2023 MONSTER ENERGY FIM SPEEDWAY WORLD CUP SQUADS CONFIRMED

The squad lists for the first Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup since 2017 have been revealed as the sport’s top nine nations prepare to battle it out in Wroclaw from July 25-29. The sport’s original team competition, relaunched as part of global promoter Warner Bros. Discovery Sports’ new era for FIM Speedway, sees reigning champions Poland defend the iconic Ove Fundin Trophy they clinched during the last Monster Energy FIM SWC Final in Leszno, Poland in 2017. They are seeded straight through to the Final on Saturday, July 29 as host nation, with eight other countries competing in two Semi-Finals for the right to join them. The 2021 FIM Speedway of Nations world champions Great Britain take on three-time FIM SWC winners Sweden, as well as Czech Republic and Germany in Semi-Final 1 on Tuesday, July 25. Last year’s FIM Speedway of Nations world champions Australia then face off with four-time FIM SWC gold medallists Denmark, Finland and tournament debutants France in Semi-Final 2 on Wednesday, July 26. The winner of each Semi-Final joins Poland in the Final, with the second and third-placed nations advancing to the Race Off on Friday, July 28, where the winner earns the fourth and last spot in the Final. SWC_KGlobal_2023.jpg 1.09 MBEach team manager has selected a squad of up to 10 riders, which will be reduced to a starting line-up of four, plus one reserve at No.5. But the remaining riders on the list can be drafted in if their country advances to the Race Off and Final and a team manager opts to shuffle their pack. Poland’s squad for their Monster Energy FIM SWC title defence is spearheaded by captain and triple world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik, with his Speedway GP rivals Maciej Janowski and Patryk Dudek also on the list. Former Speedway GP stars Janusz Kolodziej and brothers Przemyslaw and Piotr Pawlicki are selected, along with double World Under-21 champion Maksym Drabik, former Polish champion Szymon Wozniak, FIM SGP2 champion Mateusz Cierniak and former Speedway GP finalist Dominik Kubera. Australian team manager Mark Lemon has two former Speedway GP world champions in his squad, with captain Jason Doyle and Chris Holder leading a side bidding to complete a unique FIM SON and Monster Energy FIM SWC double, along with Speedway GP title contender Jack Holder and triple Australian champion Max Fricke. The 2020 World Under-21 champion Jaimon Lidsey is selected, along with former Aussie title winners Brady Kurtz, Rohan Tungate and Sam Masters. Australian Under-21 champion Keynan Rew and Ryan Douglas complete the list. australia5885.jpg 271.99 KBGreat Britain bosses Simon Stead and Oliver Allen name an eight-rider squad, led by triple world champion Tai Woffinden and his Speedway GP rivals Robert Lambert and Dan Bewley. Former Speedway GP star Chris Harris, 2021 British champion Adam Ellis, former British Under-21 champion Tom Brennan, Anders Rowe and Steve Worrall complete the Lions line-up. Danish team manager Nicki Pedersen has selected himself as part of his 10-rider squad for his first Monster Energy FIM SWC as national boss, with Speedway GP trio Leon Madsen, Anders Thomsen and Mikkel Michelsen all joining him. Former World Under-21 champion Michael Jepsen Jensen and 2022 Danish champion Rasmus Jensen also make the cut along with Mads Hansen, Frederik Jakobsen, Nicolai Klindt and Andreas Lyager Hansen. Sweden chief Morgan Andersson selects a squad led by captain and world No.4 Fredrik Lindgren. He’s joined by 2022 FIM GP Challenge winner Kim Nilsson, former Speedway GP stars Antonio Lindback and Oliver Berntzon