LAMBERT BOUNCES BACK IN QUALIFICATION QUEST
Great Britain racer Robert Lambert admits his Cardiff and Glasgow setbacks made him even more determined to step up his Speedway GP qualification bid in Wroclaw last Saturday.
The Norfolk ace reached his first-ever Speedway GP podium in the Betard FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Wroclaw, taking third place behind fellow GB hero Dan Bewley and Denmark’s Leon Madsen.
Lambert is now seventh in the Speedway GP World Championship standings on 68 points – just two short of the top-six automatic qualification places for the 2023 series.
The former European champion was gutted to leave his home event in Cardiff with five championship points on August 13. He then finished last in his final ride at the FIM GP Challenge in Glasgow, ending on 10 points, when victory would have guaranteed his Speedway GP spot for 2023.
With those disappointments behind him, Lambert admits he was determined to fight back at the Olympic Stadium last weekend.
He said: “That’s very important after I messed up my last race in Glasgow. I want to secure my spot for next season and I am obviously pushing to get into the top six and show everyone it was worth giving me the wild card last year.
“Cardiff was a bit of a knock and that really made me look at things – how we had to move forwards and what we need to try and achieve at the end of the season.
“We are still staying with the same goal of trying to automatically qualify for next year. We need to keep pushing for semi-finals, get to the finals and keep adding those points up.
“Then hopefully I will be in a position where I automatically stay in for next season. That will be goal achieved for this year.”
Lambert was elated to end his wait for a Speedway GP podium, having fallen just short when he was fourth in the Wölk FIM German Speedway GP in Teterow on June 4.
He blazed under Poland’s Maciej Janowski on the last turn of the final to earn a taste of the champagne. Lambert said: “It has been a long time coming. I’ve been in the position and didn’t make it. But we got on the podium. I was hanging on the mudguard to get past Maciej on that last corner to avoid it being the second time in a row I have made the final and come last. I kept pushing and it was good fun to race in Wroclaw.”
Lambert’s podium appearance at the Olympic Stadium saw him make history alongside Bewley as the pair became the first Brits to reach a Speedway GP rostrum together since July 29, 2000, when wild card Martin Dugard won the FIM British Speedway GP at Coventry with Mark Loram third.
It’s another landmark moment Lambert was delighted to celebrate. He said: “Us British boys have been making history over the last few years, which is incredible and very nice to see.
“It’s something good for British speedway as a whole to see us boys up here and fighting in the World Championship and giving inspiration to the youth riders coming through.”