DANISH TALENT JAMIL RACES TO 15-POINT MAX TO WIN FIRST-EVER SGP4 CROWN
Danish shooting star Elias Jamil was elated to make history after winning the first-ever FIM Speedway Youth World Cup (SGP4) with a 15-point maximum at Swedish track Malilla on Saturday.
Launched as part of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports’ vision to train a new generation of champions, the SGP4 project has been developed over the past two years, with six-time world champion Tony Rickardsson designing a bike for the sport’s newest riders, aged between 11 and 13.
Riders from 12 different countries and four different continents headed to the iconic Malilla racetrack in the Swedish forests, where they took part in two practice sessions under Rickardsson’s watchful eye.
Two f world champions Erik Gundersen – Denmark’s master of youth development – and American legend Greg Hancock were also on hand to offer their pearls of wisdom, with the Speedway GP riders watching the racing today.
Jamil was unbeaten over five fantastic rides, culminating in a fine pass on Czech racer Karel Prusa on the final lap of heat 20 to seal his title ahead of Australian star Cooper Antone in second on 13 points. Denmark’s Niklas Bager took third spot after winning a run-off with Australia’s Kobi Canning for the bronze medal.
The delighted Jamil loved his first SGP4 experience, witnessed by hundreds of fans, who packed the stands of the Malilla training track for one of the biggest crowds ever witnessed for an event of this level.
Runner-up Antone made the long trip to Malilla from Albury-Wodonga – located on the New South Wales-Victoria border and home to an Australian Championship round. He loved his first experience of the SGP4 bike.
He said: “I’m stoked. I have never been this far from home before, so I am super stoked. This is the best bike I have ever been on. They are super grunty, which I love. It makes you a lot more disciplined.”
Third-placed Bager also took to the SGP4 class brilliantly. He said: “I am feeling good. It was a nice weekend. The SGP4 bike is really good. It was really awesome to ride this. Thank you to Tony Rickardsson and all his team.”
Fourth-placed Canning from Adelaide, South Australia – one of the top speedway cities Down Under – admits the SGP4 machine was his new favourite junior bike. He said: “This bike is a lot faster. They are heaps better than the ones at home.
“I’m feeling stoked. I didn’t get much luck in the run-off, but I am here in fourth place, and I am pretty happy. Congratulations to everyone else.”
Swedish legend Rickardsson was “blown away” with the standard of riding on show and paid tribute to the riders and their families for playing their part in an historic weekend for youth speedway.
He said: “I didn’t really know what to expect and my ambition was that it really could be a family weekend out. I know it is a world cup event, but at this young age, it is so important that we are having fun together and we respect each other on and off the racetrack.
“We have to realise that even if we have had a couple of practices, these guys have only been on those bikes for eight minutes yesterday and four and a half minutes today if you are looking at track time.
“The shape of this training track makes it really difficult to ride and that put a lot of pressure on me and the riders. But if they can ride this track with its long straights and really tight corners, they can ride any track with this bike.
“For them to have raced the bikes the way they did, wow! I am blown away. Well done to the riders and well done to their parents who make this all happen.”
While riders from 12 nations took part in the SGP4 weekend, Rickardsson looks forward to welcoming more riders and nations to a class that is set to become the first step on the road to Speedway GP success.
He said: “Everybody is welcome into this project. I really hope all the national federations will try to follow suit.
“This is not a class that should take over different countries’ national classes. They should keep the classes they have. This will be an extra option and I hope this will continue for many years to come, make the youngsters happy and give them a nice stepping stone on to the next size bike.”
FIM SPEEDWAY YOUTH WORLD CUP (SGP4) SCORES: 1 Elias Jamil (Denmark) 15, 2 Cooper Antone (Australia) 13, 3 Niklas Bager (Denmark) 12+3, 4 Kobi Canning (Australia) 12+2, 5 Karel Prusa (Czech Republic) 11, 6 Niko Hatva (Finland) 9, 7 Jesper Kvarnström (Sweden) 8, 8 Kensei Matsudaira (USA) 8, 9 Thies Schweer (Germany) 7, 10 Augustin Kreder (Argentina) 6, 11 Arvid Björkeroth (Sweden) 6, 12 Oliver Bovingdon (Great Britain) 6, 13 Lustiuk Zakhar (Ukraine) 3, 14 Boris Charbonnier (France) 2, 15 Otto Autere (Sweden) 0, 16 Damian Andre (Romania) DNR, 17 Villads Pedersen (Denmark) DNR, 18 Oskar Kull (Sweden) DNR.