5. Jonas Davidsson (SWE) 1.041

6. Daniel Davidsson (SWE) 0.980

7. Joel Larsson (SWE) 0.500

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    Five One Racing

    Elitserien: Motala Piraterna will race in Elitserien in 2020

    On Monday 11 November, Motala and Vadstena newspaper (MVT) reported that Piraterna were in a discussion with a sponsor who would give the club 600 000 SEK (c. 56,000 EUR) in a three-year deal that would allow them to be the stadium’s sponsor. But a final decision will not come until next week.

    Then on Tuesday evening the paper announced that the club will be racing in the Elitserien in 2020

    The club's chairman, Yngve Rylander, said “we don’t have all the money, but we do have enough promised that we can make the decision to race next season”. And that doesn't include the 600 000 SEK they might receive from the company that might sponsor the stadium.

    Now new team manager, Daniel Davidsson, (photo) has just two weeks to get a team together. "It is not how I wanted to start to team leader. But now it is about getting on with it". He said he would probably spend the whole of today (Wednesday) on the phone to potential riders.

    Whether four times world champion, Greg Hancock, is one of them remains to be seen.

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    Five One Racing

    Elitserien - Smederna 2020

    The Gold medal winning team has also retained the core of its team. Michael Jepsen Jensen, Andzejs Lebedevs, Linus Eklöf and Pontus Aspgren have been a part of all three Swedish championship winning titles. Meanwhile Gleb Chungnov remains after coming to the team mid-season and almost singlehandedly leading the team to their 2019 triumph with fantastic runs in semis and finals.

    Replacing Fredrik Lindgren (above) is an almost impossible task, but Smederna have made a good choice in Niels-Kristian Iversen. Like the Swede, the Dane is an SGP rider and was previously at the club when they won the Swedish championship in 2018.

    Gleb Chugonov 1.817
    Niels - Kristian Iversen 1.812
    Michael Jepsen Jensen 1.748
    Andzejs Lebedevs 1.556
    Aleksandr Loktaev 1.000
    Pontus Aspgren 1.439
    Linus Eklöf 0.842


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    Elitserien - Rospiggarna 2020

    It will be a new look Rospiggarna that starts the 2020 season. Both Gleb Chungnov and Robert Lambert left the club before the season was over, Andreas Jonsson has gone into retirement and the Australian SGP riders Jason Doyle and Max Fricke have signed for new clubs. But there are also changes in the boardroom as chairman Stefan Gunstad stepped down this week with immediate effect.

    The team will be built around triple World Champion, Nicki Pedersen who has signed from Västervik in a two-way transfer that sees Doyle move southwards.

    Rospiggarna still have three signings and upto 3.6 points to play with and it will be interesting to see who the former world champion will attract to the team -maybe fellow Dane, Peter Kildemand who rode with him at Västervik? And/ or Nicolai Klindt who rode with Pedersen and Rasmus Jensen (pictured) in Danish Metal League team, Holsted Tigers in 2019.

    Amazingly, Jensen is the only remaining rider from the top six scorers in Hallstavik last year so it seems there will be a completely new team in red and white for the fans to follow in 2020.

    Nicki Pedersen 2.026
    Rasmus Jensen 1.489
    Andrei Kudrashow 1.250

    Ryan Douglas 1,250
    Tomas Hjelm Jonasson 1.100
    Daniel Bewley 1.000


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    Elitserien: Is Greg Hancock on his way to crisis hit Piraterna?

    Motala Piraterna had an average season in the Elitserien in Sweden in 2019. They failed to reach the playoffs with a late season slump in form. But their double Danish signings from 2018 champions Smederna more than paid off - they witnessed Mikkel Michelsen race his career best season and win the SEC, whilst Niels-Kristian Iversen delivered with a heat average of 1.812.

    Everything appeared normal as the off-season began Pawel Przedpelski re-signed his contract and a new manager, Stefan Andersson Skill returned to the club where he had won the Swedish championship with Greg Hancock (pictured above in 2015) in the team.

