SPEEDWAY GP ROARS BACK INTO POLISH CAPITAL WARSAW

PAUL BURBIDGE

Poland’s biggest speedway event makes a highly-anticipated return to PGE Narodowy after a three-year absence as the FIM Speedway Grand Prix stars line up in the Orlen FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Warsaw on Saturday night.

After two seasons of cancellations due to the pandemic, Speedway GP takes over Poland’s national stadium once again with a 50,000-plus crowd set to witness one of the biggest events on the track racing calendar.

With some fans purchasing their tickets for this weekend’s action back in late 2019, the event has been a long time in the making as the sport’s biggest crowd reunites in a new era of FIM Speedway under new global promoter Discovery Sports Events.

The action gets started on Friday afternoon with the Qualifying Practice session at 17:00 CET, where riders will battle the clock and each other for first pick of starting positions.

The Orlen FIM Warsaw Speedway GP then takes place on Saturday evening from 19:00 CET, with the event set to start with a Polish show of solidarity for a speedway neighbour as tifos of the Polish and Ukrainian flags fly side-by-side in the PGE Narodowy stands.

Ukraine will also be represented in the event by second track reserve Vitalii Lysak, who is hoping to become only the second Ukrainian rider to compete in a Speedway GP event – following in the footsteps of 2021 first substitute rider Aleksandr Loktaev.

 

TIME FOR A HOME HERO?

Polish fans, who can enjoy live coverage of the racing on free-to-air channel TTV and on Eurosport in Player, will be hoping to witness their first-ever home winner at PGE Narodowy.

Double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik is bidding to build on his victory at the series-opening FIM Speedway GP of Croatia – Donji Kraljevec on April 30.

Zmarzlik is yet to reach a Warsaw final, but Polish rival Maciej Janowski has come within touching distance of PGE Narodowy victory, having finished second in both 2017 and 2018.

Former world No.2 Patryk Dudek is also seeking to build on his third-place finish at the 2019 event as he returns to Speedway GP after a season out.

FIM GP Challenge winner Pawel Przedpelski makes his Warsaw debut and wild card Maksym Drabik returns to Speedway GP after a near-three-year break.

But the home heroes face stiff competition from the likes of triple world champion Tai Woffinden – winner of the 2016 and 2018 Warsaw events, as well as 2017 Warsaw winner Fredrik Lindgren, who has reached the rostrum on each of his last three PGE Narodowy appearances.

Danish racer Leon Madsen won the last Warsaw event on his full-time Speedway GP debut in 2019. He triumphed in the final to launch his charge towards a Speedway GP World Championship silver medal.

Danish duo Mikkel Michelsen and Anders Thomsen will also be keen to build on a strong start to 2022, having finished third and fourth respectively at the Speedway GP opening round in Croatia.

2022 ORLEN FIM SPEEDWAY GP OF POLAND – WARSAW LINE-UP (in ranking order with rider numbers: 95. Bartosz Zmarzlik (Poland), 71. Maciej Janowski (Poland), 66. Fredrik Lindgren (Sweden), 108. Tai Woffinden (Great Britain), 30. Leon Madsen (Denmark), 46. Max Fricke (Australia), 69. Jason Doyle (Australia), 505. Robert Lambert (Great Britain), 105. Anders Thomsen (Denmark), 54. Martin Vaculik (Slovakia), 323. Pawel Przedpelski (Poland), 155. Mikkel Michelsen (Denmark), 692. Patryk Dudek (Poland), 25. Jack Holder (Australia), 99. Dan Bewley (Great Britain), 16 Maksym Drabik (Poland – wild card), 17 Jakub Miskowiak (Poland – first track reserve), 18 Vitalii Lysak (Ukraine – second track reserve).

 

WARSAW FANZONE FUN

Off the track, there’s an action-packed afternoon in store for fans in the Orlen FIM Warsaw Speedway GP fanzone – next to gate 1 at PGE Narodowy on Saturday.

With a Monster Energy Rig Riot from 16:00 CET and an autograph session featuring all the Speedway GP riders from 16:30 CET, it’s the perfect way to warm up for a huge night of racing.

There will also be a host of photo opportunities, with fans able to grab a photo with the Speedway GP trophy from 14:30-17:30 CET or pose in front of the brand-new ‘We Love Speedway’ sign.

There will be a display of old speedway bikes and the chance to sit on a speedway machine, with lots of activities for children and plenty of action in the Monster Energy zone throughout the afternoon.

 

WHERE TO WATCH

Qualifying Practice: Friday, May 13 – 17:00 CET

Orlen FIM Warsaw Speedway GP: Saturday, May 14 – 19:00 CET

Fans with access to Discovery+ or the Eurosport App, available in selected countries, can enjoy full live coverage of all the FIM Speedway action this year, featuring qualifying practice coverage, a documentary series and other innovative features, including live data such as rider heartbeat.

Linear coverage is also available in selected countries – see below for more details of where to watch.

BRITAIN: Live on Discovery+ and Eurosport 2

POLAND: Live on TTV and Eurosport in Player.

SWEDEN: Live on Discovery+, with delayed coverage on Kanal 9

DENMARK: Live on Discovery+ and 6’Eren

AUSTRALIA: Live on Fox Sports

USA: Live on beIN SPORTS

GERMANY: Live on the Eurosport App

CZECH REP: Live on the Eurosport App

CROATIA: Live on the Eurosport App

NORWAY: Live on Discovery+

FINLAND: Live on Discovery+

ACROSS THE BALTICS: Live on Discovery+ and Go3

SELECTED ASIAN MARKETS: Delayed coverage on beIN SPORTS

 

2022 FIM SPEEDWAY GP CALENDAR

The 2022 FIM Speedway World Championship includes:

April 30: FIM Speedway GP of Croatia – Donji Kraljevec

May 14: Orlen FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Warsaw

May 28: Prague FIM Speedway GP of Czech Republic – Prague

June 4: FIM Speedway GP of Germany – Teterow

June 25: FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Gorzow

July 9: FIM Speedway GP of MFR – Togliatti (suspended)

August 13: FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff

August 27: FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Wroclaw

September 10: FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens

September 17: FIM Speedway GP of Sweden – Malilla

October 1: FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun

November 5: FIM Speedway GP of Oceania – TBC

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