and two-time Swedish champion Jacob Thorssell. FIM SGP2 rider Philip Hellstrom-Bangs, Filip Hjelmland, Victor Palovaara, Daniel Henderson and Anton Karlsson complete the Swedish team. The Czech squad is spearheaded by former Speedway GP finalist Vaclav Milik, along with 2022 FIM SGP2 silver medallist Jan Kvech, Eduard Krcmar and 2023 FIM SGP2 rider Petr Chlupac. Veteran Josef Franc, Daniel Klima, Hynek Stichauer, Matous Kamenik, Jaroslav Vanicek and Jan Jenicek complete the list. Germany names a squad fronted by skipper Kai Huckenbeck and 2014 FIM New Zealand Speedway GP winner Martin Smolinski. They team up with FIM SGP2 rider Norick Blodorn and former FIM World Long Track champion Erik Riss, plus Kevin Wolbert, Michael Hartel, Marius Hillebrand, Sandro Wassermann, Rene Deddens and Erik Bachhuber. Finland, last year’s FIM SON surprise finalists, are led by their 2022 Vojens heroes Timo Lahti, Timi Salonen and Jesse Mustonen. They are joined by veteran Tero Aarnio, Antti Vuolas, Nicce Sayrio, Roni Niemela, Joni Laukkanen, Henri Ahlbom and Topi Mustonen. In their first-ever FIM SWC tournament, French top guns David Bellego and Dimitri Berge lead their country into an historic week of racing. Former FIM World Long Track champion Matthieu Tresarrieu and his nephew Mathias Tresarrieu join them along with Steven Goret, Jordan Dubernard and Tino Bouin. Tickets for the Monster Energy FIM SWC are still available online. Secure your spot at the legendary Olympic Stadium HERE. fanzone_33_2905-ok.jpg 435.67 KB2023 MONSTER ENERGY FIM SPEEDWAY WORLD CUP SQUADS SEMI-FINAL 1: TUESDAY, JULY 25 GREAT BRITAIN: Tai Woffinden (captain), Robert Lambert, Dan Bewley, Tom Brennan, Adam Ellis, Chris Harris, Anders Rowe, Steve Worrall. TEAM MANAGERS: Oliver Allen and Simon Stead. SWEDEN: Fredrik Lindgren (captain), Jacob Thorssell, Filip Hjelmland, Oliver Berntzon, Kim Nilsson, Antonio Lindback, Philip Hellstrom-Bangs, Victor Palovaara, Daniel Henderson, Anton Karlsson. TEAM MANAGER: Morgan Andersson. CZECH REPUBLIC: Vaclav Milik (captain), Jan Kvech, Eduard Krcmar, Petr Chlupac, Daniel Klima, Hynek Stichauer, Josef Franc, Matous Kamenik, Jaroslav Vanicek, Jan Jenicek. TEAM MANAGER: Zdenek Schneiderwind. GERMANY: Martin Smolinski, Kevin Wolbert, Kai Huckenbeck (captain), Norick Blodorn, Michael Hartel, Erik Riss, Marius Hillebrand, Sandro Wassermann, Rene Deddens, Erik Bachhuber. TEAM MANAGERS: Sascha Dorner and Mathias Bartz.  SEMI-FINAL 2: WEDNESDAY, JULY 26 AUSTRALIA: Ryan Douglas, Jason Doyle (captain), Max Fricke, Chris Holder, Jack Holder, Brady Kurtz, Jaimon Lidsey, Sam Masters, Keynan Rew and Rohan Tungate. TEAM MANAGER: Mark Lemon. DENMARK: Leon Madsen (captain), Mikkel Michelsen, Anders Thomsen, Nicki Pedersen, Rasmus Jensen, Michael Jepsen Jensen, Mads Hansen, Frederik Jakobsen, Nicolai Klindt, Andreas Lyager Hansen. TEAM MANAGER: Nicki Pedersen. FINLAND: Timo Lahti (captain), Jesse Mustonen, Antti Vuolas, Timi Salonen, Nicce Sayrio, Tero Aarnio, Ronni Niemela, Joni Laukkanen, Henri Ahlbom, Topi Mustonen. TEAM MANAGER: Aki-Pekka Mustonen. FRANCE: David Bellego (captain), Dimitri Berge, Mathieu Tresarrieu, Steven Goret, Mathias Tresarrieu, Jordan Dubernard, Tino Bouin. TEAM MANAGER: Laurent Sambarrey.  RACE OFF: FRIDAY, JULY 28 SECOND PLACE IN SEMI-FINAL 1 THIRD PLACE IN SEMI-FINAL 1 SECOND PLACE IN SEMI-FINAL 2 THIRD PLACE IN SEMI-FINAL 2  FINAL: SATURDAY, JULY 29 POLAND: Mateusz Cierniak, Maksym Drabik, Patryk Dudek, Maciej Janowski, Janusz Kolodziej, Dominik Kubera, Piotr Pawlicki, Przemyslaw Pawlicki, Szymon Wozniak, Bartosz Zmarzlik (captain). TEAM MANAGER: Rafal Dobrucki. WINNER OF SEMI-FINAL 1 WINNER OF SEMI-FINAL 2 WINNER OF RACE OFF 