    But by October the truth got out – the club was facing bankruptcy and had not paid the riders since August. It turned out the club had based its finances on 2700 spectators coming to the matches where the reality was nearer 2000, as all clubs in the Elitserien suffered from a downturn in attendance in 2019.

    When the club sent invoices to Motala Council for 3.4 million SEK (c 340,000 EUR) rumours spread that the debt was this amount – but it later came to light that it was closer to 800 000 SEK (c 80, 000 EUR). They local authority had already helped the club just two years ago in 2017 to the cost of 6.3 million SEK (640,000 EUR) and said they were unwilling to help again now.

    It seems that Piraterna’s management and the local Councillors fell out and another ugly truth came out – although the Council owned the site and the speedway club used it, no contract was ever signed. Piraterna said a verbal agreement had been made they could hire the venue for free if they took care of it for the Council. The Council denied this and so the speedway club sent invoices for the work they had done – estimated at 3.4 million SEK – to the Council – more out of spite than in the hope that they would get any money.

    With no help from the local government, the Piraterna’s management turned to the supporters and private investors asking for help.

    But by this time panic and rumours were spreading everywhere and no one really knew the exact details, and there seemed to be an unwillingness to help the club again - in one week the supporters’ club raised just 1000 SEK (c 100 EUR).

    All this was going on and the other Elitserien clubs were negotiating contracts announcing their new signings. It was too much for Stefan Andersson Skill and he decided to quit the job before he had even started. Then the mass exodus began Michelsen, Iversen, Linus Sundström even Polish 0.500 rider Daniel Kaczmarek all signed for other clubs. That left Przedpelski as the only pirate left on the sinking Motala boat.

    The club decided to go public again, focusing on local businesses – and with some success this time – 200 000 SEK (c. 20,000 EUR) came in including one gift of 100 000 SEK (c. 20,000 EUR). There was then some positive talk from the board of a “big thing” that could come in and save the club. However, when asked by local journalists what this “big thing” was, all they said was, “We cannot tell you until it comes off”.

    The deadline to pay the debt, Friday 1 November, came and went. And not a word was said by Piraterna or SVEMO (The Swedish motorsports association) who had said that the club would be demoted to the second division, Allsvenskan, if the riders were not paid.

    Five days of silence were broken on Wednesday 6 November when a letter from the board appeared on their Facebook page addressed to “Piraterna supporters”.

    Much of the details remain the same – a further request for fans to give a donation. The “big thing” was again mentioned but again without any details of what was involved except that if it comes off 75% of the debt will be paid.

    The new information was that they seemed to negotiated a two-week extension and current rider Daniel Davidsson, who together with his brother Jonas are from Motala, is being put forward as the next team manager. It turns out that this had been the plan at the beginning of the year until Andersson Skill became available.

    But perhaps the most startling revelation of all was that if Piraterna remain in the Elitserien four times World Champion, Greg Hancock will return to the club.

    The veteran American was the club for seven years between 2010-2017 during which time he won three of his World Championships and the Motala club won their first and second Swedish championships – in 2010 and 2013. In 2018 when the club was demoted to the Allsvenskan after financial trouble and Hancock moved to Dackarna. However, in 2019 the talented American withdrew from racing anywhere when to his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.

    But now Hancock have been given a chance to return to the sport. He is due to return to racing in 2020 as an SGP permanent wildcard, but no league clubs have yet to be confirmed by the American who will turn 50 next year. But Motala have gone public and claimed the four times world champion as their own, if they survive.

    What the real state of affairs is and how realistic any of this is remains unclear. How big is the debt, what is the “big thing”, how can they afford Hancock, will anyone want to ride at a club with a bad financial record, will the board be reinstated and so on – many questions remain unanswered and only time will tell what really is going on.

