2023 MONSTER ENERGY FIM SPEEDWAY WORLD CUP STARTING LINE-UPS REVEALED
The starting line-ups for the 2023 Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Semi-Finals have been revealed as four riders with eight Speedway GP world titles between them race in Polish city Wroclaw on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The sport’s original team competition makes its comeback after a six-year absence as part of speedway’s 100th anniversary season, with racing taking place at the legendary Olympic Stadium – venue for the first modern-day FIM SWC Final in 2001.
Nine nations race for the iconic Ove Fundin Trophy, with hosts Poland seeded straight through to the Final on Saturday, July 29.
The battle to join them is set to be intense, with four Speedway GP world champions taking to the track as triple champion Tai Woffinden flies the Great Britain flag, Jason Doyle and Chris Holder both line up for Australia and Danish team manager and three-time SGP champion Nicki Pedersen has named himself in his own starting line-up for his first tournament appearance since 2015 and his debut season as national coach.
The action gets underway with Semi-Final 1 on Tuesday, with 2021 FIM Speedway of Nations world champions Great Britain taking on three-time FIM SWC gold medallists Sweden, Czech Republic and Germany.
Semi-Final 2 features 2022 FIM Speedway of Nations world champions Australia facing four-time FIM SWC winners Denmark, Finland and tournament debutants France.
Each country has named a starting line-up of four riders, with a No.5 reserve rider, who can be called into action by their team manager at any time – taking a maximum of five rides and one tactical substitute race if their country falls six points or more behind the leading nation.
Alongside skipper Woffinden, GB tracks another Wroclaw hero in Dan Bewley, who topped the Speedway GP podium at the Olympic Stadium last August.
Robert Lambert finished third that night and joins his fellow 2021 FIM SON gold medal-winning stars, with 2021 British champion Adam Ellis completing the starting quartet. Former British Under-21 champion Tom Brennan, reserve for GB’s 2021 FIM SON victory, takes the reserve No.5 spot.
The Lions come up against a Swedish side spearheaded by triple national champion and world No.4 Fredrik Lindgren. He joins forces with former Speedway GP winner Antonio Lindback and double Swedish champion Jacob Thorssell.
Former Speedway GP rider Oliver Berntzon – top scorer in the 2022 FIM SON on 40 points – also makes boss Morgan Andersson’s side, with 2022 FIM GP Challenge winner and Speedway GP rider Kim Nilsson named at No.5.
Czech team manager Zdenek Schneiderwind is keeping his ace card up his sleeve after naming former Speedway GP finalist Vaclav Milik at No.5 – meaning he could appear in any heat at any time.
Last year’s SGP2 runner-up Jan Kvech joins forces with his SON2 silver medal-winning teammate Petr Chlupac plus Daniel Klima in a young starting quartet, which also features the more experienced Eduard Krcmar.
The German team is led by skipper Kai Huckenbeck – so often the nation’s leading scorer in recent FIM SON tournaments. Former FIM New Zealand Speedway GP winner Martin Smolinski joins him in the starting quartet, along with SGP2 star Norick Blodorn and Kevin Wolbert. Former FIM World Long Track champion Erik Riss is standing by in the No.5 spot.
Last year’s FIM SON world champions Australia welcomes back skipper Jason Doyle, who reversed his international retirement after stepping down from the Roos side at the end of 2022.
He’s joined by Speedway GP rivals Jack Holder and Max Fricke, with 2020 FIM Speedway Under-21 world champion Jaimon Lidsey making his Monster Energy FIM SWC debut for Australia. Former Speedway GP world champion Holder offers boss Mark Lemon a very interesting option in the No.5 position.
Danish team manager Pedersen, assisted by Henrik Moller, has restored himself to Denmark’s starting line-up for his first tournament since 2015, having not appeared in the national side under his predecessor Hans Nielsen.
Speedway GP trio Leon Madsen, Anders Thomsen and Mikkel Michelsen, who captains the team, all join forces with the 2003, 2007 and 2008 Speedway GP world champion, with 2022 Danish champion Rasmus Jensen at No.5.
Finland’s reward for reaching their first-ever FIM SON Final in 2022 is Monster Energy FIM SWC qualification, and last year’s heroes Timo Lahti and Timi Salonen are both named in the starting line-up.
They are joined by Jesse Mustonen and Antti Vuolas, with Niklas Sayrio listed as their No.5.
The French team enters its first-ever FIM SWC led by national top guns David Bellego and Dimitri Berge. They join forces with former FIM World Long Track champion Mathieu Tresarrieu and Steven Goret. Tresarrieu’s nephew Mathias Tresarrieu takes the No.5 spot.
The winner of each Semi-Final joins Poland in the Monster Energy FIM SWC Final, with the second and third-placed sides entering the always-exciting Race Off on Friday, July 28. The winner of that event completes the Final line-up.
Tickets for Monster Energy FIM SWC week are still available online. Be part of a festival of racing in one of the sport’s most iconic cities. Tickets are on sale HERE now.
MONSTER ENERGY FIM SWC SEMI-FINAL STARTING LINE-UPS:
SEMI-FINAL 1 – TUESDAY, JULY 25
GERMANY – RED
1. Kai Huckenbeck ©
2. Kevin Wölbert
3. Norick Blödorn
4. Martin Smolinski
5. Erik Riss
Team Managers: Sascha Dörner / Mathias Bartz
SWEDEN – BLUE
1. Fredrik Lindgren ©
2. Jacob Thorssell
3. Antonio Lindbäck
4. Oliver Berntzon
5. Kim Nilsson
Team Manager: Morgan Andersson
GREAT BRITAIN – WHITE
1. Tai Woffinden ©
2. Dan Bewley
3. Robert Lambert
4. Adam Ellis
5. Tom Brennan
Team Manager: Oliver Allen / Simon Stead
CZECH REPUBLIC – YELLOW
1. Jan Kvěch
2. Eduard Krčmář
3. Petr Chlupáč
4. Daniel Klíma
5. Václav Milík ©
Team Manager: Zdeněk Schneiderwind
SEMI-FINAL 2 – WEDNESDAY, JULY 26
FINLAND – RED
1. Timo Lahti ©
2. Jesse Mustonen
3. Antti Vuolas
4. Timi Salonen
5. Niklas Säyriö
Team Manager: Aki-Pekka Mustonen
FRANCE – BLUE
1. David Bellego ©
2. Dimitri Bergé
3. Steven Goret
4. Mathieu Trésarrieu
5. Mathias Trésarrieu
Team Manager: Laurent Sambarrey
DENMARK – WHITE
1. Mikkel Michelsen ©
2. Nicki Pedersen
3. Anders Thomsen
4. Leon Madsen
5. Rasmus Jensen
Team Managers: Nicki Pedersen / Henrik Møller
AUSTRALIA – YELLOW
1. Max Fricke
2. Jack Holder
3. Jason Doyle ©
4. Jaimon Lidsey
5. Chris Holder
Team Manager: Mark Lemon