LINDGREN: ZMARZLIK THE RICKARDSSON OF OUR GENERATION
Swedish star Freddie Lindgren dubbed Bartosz Zmarzlik “the Tony Rickardsson of this generation” after breaking one of the Swedish six-time world champion’s records in Malilla.
The pair battle it out in the For Nature Solutions FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun on Saturday, with Zmarzlik already certain of his third World Championship gold medal, while Lindgren is bidding to secure his spot in the SGP top six to guarantee his place in the 2023 series.
Lindgren heads to the Marian Rose Motoarena on a high after finishing second at the Kaeser FIM Speedway GP of Sweden – Malilla on September 17 – his best SGP result of the season so far.
That podium saw Lindgren hit a huge milestone as he roared on to 1,415 championship points – becoming the highest-scoring Swedish rider in Speedway GP history.
Rickardsson previously held the record on 1,401. While Lindgren is rightly proud of a fine Speedway GP career, he admits Rickardsson still goes down as his nation’s No.1 after racing to a joint-record haul of world titles – and achieving his Speedway GP points haul over just 84 rounds compared to Lindgren’s 153 appearances.
The Andorra-based ace said: “I must have done a couple more GPs than Tony because he has six world titles to his name and I don’t! I still think Tony is a lot greater than myself.
“Tony had such an amazing career, and I am not even going to compare myself to him. I am doing the best I can, and I am proud. If I finished today, I would be proud about what I have achieved so far, but of course my dream is to be world champion.
“Each generation has its own heroes and best riders. I reckon Bartek is the Tony Rickardsson of this generation.”
Lindgren has roared into form at the perfect time. Following his champagne celebrations in Malilla, he stormed to a 13 paid 15-point maximum as Czestochowa secured Speedway GP bronze last week.
He was delighted to deliver a big Speedway GP performance in his homeland two weeks ago.
Lindgren, who continues to battle with the ongoing effects of long Covid, said: “I’m over the moon. I struggled in the GP series before Malilla. I haven’t performed very well and my league form has been a bit down as well.
“I have been struggling with a lot of health issues off the track and it was very emotional for me in Malilla because I have been so down for some period of time now.
“To be able to go there in front of my home fans and my sponsors and perform like I did, getting back to myself and the way I know I can ride is a nice feeling. My pit crew did some serious work behind the scenes to try and figure out some stuff with the equipment. It paid off.
“I feel like I was gating well in the beginning, but I wasn’t riding very comfortably on the track. I threw away a couple of points early on, but the longer the meeting went, I felt more comfortable on the bike and my confidence started to come back a bit. I got a heat win in my third ride, and it just came together in the end pretty well.
“It was really important for me to perform well and get into the top six in the championship table. Now I have put myself in a good position for Torun where I can stay there if I am able to perform well again.”