DUDEK’S NEW CHALLENGE

PAUL BURBIDGE

Polish star Patryk Dudek hopes leaving boyhood club Zielona Gora for a new challenge with Torun will help him find his best form in 2022.

Dudek first raced for Falubaz in 2009 and has been part of three PGE Ekstraliga title-winning squads. But the club has been relegated into the Polish First Division for this year, prompting No.692 to move on.

The switch sees him join forces with FIM Speedway Grand Prix rivals Emil Sayfutdinov, Pawel Przedpelski and Robert Lambert, plus Speedway GP first reserve Jack Holder.

Dudek had the option to remain with Zielona Gora in Poland’s second tier, but opted to continue his career in the world’s biggest speedway league.

It’s the first time Dudek has changed clubs in Poland, but he hopes the move will bring the best out of him as he makes his Speedway GP comeback after a year away from the series.

Reflecting on his Zielona Gora exit, he told Przeglad Sportowy: “Maybe it was hard for me at the beginning, but it was leaving my comfort zone that allowed me to fuel myself for the new challenge that awaited me. I am very curious about this season. I’m excited because it’s the first time I have been in this situation.

“It’s nice to hear that the fans from Torun have been waiting for me, which is an additional stimulus for me. I do not want to disappoint them.”

Dudek may not have raced a meeting for the club yet, but he admits he has already been getting to know the Torun locals.

He said: “Maybe I’m not often in Torun, but when I’m approaching the traffic lights, some cars stop alongside me and the drivers look around, honk or nod, so I have already had some contact with the fans.”

Born in nearby Bydgoszcz, Dudek revealed that he originally expected to start his career in Torun. So he’s pleased to finally get the chance to wear their colours.

He added: “You can say I have come full circle because I have been associated with Torun since the beginning of my career.

“I was supposed to start racing there, but it turned out that I started in Zielona Gora. This is my second club that I will represent in Poland and I am glad that it’s Torun.”

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