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FIM SPEEDWAY STARS OF THE CENTURY | BARRY BRIGGS MBE

New Zealand great Barry Briggs may be a four-time FIM Speedway world champion, but his trophy haul only tells a fraction of his incredible story. On the bike, he was one of the all-time greats. Off the bike, he was a businessman, an inventor, an adventurer and often all of those things at the same time. As FIMSpeedway.com celebrates the sport’s 100th anniversary this year, PAUL BURBIDGE caught up with him as part of our Stars of the Century series. Firstly Barry, how did your speedway journey start?“It all started in Christchurch (on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island). They put a new practice track in there and I was probably about 12 or 13. I was always into motorbikes. My cousin had a motorcycle, I had to clean it to earn my rides – I’m probably still behind with my cleans!“There was also a small practice track, I knew most of the fellas, but I had no money. I was the bloke they shouted at ‘hey, I need fuel’ or ‘hey, the tyre’s flat.’ I used to do all those jobs and I got 10 free laps for that at the end of the practice.“All the riders went down the straights flat-out and around the corners slowly. I went slowly down the straights and as fast as possible around the corners. They thought I was an idiot, but that’s how it started.“Then the local soft drink manufacturer sponsored me with a bike, and I made my own leathers on my mother’s sewing machine. I broke what seemed like a million needles!“In my first meeting I rode, I fell off after the race was over. I found that there was a design fault in my leathers – I didn’t put enough padding in the knees. I quite badly hurt my right knee and I was in hospital for a couple of days.“Mum didn’t want me to ride. I was thinking of going to England. She was really against it, but I talked her out of that. After that crash when I was in hospital, she came up to visit me and brought a speedway magazine, so things weren’t quite so bad, but she never watched me race again, sadly.” You mentioned that money was tight in your younger days. What jobs did you do before you headed to England?“When I was a kid, I got a delivery job at the local grocer’s shop, and I learnt about finance in one foul lesson. As I was earning, I bought a new bicycle on hire purchase. It was stolen within one week, so I had to pay over one year for something I never had - tough lesson! Then I worked full-time at an advertising agency for around a year and a half. “Three months before I was leaving for England, I got a job at the meat works. I started very early in the morning, about five o’clock, packing kidneys and all that stuff. The boss knew what I was doing it for, and really helped me to get the cash I needed. It got a bit tough on the boss because the other workers knew he was helping me and gave him some stick. But full marks, he stuck to his guns.” What do you recall about making the move to England?“I had to go by boat which took six weeks. I got to Sydney and the boat had a fire, which delayed us by two weeks getting to England and those two weeks drained my money. I had my first cash flow problem and I remember the Sydney YMCA coming to my rescue.“I was a naïve kid. We stopped in India, where we went ashore. There were some really sad sights. There were kids with one leg and one eye or just disfigured in some sad way, mostly done so they would get more money when they were begging. I was dumbfounded and really felt sick. “I just wanted to get back on the boat. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. You were unexposed to that kind of stuff. You didn’t really know what poverty was. It was a big learning curve.“I was supposed to go to Aldershot when I came to England, but promoter Ronnie Greene sent me a message ‘will you come to Wimbledon?’ I definitely wasn’t another Ronnie Moore as a speedway rider. Aldershot was definitely my level. I was 17, I had my own special leathers, I had come halfway around the world to be a speedway rider, but I had no bike. How ridiculous!“An American team raced in England and were based in Dublin, but they closed down a couple of years earlier. Their old bikes were owned by Ronnie Greene. The boys managed to prise one away for me. I have no idea what they promised Ronnie from me. “I knew I had an old bike, but I never blamed my lack of success on bike trouble. I took the blame head-on and later in my career, I found it made me a better rider. I had a bike, I was a real speedway rider, but I knew nothing. I was in another world.” One man who helped you with conquering the world was another New Zealand legend, two-time FIM Speedway world champion Ronnie Moore. How much of an impact did he have on your career?“I was friends with Ronnie. We belonged to the same cycle speedway team in Christchurch, so I got to know him a little bit then. I didn’t know him very much, but Ronnie was a star turn in Christchurch. He used to go to school on a 3T Triumph motorcycle. All the girls chased him, and he was a hero. I thought ‘that’s not a bad deal.’“When I got to England, he treated me like a brother. He went to England a couple of years before me and knew the ropes. Ronnie had been a hero to me since I was a school kid. He was unbelievable. He would get a maximum in most matches. I wasn’t in the team for quite a while, but when someone got hurt, I was a reserve and got their rides.“Even if Ronnie got a maximum on the Monday night, he would still be down at the track the next morning at 7am. He certainly didn’t need practice. He did it just for me. Ronnie looked after me. I probably would have made it without Ronnie. But I think it would have taken me quite a bit longer.“Later in life, it got very difficult. When I was behind Ronnie, I couldn’t give him a push and a shove. He was always my hero.”

