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Former world champion Doyle leads the Premiership

Whilst the Swedish and Polish league finish their regular season this week, in Great Britain the Premiership still has over a month to go.

British U21 rider, Robert Lambert has been a GP wildcard who has been able to participate in the World Championship series alongside three times world champion, Tai Woffinden. But on the Sunday of the Speedway of Nations, when both were out injured, the shortage of world class British riders at the moment was evident to all.

Lambert's injury has prevented him from riding with King's Lynn Stars whilst and the 29-year-old speedway superstar from Scunthorpe has chosen not to participate in the country's national league.

But that has given space for 2017 World Champion, Australia and Swindon Robins' Jason Doyle (pictured) to climb up into top position in the individual rider's table. In fact, Australians are the most dominant nation in the British league where in the top 20 half are Roos.

The top 4 are all Australians and apart from Denmark's Kenneth Bjerre, are the only riders in the league with a heat average greater than 2.0:

Jason Doyle - Swindon Robins - 2.177

Max Fricke - Belle Vue Aces - 2.173

Troy Batchelor - Swindon Robins - 2.155

Brady Kurtz - Poole Pirates - 2.111

Kenneth Bjerre - Belle Vue Aces - 2.067

Swedish reader's may be interested to note that their national champion, Jacob Thorssell is one of the few Swedes who is riding in Great Britain. He is currently with league leader's Poole Pirates and is sitting in 13th place in the individual rider standings.

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Hockeynation

Poole lead Premiership with a month to go

The Swedish and Polish leagues will play their last matches in the regular season this week.

But not so in the UK Premiership which is only two-thirds of the way through with the last match on 19 September. Then the postseason will go onto 10 October before the winner is crowned.

Last year’s champions, Poole Pirates, currently lead the league by the narrowest of margins with just points difference separating them from second place Ipswich Witches who also have 36 points.

Behind them by just a single point in third is Belle Vue Aces and then in fourth with 32 points in Swindon Robins.

With many matches to go and the team's so tightly packed together it is anyone's guest how it will finish in just over a month's time.

But one advantage for Brady Kurtz (pictured) and his Pirates teammates are that they have played significantly less matches than their rivals. They lead having raced only 16 times this season, whereas Max Fricke's Belle Vue team have already completed 20 matches.

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Iversen is top rider in the Danish Metal League 2019

The regular season in Denmark's Speedway Metal League finished on Friday 16 August.

Holsted Tigers finished this phase of the season in first having lost only one match and are therefore favourites to take home the title in the Superfinale in September.

The Danish league is dominated by riders from the country, in contrast to leagues in Sweden or the UK where foreign riders are usually the highest points getters for each team.

Technically, Australia's Jason Doyle is this year's top rider with a match average of 9.67. However, he, and a number of other well known riders have actually only raced two matches in the Danish league. So we're going to discount him, Bartosz Zmarzlik, Kenneth Bjerre and Dawid Lampart who otherwise would be in the top ten in the league.

So the top five riders who have raced 6 matches or more:

1. Niels Kristian Iversen - Esberg - 9.36

2. Nicki Pedersen - Holsted - 9.13

3. Mikkel Michelsen - Slangerup - 8.84

4. Anders Thomsen - Fjelsted - 8.67

5. Michael Jepsen Jensen - Outrup - 8.38

Not surprisingly these are the riders who are active in both the World Championship, GP series (Iversen and Michelsen) or the SEC European championship (Pedersen, Michelsen, Thomsen and Jespen Jensen).

There are also three Danes who rode on home turf in Round 3 of the SEC in Vojens who are also active in the Metal League. They are Peter Kildemand (Fjelsted), Andreas Lyager (Slangerup) and Fredrik Jakobsen (Fjelsted). Jakobsen was also Denmark's U21 representative in the Speedway League of Nations. Whilst not matching the five above, these Danish riders are in the top 20 of riders in Denmark's own league with a match average of between 5.5 and 6.5.

Observant readers may notice that last year's European Champion and one of the contenders for this year's World Championship, Leon Madsen, is not present in the Metal League. He decided to cut back on commitments this year to only focus of riding in the Polish league and international competitions. His results indicate that might have been a good idea, as he is currently leading the world championship after the Scandinavian GP in Målilla, Sweden at the weekend. And injury is probably the only thing that means he is not also leading the SEC, where he can theoretically still win with a good turn out in the last round in Chorzow.

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Holsted cruise to regular season victory in Denmark's Metal League

The regular season in the Danish Speedway Metal League finished on Friday 16th August when Slangerup narrowly beat last year's champions, Region Varde Elitesport and secure second place in the table.

Runaway winners have been Holsted Tigers, who have won 9 out 10 matches this season. The only match they lost was way back on 15th May when Team Fjelsted beat them 45:39 and Peter Kildemand pick up 14 points for the victorious home team. Otherwise it has a disappoint for Fjelsted who finish in fifth out of of the six teams that make up the league.

1. Holsted Tigers - 23 points

2. Slangerup Speedway - 16 points

3. Esberg Vikings - 13 points

4. Region Varde Elitesport - 11 points

5. Team Fjelsted - 10 points

6. GSK Liga - 3 points

The complicated playoff system means that the at least four teams will compete for the final trophy, but there is no doubt that Holsted are the favourites to pick up the title after a dominant season.

The Superfinale takes place on 18th September when the champion will be crowned. However, the first post season match is 28th August when the top two teams meet in Slangerup.

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One week to go in Elitserien Sweden

This weekend sees the second GP of the world championship series arrive in Sweden, this time at Målilla home of Elitserien club, Dackarna.

