SPEEDWAY GP FAB FOUR FOR POLISH ICON ZMARZLIK
Polish icon Bartosz Zmarzlik became the sport’s seventh four-time FIM Speedway world champion after fending off Fredrik Lindgren to seal gold at the DeWalt FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun on Saturday night.
Zmarzlik won his fourth Speedway GP crown in five years, holding his nerve to produce the start of a lifetime and win the final ahead of the Swede, who was second, with Denmark's Leon Madsen third and Poland's Patryk Dudek fourth.
Victory also saw Zmarzlik match Aussie legend Jason Crump's series record of 23 Speedway GP wins.
Adding to the gold medals he won in 2019, 2020 and 2022, Zmarzlik joins six-time FIM Speedway champions Ivan Mauger and Tony Rickardsson, five-time winner Ove Fundin and four-time champions Barry Briggs, Hans Nielsen and Greg Hancock in the sport’s most elite club.
Zmarzlik, 28, is the youngest rider in the sport’s history to reach four FIM Speedway world titles – surpassing Swedish legend Fundin, who lifted his fourth championship in 1963 at the age of 30.
Swedish star Fredrik Lindgren has secured the Speedway GP World Championship silver medal – his first-ever top two finish – while Slovakia's Martin Vaculik bagged the bronze medal - his first Speedway GP podium.
Zmarzlik, Lindgren, Vaculik, Australia's Jack Holder in fourth, Madsen in fifth and Great Britain's Robert Lambert have all secured automatic qualification for the 2024 Speedway GP series by finishing in this season’s Speedway GP World Championship top six.
They are joined by Speedway European Championship winner Mikkel Michelsen, plus Aussie ace Jason Doyle and Poland’s Szymon Wozniak, who qualified at the FIM GP Challenge in Gislaved on August 19.
Vaculik also reached the rostrum to secure qualification in Sweden, but with the Slovak finishing in the Speedway GP World Championship top six, his qualification place from the Challenge passes to Czech racer Jan Kvech, who was fifth in the Challenge. He becomes the first full-time Czech Speedway GP rider since Lukas Dryml raced in the 2008 series.
The 2024 Speedway GP line-up will be completed by five permanent wild cards, selected by the SGP Commission.
Full report, confirmed standings and reaction from Torun to follow later …