Aussie duo Jason Doyle and Jack Holder are five good rides away from securing their spots in the 2024 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series after qualifying for the FIM GP Challenge in Gislaved on August 19.

Doyle topped the podium on 13 points in today’s qualifier at German track Abensberg, while Holder won the round at Hungarian venue Debrecen, also on 13. They progress to the Challenge, where the top three riders are certain of places in next season’s Speedway GP series.

Doyle is joined in making it through the Abensberg round by Poland’s former Speedway GP rider Przemyslaw Pawlicki, who claimed second place after winning a run-off with French star Dimitri Berge and German ace Martin Smolinski. All three riders tied on 12 points and qualify. 

Pawlicki, who last raced in the Speedway GP series in 2018, will face off with younger brother Piotr, who qualified at Saturday’s round in Lonigo, Italy.

Smolinski’s qualification for the Challenge is particularly remarkable as he was only due to be a track reserve initially, before replacing Austria’s representative Sébastian Kössler at the last minute.

Danish racer Mads Hansen missed the cut on 11 points, with 2022 FIM GP Challenge winner Kim Nilsson of Sweden also out of the qualification running after scoring 10 points.

Holder raced to victory in Debrecen, winning a run-off with Latvia’s Speedway GP first reserve Andzejs Lebedevs and former Danish Speedway GP regular Michael Jepsen Jensen after the trio tied on 13. All three riders reach the Challenge.

The line-up is completed by double Swedish champion Jacob Thorssell, who was fourth on 12. Had that position been claimed by a rider from another nation, only the top three would have progressed from Debrecen, with a Swedish wild card selected to represent the host nation in Gislaved. 

Thorssell’s qualification ensures a wild card is not necessary and he will fly the Swedish flag in one of world speedway’s toughest meetings.

Former British champion Adam Ellis just missed out on 11 points, with Poland’s Janusz Kolodziej and Germany’s Kai Huckenbeck eliminated on nine apiece.

Today’s eight qualifiers are joined in the Challenge by the eight riders who qualified in Zarnovica and Lonigo on Saturday – Slovak star Martin Vaculik, former Polish champion Szymon Wozniak, American racer Luke Becker, Denmark’s Frederik Jakobsen, Poland’s Piotr Pawlicki, Czech star Jan Kvech and Italian duo Nicolas Covatti and Paco Castagna.

FIM GP CHALLENGE LINE-UP (in no particular order): Martin Vaculik (Slovakia), Szymon Wozniak (Poland), Luke Becker (USA), Frederik Jakobsen (Denmark), Piotr Pawlicki (Poland), Nicolas Covatti (Italy), Jan Kvech (Czech Republic), Paco Castagna (Italy), Jason Doyle (Australia), Przemyslaw Pawlicki (Poland), Dimitri Berge (France), Martin Smolinski (Germany), Jack Holder (Australia), Andzejs Lebedevs (Latvia), Michael Jepsen Jensen (Denmark), Jacob Thorssell (Sweden).

ABENSBERG SCORES: 1. Jason Doyle 13, 2. Przemyslaw Pawlicki 12+3, 3. Dimitri Berge 12+2, 4. Martin Smolinski 12+1, 5. Mads Hansen 11, 6. Kim Nilsson 10, 7. Norick Blodorn 9, 8. Kevin Wolbert 8, 9. Eduard Krcmar 7, 10. Jevgenijs Kostigovs 7, 11. Rohan Tungate 7, 12. Chris Harris 5, 13. Mika Meijer 3, 14. Glenn Moi 2, 15. Valentin Grobauer 1, 16. Gino Manzares 1, 17. Nicolo Percotti 0.

DEBRECEN SCORES: 1. Jack Holder 13+3, 2. Andzejs Lebedevs 13+2, 3. Michael Jepsen Jensen 13+1, 4. Jacob Thorssell 12, 5. Adam Ellis 11, 6. Janusz Kolodziej 9, 7. Kai Huckenbeck 9, 8. Antti Vuolas 8, 9. Petr Chlupac 8, 10. Andreas Lyager 6, 11. Marko Levishyn 6, 12. Norbert Magosi 5, 13. Timi Salonen 4, 14. Roland Kovacs 2, 15. Andrei Popa 1, 16. Mark Barany 0, 17. Richard Fuzesi 0.