SWEDISH YOUNG GUN HENRIKSSON TARGETS MEDAL AS SGP2 SERIES LAUNCHES IN MALILLA

Swedish shooting star Casper Henriksson has his sights set on an FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship medal as he flies the home flag in the series-opening 3P Logistics FIM SGP2 of Sweden – Malilla on Friday.Henriksson stormed to victory at last Saturday’s qualifier in Macon, France to book his place in SGP2 for the third straight season.The three-round series launches at Malilla’s Skrotfrag Arena – the first of three FIM Speedway events there this weekend as the 3P Logistics FIM Speedway GP of Sweden – Malilla takes place on Saturday night at 19:00 CET, with the FIM Speedway Youth World Cup (SGP4) for the sport’s youngest stars aged 11-13 kicking off Saturday afternoon at 12:00 CET.Henriksson hopes to start a packed weekend of racing with a Swedish win as he goes for glory in SGP2 alongside a talented field, featuring riders from seven different countries - with Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Latvia, Ukraine and Norway all represented.The Lejonen rider finished fifth in the 2023 championship, taking second place at the final round in Vojens last September and fourth spot at round two in Gorzow last June. He is the highest-ranked returning rider, with none of last year’s top four competing in 2024.Henriksson hopes to start his title quest off with a big performance in front of a partisan Swedish crowd. 

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SWEDISH LEGEND RICKARDSSON BACKS SGP4 YOUNG GUNS TO ENTERTAIN IN MALILLA

Six-time FIM Speedway world champion Tony Rickardsson is backing the SGP4 class of 2024 to deliver even better racing as the FIM Speedway Youth World Cup returns to Swedish venue Malilla at 12:00 CET on Saturday – with free entry for all spectators.The brand-new class for the sport’s youngest riders aged 11-13 was launched in 2023 as part of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports and the FIM’s vision to provide an entry-level category for young riders to begin their journey towards Speedway GP.Legends including Rickardsson will be on hand to offer coaching as part of an unforgettable two-day experience, which follows the launch of the SGP Academy, which took place in Prague two weeks ago.This year’s SGP4 event sees 16 riders from nine different countries and four continents compete over 20 heats on the 190cc SGP4 bikes, designed by Rickardsson to train the champions of the future.The 2023 event saw a crowd of over 1,000 spectators cover the grass surrounding the Malilla training track to watch the young guns battle it out, with Denmark’s Elias Jamil carrying off the title with a 15-point maximum.Rickardsson was elated with the public response to the new championship last year. And he’s backing this year’s riders to deliver a Saturday afternoon of racing to remember ahead of the evening’s 3P Logistics FIM Speedway GP of Sweden – Malilla. 

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RICKARDSSON READY FOR NEW SPEEDWAY GP RECORD BREAKER

Swedish legend Tony Rickardsson hopes he lives to see a rider smash his shared record of six FIM Speedway World Championships.Rickardsson is busy coaching the next generation of stars as young riders from four different continents compete for the FIM Speedway Youth World Cup (SGP4), which takes place on Saturday afternoon at 12:00 CET – just hours before the 3P Logistics FIM Speedway GP of Sweden – Malilla.The sport’s youngest stars, aged between 11 and 13, will race on the 190cc bike designed by the Avesta-born legend, and it is hoped these riders will one day battle it out in Speedway GP.Rickardsson currently shares the all-time record of six FIM Speedway World Championships with New Zealand legend Ivan Mauger. But Poland’s four-time Speedway GP world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik is closing fast on that mark.The series leader could pull level on five titles with Swedish icon Ove Fundin this season, and the 29-year-old has plenty of time to surpass Rickardsson and Mauger in the record books.If he or any other rider wins seven Speedway GP world titles or more, Rickardsson would not be sad to lose a very proud record.He said: “I have always said I hope I will be alive and around when somebody beats the record. Every record is there to be beaten, and so is mine. I just hope I will be around to shake that person’s hand whenever the time comes.”Zmarzlik led the 2022 and 2023 Speedway GP standings from start to finish, but he only gained top spot after round three this year. He is also still waiting for what would be a record-breaking 24th SGP win. Despite going four rounds without a win this year, Zmarzlik still holds a 12-point advantage in first place, and Rickardsson admits the Lublin and Lejonen star remains very much the man to beat.He said: “Bartosz was running away with the title last year until Vojens, when it became really close towards the end. Right now, he is head and shoulders above the rest, even if he hasn’t always led so far. When he has a bad meeting, the thing is it isn’t that bad. It’s up to the rest of the field to challenge him. Everybody can challenge Zmarzlik on a good day, but when they have a bad day, some of them have a really bad day.”This weekend’s event in Malilla also features the 3P Logistics FIM SGP2 of Sweden – Malilla on Friday evening – the opening round of the FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship.The SGP2 meeting sees Malilla make history as the first speedway venue in the world to have staged rounds of Speedway GP, SGP2, SGP3 and SGP4.Rickardsson is delighted to see the sport’s youngsters competing at the same venues as their Speedway GP heroes.“I think it benefits the championship massively,” he said. “Just being on the same track as the GPs are held is great and having everyone involved in top-flight racing there too. It’s a super nice package that Warner Bros. Discovery Sports has put together.“There will be some exciting races in Malilla. I am really looking forward to watching SGP2 as well as Speedway GP and SGP4 this year.”

