DANISH ICON MADSEN BIDS TO BE HOME HERO ON HISTORIC NIGHT AT VOJENS
Danish racer Leon Madsen is determined to give his home crowd a night to remember at an historic DeluxeHomeart FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens on Saturday.
The sport’s top riders head to the iconic Vojens Speedway Center – one of the sport’s most storied racetracks, where a second FIM Speedway world champion of the weekend could be crowned tonight.
Polish shooting star Mateusz Cierniak made it back-to-back SGP2 FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championships on Friday, and now his fellow countryman Bartosz Zmarzlik bids to seal his fourth Speedway GP World Championship in five seasons.
If he leaves tonight’s penultimate Speedway GP round of 2023 with a 21-point lead or more over his nearest rival, Zmarzlik would become only the seventh rider in history to win four or more world titles. He would also be only the second rider in Speedway GP history after six-time world champion Tony Rickardsson to win back-to-back championships twice, with Zmarzlik hoping to add to victories in 2019, 2020 and 2022.
While the Pole is clear favourite to win gold, leading the way on 138 points with Sweden’s Fredrik Lindgren second on 114 and Slovakia’s Martin Vaculik third on 105, a tense fight for the silver and bronze medals and the top-six automatic qualification places for the 2024 Speedway GP series continues.
Madsen heads into his home event placed eighth in the standings on 75 points – 11 adrift of Great Britain racer Dan Bewley, who holds the sixth and final automatic qualifying spot for 2024 on 86.
Two-time Speedway GP silver medallist Madsen recently signed for Vojens club Sønderjylland Elite Speedway in a bid to get some extra track time ahead of the DeluxeHomeart FIM Danish Speedway GP. The world No.2 hopes this will pay dividends tonight as he bids to give the home fans a special night at Denmark’s biggest speedway event and step up his bid for Speedway GP qualification for next season.
He said: “I am still fighting for the top six. I have two GPs left and I have to do my very best. I am up for it, and I am very much looking forward to racing in Vojens in front of the Danish home crowd. It always gives you a special feeling to race on home soil. The Danish crowd is longing for a Danish winner, and I will do my very best to make it happen.
“You need to have your starting gloves on in Vojens for sure and set up the bike to be fast from the tapes. Hopefully we can get that setup on Saturday. It’s a very small technical track, so starts are very crucial.
“Last year was good. I ended it in third place and on the podium. It was a very good night for me. I feel confident going into Saturday’s GP. I am ready to race, and I will do my best for a good result. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I want to finish off the season with two good meetings, so I can hopefully climb the ladder and get into the top six.”
Madsen admits there could be no better to place to stage the DeluxeHomeart FIM Danish Speedway GP than Vojens – the circuit constructed by the father of Danish speedway Ole Olsen in 1975 – the year he won the second of his three FIM Speedway world titles.
“When you mention speedway in Denmark, you always say Vojens in the same sentence,” Madsen said. “It’s always a great feeling to come and race the GP at Vojens. It’s always packed and it’s special.
“It’s something we all look forward to in the season as Danish riders. It’s going to be great – hopefully with a good Danish result.”
Madsen is joined in flying the home flag by fellow double European champion Mikkel Michelsen, who reached the semi-finals of the 2022 event, winning three heats despite racing with a broken ankle. Wild card Rasmus Jensen returns after making his Speedway GP debut at Vojens in 2022 – racing to an impressive 12 championship points and a semi-final spot.
2023 DELUXEHOMEART FIM SPEEDWAY GP OF DENMARK - VOJENS LINE-UP (in FIM ranking order with rider numbers): 95 Bartosz Zmarzlik (Poland), 30 Leon Madsen (Denmark), 744 Kai Huckenbeck (Germany – substitute for 71 Maciej Janowski), 66 Fredrik Lindgren (Sweden), 505 Robert Lambert (Great Britain), 99 Dan Bewley (Great Britain), 692 Patryk Dudek (Poland), 201 Jan Kvech (Czech Republic – substitute for 108 Tai Woffinden), 54 Martin Vaculik (Slovakia), 69 Jason Doyle (Australia), 155 Mikkel Michelsen (Denmark), 25 Jack Holder (Australia), 46 Max Fricke (Australia), 29 Andzejs Lebedevs (Latvia – substitute for 105 Anders Thomsen), 233 Kim Nilsson (Sweden), 16 Rasmus Jensen (Denmark – wild card), 17 Mads Hansen (Denmark – first track reserve), 18 Benjamin Basso (Denmark – second track reserve).
Fans can enjoy a packed programme of entertainment in the DeluxeHomeart FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens fanzone – located on the stadium’s training track.
The action gets underway at 12:30 local time, with Speedway GP Qualifying Practice getting started at 13:00.
The Speedway GP trophy will be on display for fans to take pictures with, along with a mighty F16 fighter jet – on loan from the Royal Danish Air Force’s nearby Skrydstrup Air Base.
There will also be vintage bike displays, attractions for kids, plenty of entertainment in the Monster Energy Zone, plus Speedway GP and rider merchandise available for purchase.
There will be chances to grab a selfie with official FIM Speedway mascot Speedy at 14:45 and 16:30.
Speedway GP’s Monster Energy athletes Fredrik Lindgren, Dan Bewley, Patryk Dudek and Jack Holder will be signing hero cards in the Monster Energy Zone from 16:00.
This will be followed by our Speedway GP rider autograph session, featuring all 18 riders, from 16:30.
Danish legend Erik Gundersen will be taking part in a Q&A session at 17:15, with a number of his bikes also on display in the fanzone.
Fans can win Speedway GP prizes in our quizzes on the big screen at 15:30 and 17:45, before we crown the King and Queen of the Fanzone at 18:00.
WHERE TO WATCH
DeluxeHomeart FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens – Saturday, September 16 at 19:00 CET
Fans with access to discovery+ or the Eurosport App, available in selected countries, can enjoy full live coverage of all the FIM Speedway action, featuring Qualifying Practice, plus all the build-up from the pits and reaction after the chequered flag falls, as well as the very best coverage of the racing including pit and on-board cameras and rider reaction times.
Coverage of Speedway GP is available worldwide with linear coverage of the racing also available in selected countries – see below for more details of where to watch.
Fans can also get live results throughout the Speedway GP via the official FIM Speedway app. Download it now on the App Store or Google Play.
ACROSS EUROPE: Live on the Eurosport App
BRITAIN: Live on discovery+, Eurosport 2 and the Eurosport App
POLAND: Live Eurosport Extra in Player
SWEDEN: Live on discovery+ and the Eurosport App
DENMARK: Live on 6’eren, discovery+ and the Eurosport App
AUSTRALIA: Live on Fox Sports (Kayo)
NEW ZEALAND: Live on Recast via www.recast.tv/fimspeedway
USA/CANADA: Live on Recast via www.recast.tv/fimspeedway
GERMANY: Live on discovery+ and the Eurosport App
ACROSS THE BALTICS: Live on discovery+, Eurosport App, Go3 and TV3 Sport channels
CZECH REP: Live on the Eurosport App
SLOVAKIA: Live on the Eurosport App and RTVS
CROATIA: Live on the Eurosport App
AUSTRIA: Live on discovery+ and the Eurosport App
NORWAY: Live on discovery+
FINLAND: Live on discovery+
ARGENTINA: Live on Recast via www.recast.tv/fimspeedway
ACROSS THE CARIBBEAN: Live on SportsMax
ACROSS AFRICA: Live on SuperSport
ACROSS ASIA: Live on beINSPORTS
REST OF THE WORLD: Live on Recast via www.recast.tv/fimspeedway