DREAM VICTORY IN VOJENS FOR DANISH HERO MADSEN
World No.2 Leon Madsen was elated to realise his Vojens dream as he became the first home winner of the DeluxeHomeart FIM Speedway GP of Denmark since 2015 on Saturday.
Madsen sent Denmark’s packed national speedway stadium into raptures as he overhauled Swedish star Fredrik Lindgren to win a dramatic final showdown, with Australia’s Jack Holder third and Great Britain star Robert Lambert fourth.
The two-time Speedway GP silver medallist celebrated wildly with the locals as he achieved his first SGP victory since 2019 – the night he won the FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun with an unforgettable seven-ride maximum. He is the first Danish rider to win a home Speedway GP since Peter Kildemand topped the podium in Horsens in 2015.
Madsen managed just two championship points at the FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff on September 2. He was delighted to bounce back in style and move up to seventh place on 95 points – just two short of the top-six automatic qualification places going into the final round in Torun on September 30.
The Vejle-born racer said: “It feels amazing. I am just so happy to have bounced back after that terrible meeting in Cardiff.
“I know the Danish fans have been longing for a Danish winner in Vojens. It was such a hectic race in the final and I just managed to find a way through and win it.
“I have been struggling so hard all season on the slick tracks. I think Vojens has been the slickest track on the calendar this year, so we are definitely going in the right direction. Hopefully we can keep it going forward.
“In the last heat, we made a tiny change to the bike, and it made a huge difference on the track. It’s not just something we say – one or two changes on the bike really can make a huge difference on the track. We really had to work hard to find the right setup and I feel we are going in the right way with that.
“I was also happy to see so many fans up here in Vojens, supporting me and the rest of the Danish guys. It was an amazing evening.
“I have been dreaming about winning in Vojens for many years. It has never really clicked for me. Last year was very close, I finished third, but it was just amazing to win it this time.
“I am very happy and hopefully we can keep going forward and be more stable next year. I don’t want to have these bad meetings. Hopefully then I can get back up the top and fight for the World Championship.”
Ahead of racing, the FIM Jury confirmed that Speedway GP World Championship leader Bartosz Zmarzlik had been disqualified from the event and fined €600, having been “found to be wearing a race suit which did not conform to the FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship Regulations 2023 during the Qualifying Practice and the starting number selection for the meeting.”
As a result of Zmarzlik’s absence, Lindgren’s 18-point haul for finishing second saw the Swede reduce his Lublin’s teammate’s championship lead from 24 to six ahead of the title decider in Torun.
While Lindgren took no pleasure in seeing his rival ruled out, he was determined to focus on the task in hand as he bids to become Sweden’s first world champion since Tony Rickardsson clinched his sixth and final Speedway GP World Championship in 2005 – 18 years ago.
Lindgren said: “When I came back from the autograph sessions, I got the news that Bartosz was not going to ride. I really feel for him.
“I had to try and re-group and focus on tonight and what I had to do on the track. I managed to have a fairly strong GP.
“The lines were changing all the time. Bike setup was crucial. It was a tricky evening in many ways, but I managed to get to the semi and the final. I was leading and I thought I could clinch it, but Leon was too fast in that final. Fair play to him and congratulations.
“I am just going to go to Torun and do the best I can. I am six points down and it’s not that easy to get that back. I can only do the best I can, and we will see where we end up.”
Third-placed Holder was elated with his second straight Speedway GP podium. Having missed round seven in Riga with a broken wrist and bounced back with a second place in Cardiff on September 2, the Appin-born racer was pleased to pull level on 113 points with third-placed Martin Vaculik in the battle for bronze.
While the Slovak star is placed higher by virtue of his two Speedway GP wins in Prague and Cardiff, Holder is determined to overhaul his rival on long-time former Polish home track Torun.
Reflecting on a fine night in Vojens, he said: “I am super stoked to be on the podium again. I missed a round because of injury, so I had to claw some points back. The last couple of GPs have been good, so it all comes down to Torun.”