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ELITSERIEN | LEBEDEVS HITS FAB 15 IN SWEDEN

Latvian ace Andzejs Lebedevs warmed up for Saturday’s 3P Logistics FIM Speedway GP of Sweden – Malilla by piling up 15 points in the Bauhaus Elitserien on Tuesday night.But it was not enough to save Malilla team Dackarna from a 53-37 loss away to Smederna as Polish star Grzegorz Zengota led the Eskilstuna side to victory, while double World Under-21 champion Maksym Drabik weighed in with nine paid 11 points.Lebedevs raced to three wins and three second places as he gets ready for Speedway GP action on his Swedish home track. His only serious support came from former Danish champion Rasmus Jensen, who scored 12.Elsewhere, Polish star Kacper Woryna topped the Lejonen score chart on 13 points and triumphed in heat 15 to rescue his side a 45-45 draw at home to Vastervik. Four-time Speedway GP world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik racked up 12 paid 13 for the Lions as he chases a record-breaking 24th SGP win on Saturday, with Dominik Kubera collecting seven paid eight as he heads to Malilla seeking a third straight SGP final.Aussie racer Max Fricke raced to 10 paid 13 for Vastervik, with double Swedish champion Jacob Thorssell adding 10 paid 12, Speedway GP star Robert Lambert collecting 10 paid 11 and Polish racer Bartosz Smektala picking up a straight 10.Former World Under-21 champion Jakub Miskowiak stormed to 14 points for Vargarna as they picked up a precious 48-41 win away to Rospiggarna.The Pole was aided by an 11 paid 13-point return from former world No.4 Niels-Kristian Iversen, while British battler Chris Harris notched nine and Daniel Henderson scored eight paid 10. Speedway GP star Kai Huckenbeck registered 11 for the hosts.The day’s other meeting between Indianerna and Piraterna was postponed due to rain.

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2024 FIM SGP2 LINE-UP FINALISED AS WILD CARDS FOR FIM SPEEDWAY UNDER-21 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP REVEALED

The line-up for the 2024 FIM SGP2 series has been confirmed as Danish shooting stars Mikkel Andersen and Villads Nagel join Poland’s Bartosz Banbor in receiving permanent wild cards.The three-round 2024 FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship series gets underway with the 3P Logistics FIM SGP2 of Sweden – Malilla this Friday, before the action moves to Latvian capital Riga on Friday, September 6 and concludes at Polish venue Torun on Friday, September 27 – the night before the Speedway GP world champion is crowned at the Marian Rose Motoarena.Riders from seven different countries contest this season’s SGP2 series, with Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Latvia, Ukraine and Norway all represented in the 15-rider line-up.With 2022 and 2023 SGP2 champion Mateusz Cierniak now too old to compete in the series, a new champion is guaranteed in 2024.Twelve riders secured their places in the championship last Saturday, with the top four in each of the three qualifiers at German track Ludwigslust, French club Macon and former FIM Italian Speedway GP venue Terenzano all guaranteed spots in the series.

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