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WATCH NOW - SPEEDWAY GP LEGENDS RICKARDSSON & HANCOCK RELIVE CARDIFF HEROICS

FIM Speedway Grand Prix legends Tony Rickardsson and Greg Hancock celebrate their FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff memories in these exclusive video interviews.Six-time world champion Rickardsson won the first-ever Cardiff event in 2001, before topping the podium again in 2005 with his famous wall-of-death first turn – going on to win the Speedway GP world title in both years.Four-time SGP world champion Hancock is a triple Cardiff winner, having triumphed in the 2004 event, before storming to victory again in 2011 and 2014 on the way to his second and third Speedway GP World Championships.The pair caught up in Warsaw earlier this year to look ahead to the 2023 FIM British Speedway GP at the Principality Stadium on September 2, where GB star Dan Bewley is bidding to make it back-to-back wins after ending Britain’s 15-year wait for a home winner on August 13, 2022.But he faces competition from triple world champion Tai Woffinden and world No.5 Robert Lambert, who are also bidding for their first Cardiff wins. 2014-hancock0344.jpg 216.02 KBRickardsson and Hancock were both part of the first generation of Speedway GP riders to experience the buzz of the sport’s big-stadium events.Here they recall the noise of that first Cardiff showdown as Hancock relives winning the FIM British Speedway GP. CLICK HERE TO WATCH. 69-JSMPDIG008239-JasonCrumpTonyRickardssonTomaszGollob-090601-BritishGrandPrix-atCardiff (1).jpg 415.03 KBFew dealt with the pressure of big-time Speedway GP events better than Rickardsson and Hancock.The legends talk about how much it meant to deliver a big win in Cardiff.  lambert-bewley8803.jpg 3.27 MB The 2001 FIM British Speedway GP was the first time a speedway track was installed under the iconic Principality Stadium roof.Here, Hancock and Rickardsson look back at the evolution of these tracks and how they have changed over the past two decades.  Tickets for the 2023 FIM British Speedway GP on September 2 are still available online. Book HERE now.Alternatively, tickets will be available ahead of the event from the Principality Stadium ticket office from 12:30 – 17:30 BST on Friday, September 1 and from 10:00 – 17:30 BST on Saturday, September 2. We spoke to three-time world champion Ole Olsen, whose Speed Sport team is leading the Cardiff track construction ahead of this year’s event. Click HERE for the full story. 

