GOLDEN HELMET HAT-TRICK FOR ZMARZLIK

PAUL BURBIDGE

Double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik stormed to a 15-point maximum to win his third straight Golden Helmet title in Opole on Easter Monday.

The prestigious event has previously been used as a qualifying competition for the FIM Speedway Grand Prix international qualifiers, but world title contender Zmarzlik is very unlikely to need a place in these.

He stepped up his stellar start to 2022 by demolishing the competition, and he also claimed the Opole track record when he won heat nine in a rapid time of 59.39 seconds.

Posting on Facebook, a delighted Zmarzlik wrote: “The third victory in a row in the Golden Helmet and also a track record! It was a very successful competition, and I thank my whole team for the work they did.”

Zmarzlik triumphed ahead of Polish national team colleague Dominik Kubera, who boosted his Speedway GP qualification hopes for 2023 by finishing second on 13 points. Returning Speedway GP star Patryk Dudek was also on fine form, finishing third on 13.

World No.4 Maciej Janowski fell just short of the podium with 10 points – a figure matched by former World Under-21 champion Bartosz Smektala.

Gorzow’s former Polish champion Szymon Wozniak notched nine, while former Speedway GP rider Piotr Pawlicki and Gleb Chugunov raced to eight points apiece.

Former FIM Czech Speedway GP winner Janusz Kolodziej scored seven, with Jaroslaw Hampel, Tobiasz Musielak and Kacper Woryna all recording six.

Przemyslaw Pawlicki picked up four, Wiktor Lampart recorded three and World Under-21 champion Jakub Miskowiak managed only two. It was a tough day for FIM GP Challenge winner Pawel Przedpelski, who scored just one point.

He will hope for better fortunes when he begins his World Championship campaign in the FIM Speedway GP of Croatia – Gorican on April 30 as a new era of FIM Speedway gets started.

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