FIRST 12 SGP2 QUALIFIERS CONFIRMED

PAUL BURBIDGE

Reigning FIM Speedway Under-21 world champion Jakub Miskowiak booked his place in the brand-new SGP2 series as Czech racer Jan Kvech pipped him to victory in the Gislaved qualifier on Saturday.

Riders were competing for a spot in the three-round SGP2 series – the newly-revamped FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship.

As part of Discovery Sports Events’ drive to put the sport’s young stars at the heart of the action, SGP2 is set to share a stage with Speedway GP events this year, with Prague’s Marketa Stadium staging the opening round on Friday, May 27 – the night before the FIM Speedway GP of Czech Republic.

The second round takes place at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Sunday, August 14 – the day after the FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain, before the action concludes in Torun on September 30 – the night before the FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun.

Qualifiers for SGP2 took place at Swedish track Gislaved, Latvian venue Daugavpils and Slovenian circuit Krsko on Saturday.

And Miskowiak ensured his place among the FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship title contenders by finishing third in the Gislaved round.

Four riders tied on 12 points, forcing a run-off for the rostrum. Kvech triumphed with Sweden’s Casper Henriksson second, Miskowiak third and Poland’s Wiktor Przyjemski taking the fourth and final spot.

In a star-studded field, Danish racer Benjamin Basso fell just short on 11, while Great Britain’s Tom Brennan and Australia’s Keynan Rew both missed out on 10 points. Swedish hopeful Philip Hellstrom-Bangs exited on nine.

Danish racer Kevin Juhl Pedersen cruised to a 15-point maximum to win the Daugavpils round, with in-form Czech star Daniel Klima qualifying in second place on 14.

Polish young gun Mateusz Cierniak made it through on 13, with his compatriot Wiktor Lampart securing the final spot on 12. Finnish rider Timi Salonen fell just a point short of qualification on 11.

Latvian star Francis Gusts didn’t line up in his home event in Daugavpils and was forced to travel to chase qualification. He was rewarded with victory in the Krsko round on 14 points. Polish rider Mateusz Swidnicki, Denmark’s Jonas Knudsen and Czech youngster Petr Chlupac all made the cut on 12. Sweden’s Gustav Grahn fell a point short on 11.

But the riders who missed out could yet be handed a reprieve as three permanent wild cards for the SGP2 series are still up for grabs, along with a wild card for each individual round.

SGP2 QUALIFIERS SO FAR: Jan Kvech (Czech Republic), Casper Henriksson (Sweden), Jakub Miskowiak (Poland), Wiktor Przyjemski (Poland), Kevin Juhl Pedersen (Denmark), Daniel Klima (Czech Republic), Mateusz Cierniak (Poland), Wiktor Lampart (Poland), Francis Gusts (Latvia), Mateusz Swidnicki (Poland), Jonas Knudsen (Denmark), Petr Chlupac (Czech Republic) – plus three permanent wild cards TBC.

GISLAVED SCORES: 1 Jan Kvech 12+3, 2 Casper Henriksson 12+2, 3 Jakub Miskowiak 12+1, 4 Wiktor Przyjemski 12+0, 5 Benjamin Basso 11, 6 Tom Brennan 10, 7 Keynan Rew 10, 8 Philip Hellstrom-Bangs 9, 9 Steven Goret 8, 10 Marius Nielsen 7, 11 Jordan Palin 5, 12 Mathias Tressarieu 4, 13 Drew Kemp 4, 14 James Pearson 3, 15 Espen Sola 1, 16 Timo Wachs 0, 17 Hugo Lundahl DNR.

DAUGAVPILS SCORES: 1 Kevin Juhl Pedersen 15, 2 Daniel Klima 14, 3 Mateusz Cierniak 13, 4 Wiktor Lampart 12, 5 Timi Salonen 11, 6 Ernest Matjuszonok 9, 7 Jesper Knudsen 9, 8 Ricards Ansviesulis 8, 9 Celina Liebmann 6, 10 Maximilian Belsing 5, 11 Artiom Juhno 5, 12 Erik Bachhuber 4, 13 Noel Wahlqvist 4, 14 Sam Hagon 3, 15 Markus Maximus Lill 1, 16 Nikita Kaulins 0.

KRSKO SCORES: 1 Francis Gusts 14, 2 Mateusz Swidnicki 12, 3 Jonas Knudsen 12, 4 Petr Chlupac 12, 5 Gustav Grahn 11, 6 Eber Ampugnani 9, 7 Norick Blodorn 9, 8 Fraser Bowes 9, 9 Dennis Fazekas 8, 10 Anze Grmek 8, 11 Miran Praznik 5, 12 Mario Niedermeier 4, 13 Bruno Belan 3, 14 Michele Menani 3, 15 Sebastian Kossler 1, 16 Damian Boyero 0, 17 Michal Bastecky 0, 18 Jakub Exler 0.

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