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EKSTRALIGA | GORZOW TRIO CELEBRATE NEW DEALS WITH WIN OVER LIONS

Slovak star Martin Vaculik celebrated his new Stal Gorzow contract by racing to 12 paid 13 points as the men in yellow and blue beat visitors Czestochowa 51-38 in the PGE Ekstraliga on Sunday.It has been a great week for fans at the Edward Jancarz Stadium with Vaculik’s Speedway GP rival Anders Thomsen and former Polish champion Szymon Wozniak also agreeing deals through to the end of the 2025 season.Vaculik warmed up for Saturday’s Holmgrens Bil FIM Swedish Speedway GP in fine style as he led the scoring over five rides with Wozniak racing to 10 paid 11 – a total matched by his Polish teammate Oskar Fajfer.Thomsen collected seven paid nine and missed out on one more point in heat 14 in bizarre circumstances when he crashed, but got up to push for third place, waving away the medics. With the track doctor touching the rider to check he was okay, the referee was forced to disqualify the Dane due to outside interference.World No.2 Leon Madsen and Kacper Woryna topped the Lions score chart on 10 points apiece, with Mikkel Michelsen adding nine paid 10.Elsewhere, Great Britain racer Dan Bewley collected 12 paid 14 points for Wroclaw to inspire them to a comfortable 57-33 victory at home to Torun.He was well supported by Poland’s Maciej Janowski on 12 paid 13, while Artem Laguta tallied 10 and Tai Woffinden added nine paid 10. SGP2 rider Bartlomiej Kowalski scored five paid six.Polish racer Patryk Dudek stepped up his push for a Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup spot, scoring 14 for Torun on the track where his country will race the Final on July 29. GB star Robert Lambert collected seven paid eight.For full details of the day’s PGE Ekstraliga results, scorers and the latest league table, click here: https://speedwayekstraliga.pl/en/ 

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DANISH FIM SGP4 RIDER VILLADS PEDERSEN LIFTS FIM SPEEDWAY YOUTH GOLD TROPHY IN HOLSTED

Denmark’s Villads Pedersen made a real statement of intent ahead of next Saturday’s FIM SGP4 showdown in Malilla by lifting the FIM Speedway Youth Gold Trophy in Holsted on Saturday.Pedersen raced to a 15-point maximum to win the 85cc event in his homeland, finishing ahead of fellow Danish star Elias Jamil, who was second on 13, and Germany’s Carlos Gennerich, who took third spot on 12.The 85cc championship originally fired 2001 winner and now world No.2 and double European champion Leon Madsen into the international spotlight, and it has been consistently dominated by the northern European nations, with other countries staging youth events on 125cc machines.But Pedersen is set for a different challenge when he faces off with riders aged 11-13 from all over the world on the brand-new FIM SGP4 190cc bike designed by six-time world champion Tony Rickardsson in the first-ever FIM Speedway Youth World Cup on the Malilla training track at 14:30 CET next Saturday afternoon.He will come up against Germany’s Niklas Bager, who took fourth spot in the Holsted meeting on 11 points. Australia’s Cooper Antone is among the SGP4 contenders. He was seventh in the 85cc event on eight points. He will face off with Finland’s Niko Hatva, who was 12th in Denmark on six points.Great Britain’s SGP4 rider Oliver Bovingdon also heads to Malilla on a high after winning the 125cc class in the British Youth Championships. He topped the podium after winning a run-off with Archie Rolph, who won the final round in Scunthorpe and chased him hard for four laps in the title decider.FIM SGP4 LINE-UP: 1 Villads Pedersen (Denmark), 2 Augustin Kreder (Argentina), 3 Lustiuk Zakhar (Ukraine), 4 Oliver Bovingdon (Great Britain), 5 Elias Jamil (Denmark), 6 Arvid Björkeroth (Sweden), 7 Niklas Bager (Denmark), 8 Antone Cooper (Australia), 9 Boris Charbonnier (France), 10 Niko Hatva (Finland), 11 Karel Prusa (Czech Republic), 12 Jesper Kvarnström (Sweden), 13 Damian Andre (Romania), 14 Niklas Barger (Germany), 15 Kobi Canning (Australia), 16 Kensei Matsudaira (USA). RESERVES: 17 Otto Autere (Sweden), 18 Oscar Kull (Sweden).

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