Masarna’s top rider, Antonio Lindbäck, is currently out injured after a crash last week in Denmark, so Sweden will be represented in this year’s in the Scandinavian GP by 2018 bronze medallist, Fredrik Lindgren (Smederna) and wildcard, Jacob Thorsell (Dackarna), the new Swedish national champion.

There is one week to go in the regular season in Swedish top division, with some teams to play two matches whilst others to play one. But the six teams who will go through to playoffs are now known after Piraterna double loss this week. The Motala club, home of top Danish riders Niels Kristian Iversen and Mikkel Michelsen, was in with an outside chance of getting to the postseason, but painfully lost 43:47 at home to Dackarna and then 46:44 away to a depleted Masarna. In both matches the Danish pair won their Heat 14 with a 5:1 but the game was lost the last heat.

That means that the top six teams to go through to the playoffs are:

  • Västervik Speedway, top ten rider - Nicki Pedersen (6)
  • Vetlanda Speedway, top ten riders - Bartosz Zmarzlik (1), Artem Laguta (3), Dominik Kubera (10)
  • Dackarna (Målilla), top ten riders - Maciej Janowski (5), Ptior Pawlicki (9)
  • Eskilstuna Smederna, top ten rider - Fredrik Lindgren (8)
  • Lejonen (Gislaved), top ten rider - Maksym Drabik (7)
  • Kumla Indianerna, top ten rider - Tai Woffinden (2)

However, there is no guarantee that this will remain the final order of the teams. That’s because it is incredibly close this year with just four points separating the teams in positions 1 to 5. So all to be played for the in the final week of this year’s ESS.

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In Pole Position for Round 3 of the SEC

This article was published on the SEC website prior to Round 3 of the Speedway European Championship in Vojens, Denmark.

Here we focus on the Polish riders in the competition.

The relatively unknown, Kacper Woryna finished an impressive second in the final in Vojens sandwiched between two riders from the home nation, Mikkel Michelsen in first and Nicki Pedersen in third and will be one to watch in Chorzow.

Read on to find out more:

In Pole Position for the SEC

So far this year, Russian Grigorij Laguta has won Round 1 and Danish, Leon Madsen, Round 2. But do not be surprised if one of the Polish contingent in this year's SEC takes victory this weekend in Vojens, Denmark.

Jaroslaw Hampel, Pawel Przedpelski, Kacper Woryna and Bartosz Smektala are the four Polish riders with a permanent place in the SEC 2019 representing the nation that recently won the team junior world championships in Manchester and came second in the Speedway of Nations competition in Toglaitti. Below we take a look at each rider in turn:*

JAROSLAW HAMPEL - SEC 2019: 7th place

37 yrs, Lejonen (SWE, 25th), Leszno (POL, 30th)

One of the most successful riders participating in the SEC, Hampel is a veteran who has stood on the World Champions podium three time in fours years between 2010 and 2013. He picked up two silvers (2010 and 2013) and a bronze (2011). This season in both Sweden and Poland he had not been riding at the top of his form, but is still a rider any team would want to have and is threatening a top five finish in this year’s SEC. He will certainly want to beat long term rivals, Grigorij Laguta (35 yrs) and Nicki Pedersen (42 yrs) and prove hie is the best rider over 30 years in the competition.

PAWEL PRZEDPELSKI - SEC 2019: 14th place

24 yrs, Piraterna (SWE, 36th), Czestochowa (POL, 46th)

As a junior Przedpelski won the team U21 World Championship in 2014 and 2015 and was riding in the Ekstraliga for Torun. This season he decided to leave his youth club and join Czestochowa, which has seen a dip in his form as he adjusts to a different track and management. However, in Sweden's Elitserien he is having his best ever season. There he rides for Piraterna with two of his rivals in the SEC - Mikkel Michelsen (DEN) and Kai Hukenbeck (GER). We have not seen the best of Przedpelski yet, but with two rounds to go, he still has time to show the form that took him to the top of the sport as a junior.

KACPER WORYNA - SEC 2019: 5th place

22 yrs; Lejonen (SWE, 34th), ROW Rybnik (POL - Nice 1, 5th)

The SEC provides the first opportunity for the young Pole to flex his muscles on an international stage as a senior rider. It was back in 2016 that he participated in the U21 European championship for Poland and then, as now, he rides in Nice 1 team, ROW Rybnik. This season sees him excelling as the club leads the league where he is the top scoring Polish rider. He is also settling in abroad where he is seeing improved results in his second season with Swedish Lejonen, the same club as Polish SEC rival, Hampel. Sitting in fifth in this year's SEC, Woryna may be one of the dark horses to take this title if he can get to the finals in Vojens and Chorzow.

BARTOSZ SMEKTALA - SEC 2019: 4th place

20 yrs; Västervik (SWE, 32th); Leszno (POL, 25th)

Smektala (pictured) has already achieved so much in the sport, it is hard to believe that he is only 20. In 2018 he won the team and individual junior world championship, was part of the Leszno team that won the Ekstraliga as well as riding his first season outside Poland. Now in his second year at Västervik in the Elitserien, he is seeing improving year-on-year performances both in Sweden and back at home. The SEC is his first chance to get involved in a senior international event and he is seizing the opportunity with both hands. He currently lying in fourth behind three riders who have previously raced in the World GP series. One slip from them and the young Pole could win his first, surely, of many, senior championships.

* Each rider is listed in the following way: club in Sweden (position in individual points per heat); club in Poland (position in individual points per heat).

Adrian J

Five One Racing

Twitter: @BritOnThinIce1

Instagram: @a_brit_on_thin_ice1

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