SGP2 QUALIFICATION RACE IS ON!

PAUL BURBIDGE

The race for a place in the first-ever SGP2 line-up gets underway as Krsko, Daugavpils and Gislaved all stage qualifying rounds for the newly-revamped FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship on Saturday.

For the first time ever, the championship will be staged as part of FIM Speedway Grand Prix weekends, with the opening round taking place in Prague on May 27 – the night before the FIM Speedway GP of Czech Republic.

The sport’s brightest young stars then take centre stage in Cardiff for the FIM SGP2 of Great Britain on Sunday, August 14 – the day after the FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain returns to the iconic Principality Stadium.

The three-round series then concludes at Torun’s Marian Rose Motoarena on September 30 – the night before the FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun on October 1.

But the journey starts at one of three qualifiers across Europe. Defending champion and Speedway GP substitute Jakub Miskowiak starts his title defence in the qualifier at Swedish track Gislaved, home of Bauhaus Elitserien giants Lejonen.

Swedish FIM Speedway of Nations sensation Philip Hellstrom-Bangs will also be among the favourites to make it through a star-studded round along with Great Britain racers Tom Brennan and Drew Kemp, Danish hotshot Benjamin Basso, Czech star Jan Kvech, Aussie prospect Keynan Rew and French international Steven Goret.

Polish title hopefuls Wiktor Lampart and Mateusz Cierniak line up at the qualifier in Daugavpils, Latvia, where they come up against the likes of Czech prospect Daniel Klima, Sweden’s Noel Wahlqvist and local stars Ricards Ansviesulis and Ernest Matjusonoks.

The Krsko qualifier in Slovenia features Polish racer Mateusz Swidnicki and German shooting star Norick Blodorn. Latvian racer Francis Gusts, Czech star Petr Chlupac, Sweden’s Gustav Grahn and Slovenia’s own Anze Grmek are also among the qualification hopefuls.

The top four riders from each qualifier will make it through to the SGP2 series, with three permanent wild cards set to join them.

GISLAVED LINE-UP: 1 Tom Brennan (Great Britain), 2 Marius Nielsen (Denmark), 3 Philip Hellström-Bängs (Sweden), 4 Keynan Rew (Australia), 5 Jakub Miskowiak (Poland), 6 James Pearson (Australia), 7 Drew Kemp (Great Britain), 8 Wiktor Przyjemski (Poland, 9 Benjamin Basso (Denmark), 10 Espen Sola (Norway), 11 Timo Wachs (Germany), 12 Jan Kvech (Czech Republic), 13 Casper Henriksson (Sweden), 14 Mathias Tresarrieu (France), 15 Steven Goret (France), 16 Jordan Palin (Great Britain). RESERVES: 17 Hugo Lundahl (Sweden), 18 Aleks Lundquist (Sweden).

KRSKO LINE-UP: 1 Anze Grmek (Slovenia), 2 Michele Menani (Italy), 3 Fraser Bowes (Australia), 4 Miran Praznik (Slovenia), 5 Francis Gusts (Latvia), 6 Jonas Knudsen (Denmark), 7 Jan Jeníček (Czech Republic), 8 Damian Boyero (Argentina), 9 Dennis Fazekas (Hungary), 10 Mateusz Swidnicki (Poland), 11 Mario Niedermeier (Germany), 12 Nörick Blödorn (Germany), 13 Petr Chlupac (Czech Republic), 14 Gustav Grahn (Sweden), 15 Carlos Eber Ampugnani (Argentina), 16 Sebastian Kössler (Austria). RESERVES: 17 Bruno Belan (Czech Republic), 18 Michal Baštecký (Czech Republic).

DAUGAVPILS LINE-UP: 1 Markus Maximus Lill (Estonia), 2 Erik Bachhuber (Germany), 3 Artjoms Juhno (Latvia), 4 Wiktor Lampart (Poland), 5 Jesper Knudsen (Denmark), 6 Maximilian Belsing (Sweden), 7 Ricards Ansviesulis (Latvia), 8 Mateusz Cierniak (Poland), 9 Timi Salonen (Finland), 10 Noel Wahlqvist (Sweden), 11 Nikita Kaulins (Latvia), 12 Ernest Matjusonoks (Latvia), 13 Celina Liebmann (Germany), 14 Sam Hagon (Great Britain), 15 Daniel Klima (Czech Republic), 16 Kevin Juhl Pedersen (Denmark).

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