FIM SGP2 STAR POLLESTAD: FLYING THE FLAG FOR NORWAY
Norwegian shooting star Mathias Pollestad hopes to put his country firmly back on the FIM Speedway map after finishing second in Prague FIM SGP2 of Czech Republic practice this afternoon.
Pollestad clocked 15.339 seconds, beaten only by reigning SGP2 FIM Speedway Under-21 world champion Mateusz Cierniak, who registered a time of 15.202 seconds at Marketa Stadium, where he topped the podium in 2022.
Pollestad was given his chance to shine in FIM SGP2 as a permanent wild card and hopes to impress in the FIM Speedway spotlight as the series also visits his Polish club Gorzow on June 23, before concluding Vojens Speedway Center in Denmark on September 15.
Racing for Gorzow in the Under-24 Ekstraliga is clearly making a big difference for Pollestad, who is 10th in the junior league’s average charts on 2.389 points per race.
Norway made its FIM Speedway of Nations debut in Vojens last summer, but the country has not been represented at the FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship Final stage since Bjorn G Hansen raced in the 2001 competition.
Pollestad has hopes of following former world No.4 Rune Holta, who won World Under-21 silver in 1994 and then made it on to the Speedway GP stage.
“That’s the dream,” he said. “But it’s a long way to go. Everything can happen in the future. For now, I am just focused on SGP2 and the Under-24 Ekstraliga. I am trying to be as good as I can be. We will see if I go into higher leagues in Poland and Sweden next year.
“I am really happy that they gave me a permanent SGP2 wild card because Norway had Rune Holta who raced in the GPs, but that was a long time ago.
“After Holta, speedway dropped off a lot in Norway. I hope I can change that because it will be fun to race more at home and not only be in Poland, Sweden and Denmark.”
Norway last staged a Speedway GP round at Hamar’s Vikingskipet in 2004. For now, Pollestad is making his name abroad with Gorzow, where he is being well supported by one of the world’s biggest clubs. “Last year I didn’t have the best equipment,” he said. “But this year Gorzow really cashed out and now it’s perfect.
“It makes a really big difference. If you don’t come into a really good club and get the help, it’s much harder to come to the top. But if you have the team that I have at Stal Gorzow now, it’s much easier to go up step by step. They know everything and I do not know so much.
“In the winter I trained really hard and changed engines. I tried different ones and now I have found something that’s really good.
“Everyone in the team is working 100 percent, so I hope I can keep the speed up and score some good points tonight.”
PRAGUE FIM SGP2 OF CZECH REPUBLIC PRACTICE TIMES:
1 Mateusz Cierniak 15.202
2 Mathias Pollestad 15.339
3 Bartlomiej Kowalski 15.356
4 Emil Breum 15.379
5 Damian Ratajczak 15.433
6 Keynan Rew 15.462
7 Gustav Grahn 15.483
8 Petr Chlupac 15.514
9 Nicolai Heiselberg 15.539
10 Philip Hellstrom-Bangs 15.595
11 Anze Grmek 15.596
12 Norick Blodorn 15.603 (15.641)
13 Esben Hjerrild 15.603 (15.682)
14 Anders Rowe 15.631
15 Matous Kamenik 15.662
16 Daniel Klima 15.756
17 Casper Henriksson 15.860
18 Jaroslav Vanicek 15.933