MADSEN SEEKS SEC CROWN IN PARDUBICE
Danish racer Leon Madsen is determined to end 2022 with Speedway European Championship gold and Speedway GP silver.
The 2018 European champion heads into the SEC finale at Czech track Pardubice tonight on 40 points overall – just one behind series leader Janusz Kolodziej of Poland, who has 41.
Despite missing out on the Speedway GP crown to Poland’s Bartosz Zmarzlik, he is just four points away from securing the silver medal at the For Nature Solutions FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun on October 1.
But Madsen would love to go one better in the continental series. He said: “Obviously I would like to win the SEC to get a title. I don’t want to finish this season with two silver medals, even though that would still be good and something I can be proud of.
“If I can win the European Championship and become vice world champion, then I think it would have been a very good season.”
If Kolodziej holds top spot in the SEC standings, he will qualify automatically for the 2023 Speedway GP series.
Madsen, however, has already guaranteed his spot in the 2022 Speedway GP top six, and therefore his SGP place for next year. If he becomes European champion, his qualifying place for winning the SEC series passes to a sixth wild card, chosen by the SGP Commission.
With this in mind, it’s fair to say the stakes are much higher for Kolodziej. Madsen admitted: “He (Kolodziej) has the pressure for sure! But I cannot think about that. I would just like to win it and I am going there to do my best to win it.”
Polish racer Patryk Dudek heads into the SEC round third overall on 35 points, while reigning European champion Mikkel Michelsen of Denmark is fourth on 31.
While Dudek is nicely poised to join Madsen in the Speedway GP top six, Michelsen can no longer reach the SGP automatic qualification places after missing the last round in Malilla due to a broken ankle. He returns to action in Pardubice tonight and should he pull off a shock series win, he would guarantee his place in Speedway GP for 2023.
SPEEDWAY EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Janusz Kolodziej 41, 2 Leon Madsen 40, 3 Patryk Dudek 35, 4 Mikkel Michelsen 31, 5 Bartosz Smektala 26, 6 Piotr Pawlicki 21, 7 Rasmus Jensen 21, 8 Dominik Kubera 21, 9 Dan Bewley 20, 10 Oliver Berntzon 20, 11 Andzejs Lebedevs 18, 12 Kacper Woryna 18, 13 David Bellego 15, 14 Dimitri Berge 15, 15 Kai Huckenbeck 12, 16 Vaclav Milik 11, 17 Adam Ellis 7, 18 Michael Hartel 5, 19 Marcin Nowak 1.