PRZEDPELSKI’S LIFE-CHANGING WEEK

PAUL BURBIDGE

Polish racer Pawel Przedpelski insists he still can’t believe how one week last August changed his life as he prepares for his full-time FIM Speedway Grand Prix debut.

Przedpelski earned his place among the sport’s top riders after winning the FIM GP Challenge in Zarnovica, Slovakia on August 21 – just five days after his partner Michalina gave birth to their daughter Rozalka.

It was a summer the Torun hero will never forget. Przedpelski said: “That was, I think, one of the biggest moments in my life. In one week, how many important things happened to me?!

“I became a father and, for the first time in my career, I am going into the GPs. I don’t think I will believe it until the end of my life.

“I feel ready. All my stuff and all my team are prepared now. We are just waiting. The first round is pretty close. I am looking forward to starting the GPs.”

Przedpelski gets his World Championship season started with the FIM Speedway GP of Croatia – Gorican on April 30, but he is no stranger to taking on the sport’s elite.

He has competed against speedway’s biggest names in Poland from a young age and has served as a wild card at the FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun in previous years. Now he is ready for the challenge of mixing it on the world stage regularly.

He said: “I can race with the best riders in the Ekstraliga and I have raced some rounds of the GP as a wild card in Torun. I know all these riders and I will fight for the highest places.

“But speedway is a strange sport. You never know what can happen. Many things depend on your bikes and setups. These are very important.”

For many years, Polish great Tomasz Gollob was the nation’s only Speedway GP hope. But a golden generation has followed him on to the world stage as Przedpelski joins double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik, Maciej Janowski and Patryk Dudek in the series.

After years of Gollob carrying the weight of expectation on his shoulders, the load is now spread across four talented riders. Przedpelski is pleased to see the Poles so well represented, although he insists he won’t be feeling the pressure from the stands.

He said: “It shows how the level is in Poland. I am happy to see four Polish flags this season in the GP.

“But the spectators do not put pressure on you; you put that on yourself. I always feel some pressure and I try not to fight with this, but just race with it. Speedway is very important in Poland and you see how many people we have in the stadiums when the GPs are there.”

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