Double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik set his sights on an Orlen FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Warsaw final, before topping the Qualifying Practice timing charts.
Zmarzlik zoomed to a fastest lap of 13.107 seconds – 0.074 seconds quicker than second-placed Leon Madsen, who topped the PGE Narodowy podium at the last Speedway GP staged in Warsaw in 2019.
This earned Zmarzlik first choice of starting positions for Saturday’s Orlen FIM Warsaw Speedway GP and he selected No.5 – the same number he selected when he topped the podium at the season-opening FIM Speedway GP of Croatia – Donji Kraljevec.
Zmarzlik’s selection gives him two starts from gate one in red, and he opens his night by taking on Freddie Lindgren, Jack Holder and Dan Bewley in race two.
Speaking ahead of Qualifying Practice, Zmarzlik made no secret of his desire to reach his first Warsaw final after four straight semi-final exits. And he can’t wait to line-up in the Polish capital for the first time since 2019 following the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events.
He said: “I am very happy to be back here. I want to get a good result in Warsaw because I have never had a final here. Maybe that will change tomorrow. But I am not thinking ‘I must’, only ‘I can’ and we will see what happens.”
Polish riders are used to racing in front of sizeable crowds in the PGE Ekstraliga, but with over 50,000 fans expected in Warsaw on Saturday, the meeting remains track racing’s best attended event. The thunderous roar generated under the PGE Narodowy roof is enough to test the nerve of any rider – even one with two world titles.
“This is a little bit of a different place for speedway,” Zmarzlik said. “There will be 55,000 people, which is a lot for us. But it’s better because many people come here and they want to see good racing.”
WARSAW QUALIFYING PRACTICE TIMES (in seconds):
- BARTOSZ ZMARZLIK – 13.107
- LEON MADSEN – 13.181
- TAI WOFFINDEN – 13.288
- MARTIN VACULIK – 13.352
- PATRYK DUDEK – 13.363
- MAX FRICKE – 13.423
- PAWEL PRZEDPELSKI – 13.433
- MACIEJ JANOWSKI – 13.469
- DAN BEWLEY – 13.472 (Second Fastest: 13.473)
- JASON DOYLE – 13.472 (Second Fastest: 13.475)
- FREDRIK LINDGREN – 13.479
- MIKKEL MICHELSEN – 13.497
- MAKSYM DRABIK – 13.541
- ROBERT LAMBERT – 13.569
- ANDERS THOMSEN – 13.629
- JACK HOLDER – 13.682