POLAND'S MONSTER ENERGY FIM SWC'S HEROES RETURN AS DOBRUCKI NAMES SQUAD FOR 2024
Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup winners Poland have named all of their 2023 heroes in their national squad for 2024 as they chase their first FIM Speedway of Nations world title in Manchester in July.
Four-time world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik leads a stellar cast of riders as the sport’s ultimate test of team riding returns to the National Speedway Stadium from July 9-13.
The squad also features former world No.3 Maciej Janowski, who sealed Poland’s ninth FIM SWC gold medal, passing Great Britain’s Robert Lambert in the last-heat decider of an unforgettable Final in Wroclaw on July 29.
This gave Magic a taste of revenge after he suffered a fall in the 2021 FIM SON Grand Final in Manchester, which allowed Great Britain duo Lambert and Dan Bewley to end the Lions’ 32-year wait for a world team title.
Having delivered the goods in his home city, he will bid to swap FIM SON silver for gold as the competition heads back to the National Speedway Stadium, with Speedway GP newcomer Dominik Kubera, Patryk Dudek and Janusz Kolodziej also selected after playing their part in Poland’s Monster Energy FIM SWC title triumph last summer.
Speedway GP newcomer Szymon Wozniak also earns a place in the squad for 2024. While he missed out on the Monster Energy FIM SWC, he has experience of the FIM SON, having partnered Zmarzlik to silver in the 2020 FIM SON Final in Lublin.
Six-time FIM SWC winner Jaroslaw Hampel completes the seniors list after a strong season in Poland, which saw him skipper Lublin to their second straight PGE Ekstraliga championship.
The Polish squad also features its FIM SGP2 medal winners, as double FIM Speedway Under-21 world champion Mateusz Cierniak joins bronze medallist Bartlomiej Kowalski on the list.
With the pair stepping out of the under-21 ranks for 2024, Lublin signing Wiktor Przyjemski, who joined Cierniak and Kowalski in Poland’s FIM SON2 gold medal-winning side, and Leszno talent Damian Ratajczak look set to be the country’s top junior stars next year. Antoni Mencel, also from Leszno, completes Poland’s list of under-21s.
With the FIM SON replacing the Monster Energy FIM SWC on the FIM Speedway calendar for next year, team manager Rafal Dobrucki faces an even greater selection headache as he can only choose three riders – two starters and one reserve – to race in white and red in Manchester.
The under-21s get their chance to shine in SON2 on July 12, with Przyjemski, Ratajczak and Mancel emerging as selection favourites.
But Dobrucki and any other team manager selecting a provisional squad to work with can add other riders ahead of the tournament in July.