LEBEDEVS AMONG FIVE SEC WILD CARDS FOR 2023

19/05/2023

LEBEDEVS AMONG FIVE SEC WILD CARDS FOR 2023LEBEDEVS AMONG FIVE SEC WILD CARDS FOR 2023

Latvia’s Speedway GP first reserve Andzejs Lebedevs has the chance to fight for a full-time FIM Speedway Grand Prix place in 2024 after being handed a permanent wild card for the Speedway European Championship.

The 2017 SEC champion was named as one of the five picks for this summer’s four-round continental championship, which gets underway at Polish track Czestochowa on June 17. The SEC champion is guaranteed a place in the 2024 Speedway GP series.

After racing to the FIM Torun Speedway GP semi-finals last October, Lebedevs will be aiming to earn some more regular SGP opportunities, and he could feature in the 2023 Speedway GP series as first reserve if a rider is forced out of a round through injury, illness or other reasons.

He is joined in receiving an SEC wild card by Prague FIM Czech Speedway GP wild card Vaclav Milik, former Swedish Speedway GP star Antonio Lindback, FIM German Speedway GP wild card Kai Huckenbeck and Great Britain international Adam Ellis.

Milik made a fine start to the season with newly-promoted Krosno in the PGE Ekstraliga and makes his Speedway GP comeback in Prague on June 3. He led the Czech national side to fifth place in the 2022 FIM Speedway of Nations and will hope to star for them as the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup returns in Wroclaw from July 25-29.

Huckenbeck follows Milik into Speedway GP action when he rides as Teterow wild card on June 10. He also serves as third substitute rider for this season’s Speedway GP series and should also lead Germany into the Monster Energy SWC this summer.

Despite retiring from the sport at the end of 2021, Lindback has bounced back on to the world stage and his SEC opportunity gives him a chance to secure his return to the Speedway GP series.

Ellis has been rewarded for a fine start to 2023 with Polish Second Division side Opole and British Sports Insure Premiership club Sheffield and will be hopeful of building on his SEC debut series in 2022, which saw him finish 17th.

The wild cards are joined in the series by Denmark’s SEC champion Leon Madsen, last year’s runner-up Janusz Kolodziej of Poland, Danish racer Mikkel Michelsen and Polish duo Patryk Dudek and Dominik Kubera, who all qualified by finishing in the 2022 SEC top five.

They are joined by SEC Challenge qualifiers Dimitri Berge of France, Kacper Woryna of Poland, Czech prospect Jan Kvech, Poland’s Grzegorz Zengota and Denmark’s Andreas Lyager.

Finnish international Timo Lahti is named as first reserve, ahead of former Polish champion Szymon Wozniak, who is the second standby man. Denmark’s former world No.3 Niels-Kristian Iversen is third reserve, with former World Under-21 silver medallist Mads Hansen, also of Denmark, rounding off the list of substitutes.

After the SEC series opens in Czestochowa, the action moves to German track Gustrow on August 5, before Bydgoszcz stages round three on September 9 and the title decider takes place at Czech track Pardubice on September 22.

TAURON SEC 2023 riders list (in ranking order):

1. Leon Madsen (Denmark)

2. Janusz Kołodziej (Poland)

3. Mikkel Michelsen (Denmark)

4. Patryk Dudek (Poland)

5. Dominik Kubera (Poland)

6. Dimitri Berge (France)

7. Kacper Woryna (Poland)

8. Jan Kvěch (Czech Republic)

9. Grzegorz Zengota (Poland)

10. Andreas Lyager (Denmark)

11. Antonio Lindbäck (Sweden)

12. Andzejs Lebedevs (Latvia)

13. Kai Huckenbeck (Germany)

14. Vaclav Milik (Czech Republic)

15. Adam Ellis (Great Britain)

 

SUBSTITUTE RIDERS:

R1 - Timo Lahti (Finland)

R2 - Szymon Woźniak (Poland)

R3 - Niels Kristian Iversen (Denmark)

R4 - Mads Hansen (Denmark)