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    Elitserien - Indianerna 2020

    The Kumla team had a great outfit in 2019, but Woffinden’s drop in form and injury did not just harm his chance of winning the World Championship, but Indianerna’s chance of competing for medals in the Swedish league.

    They have retained 2012 world champion Chris Holder and reliable Dane, Kenneth Bjerre. But the team have also taken advantage of problems at some of their rivals. With Max Fricke coming from Rospiggarna and Mikkel Michelsen coming from Piraterna, this team should be challenging for gold this year. They’ve also collected a less well-known figure from Poland, the 34-year-old Pawel Miesiac. He has been riding with Lublin in the Ekstraliga and has the experience and competence to collect points against any of Elitserien riders and should be a great asset to the Kumla side.

    Mikkel Michelsen 2.141
    Chris Holder 1.904
    Max Fricke 1.687
    Kenneth Bjerre 1.650
    Pawel Miesiac 1.552
    Jonas Jeppesen 1.250
    Ludvig Lindgren 0.917
    Joel Andersson 0.842

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    Elitserien - Masarna 2020

    In 2019 Masarna had a very modest team headed by local SGP rider, Antonio Lindbäck and riders who were more well known in Nice 1, like Frenchman, David Bellego. The team has a very similar look to last year with Kim Nilsson (SWE), 2020 SGP rider Martin Smolinski (GER) and Oskar Fajfer (POL) remaining at the club (the German is pictured, above).

    New riders that will add to the team at the bottom end of the ranking include Dmitri Berge (FRA), who will make his debut in Sweden, and Rohan Tungate (AUS) who will return to the club he started with in 2019 before also racing with Lejonen.

    This may not be a team to make the playoffs but with no relegation in the 2020 season the club will be looking to consolidate its position within the elite division.

    Kim Nilsson 1,750
    Antonio Lindbäck 1.677
    Martin Smolinski 1.364
    Oskar Fajfer 1.250
    Dmitri Berge 1.250
    David Bellego 1.189
    Rohan Tungate 1.163

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    Elitserien - Lejonen 2020

    The Gisveled team were the only club in the Elitserien who increased the number of supporters going to matches in 2019 in comparison to 2018 reflecting a stronger team and better results. The team will essentially be the same with its Polish core of Maksym Drabik (photo), Jaroslaw Hampel, Krzysztof Kasprzak and Kacper Woryna remaining at the club.

    They will be joined by compatriot, Tobiasz Musielak who makes a return to the Swedish top division after a two-year break.

    Furthermore, two signings who joined part way through the 2019 season are also going to continue with Brit, Robert Lambert starting his first season as a senior and Adrian Gala, another Pole slotting in as a reserve. The 2020 Lejonen squad leaves a number of non-Polish riders who available for other clubs, for example, Kevin Wölbert (GER) will start 2020 at Dackarna.

    Maksym Drabik 1.971
    Krzystof Kasprzak 1.768
    Robert Lambert 1.754
    Jarek Hampel 1.612
    Matthias Thörnblom 1.368
    Tobiasz Musielak 1.357
    Kacper Woryna 1.342
    Adrian Gala 1.250

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    Elitserien - Västervik 2020

    First, it has been confirmed that Jack Holder (pictured), Bartosz Smektala and Krzysztof Buczkowski will remain at the club.

    However, the team will have a very different feel with three new signing. One of the most talked about exchanges of the post-season sees veteran and three times World Champion, Nicki Pedersen move from Västervik to Rospiggarna. In exchange Australian World Champion, Jason Doyle moves from Hallstavik to the Småland coast. Joining him on that journey from Rospiggarna is Russian Victor Kulakov but the team has also managed to sign Anders Thomsen from Indianerna who had an impressive 2019 despite an injury.

    Jason Doyle 1.865

    Jack Holder 1.771

    Bartosz Smektala 1.571

    Viktor Kulakov 1.556

    Anders Thomsen 1.510

    Krzysztof Buckowski 1.448

    Mads Hansen 1.250

    Linus Sundström 1.192

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