POLES SEEK GOLDEN DOUBLE IN TORUN FINALE
Poland could celebrate two world champions this weekend as the sport’s biggest stars and its next generation of racers line-up in the FIM Speedway season finale at Torun’s Marian Rose Motoarena on Friday and Saturday.
National hero Bartosz Zmarzlik collects his third SGP world title at the For Nature Solutions FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun on Saturday night after sealing top spot in Malilla, Sweden on September 17.
But the stakes are still high for his rivals as a dramatic race for the rostrum and the 2023 Speedway GP qualification places reaches its climax in front of a full house in Torun.
Denmark’s Leon Madsen bids to secure silver, while Poland’s Patryk Dudek, Great Britain duo Robert Lambert and Dan Bewley, Swedish star Fredrik Lindgren and Polish ace Maciej Janowski all go wheel to wheel in a close battle for bronze.
Ahead of Saturday’s Speedway GP showdown, Polish young gun Mateusz Cierniak bids to seal the FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship in the Nice FIM SGP2 of Poland – Torun on Friday when the sport’s most talented young guns take to the track, as part of Discovery Sports Events’ vision to shine a spotlight on FIM Speedway’s future stars.
This is the eighth time the Speedway GP world champion has lifted the trophy in Torun, but history will be made this weekend as the Speedway GP and SGP2 world champions are crowned at the same venue on the same weekend for the very first time.
As one of the world’s finest track-racing stadiums, the Marian Rose Motoarena is one of the most popular destinations on the Speedway GP tour. And with the addition of an historic but lively city, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Torun is one of the ultimate FIM Speedway city breaks.
RACE FOR THE ROSTRUM
National hero Zmarzlik collects his third Speedway GP World Championship trophy in just four seasons after storming to victory at the Kaeser FIM Speedway GP of Sweden – Malilla two weeks ago.
Madsen hopes to join him on the podium as he heads to Torun requiring just four championship points to guarantee silver – his first Speedway GP World Championship medal since 2019.
That night saw him top the Torun podium with an unforgettable seven-ride, 21-point maximum. After lifting the Speedway European Championship at Czech track Pardubice last Friday, he will bid to end a fine 2022 season with another champagne moment at the Motoarena.
Madsen may hold a 17-point advantage over third-placed Dudek, but the battle for bronze and the top-six automatic qualification places could not be closer.
Dudek leads the race on 100 points in third as he lines up on his Polish home track. But his Torun team mate Lambert bids to overhaul him, standing just three points behind in fourth on 97.
After reaching two podiums in his last three rounds, the GB star has made a late surge towards the top three.
His compatriot Bewley is also in the running. Back-to-back Speedway GP wins in Cardiff and Wroclaw in August left him third overall. But the Cumbrian managed just two points at the last round in Malilla, which dropped him back to fifth place on 93 points.
But with 20 up for grabs in Torun, he could still overhaul Dudek and Lambert with a big performance, as could Lindgren and Janowski.
Lindgren holds the sixth and final automatic qualification place for the 2023 Speedway GP series, but he is tied on 92 points with Janowski in seventh and is only placed higher by virtue of having more third-place finishes than the Pole. Neither rider has won a round and both have one second place to their name.
While both have an outside chance of bagging bronze, they will at least be determined to punch their ticket for 2023 by finishing in the top six.
Triple world champion Tai Woffinden is also in qualification contention in eighth spot on 88 points, with Australia’s Jason Doyle the only other rider with a mathematical chance to finish inside the top six. He is ninth on 76 points.
Those riders who fall short of the top six still have the chance to show their class in Torun and persuade the SGP Commission to hand them one of the six permanent wild-card places for 2023.
The line-up is completed by the top three from the FIM GP Challenge in Glasgow on August 20 – Sweden’s Kim Nilsson, Bewley and Aussie star Jack Holder. Should Bewley finish inside the Speedway GP top six on Saturday, his qualification place from Glasgow passes to Australian champion Max Fricke, who was fourth in the Challenge and misses the Torun round due to injury.
He is replaced by Poland’s Jakub Miskowiak, the 2021 FIM Speedway Under-21 world champion, who makes his first full Speedway GP appearance after debuting as a track reserve in Warsaw in May. He also lines up in Friday’s SGP2 event.
2022 FOR NATURE SOLUTIONS FIM SPEEDWAY GP OF POLAND – TORUN LINE-UP (in FIM 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), 515. Jakub Miskowiak (Poland – substitute for 46. Max Fricke), 69. Jason Doyle (Australia), 505. Robert Lambert (Great Britain), 29. Andzejs Lebedevs (Latvia – substitute for 105. Anders Thomsen), 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. Kacper Woryna (Poland – wild card), 17. Krzysztof Lewandowski (Poland – first track reserve), 18. Mateusz Affelt (Poland – second track reserve).
CLEAN SWEEP FOR CIERNIAK?
While Poland is guaranteed a Speedway GP champion on Saturday, SGP2 leader Cierniak still has work to do on Friday night to secure his first FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship.
The Tarnow-born sensation won the opening two rounds in Prague and Cardiff, and he will claim the crown if he reaches the Nice FIM SGP2 of Poland – Torun semi-finals tonight, which would guarantee him the nine points needed to take top spot.
He is also bidding for an unforgettable clean sweep of three SGP2 victories in a year when he has already won SON2 FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship gold in Vojens with the Polish national team and helped his Polish club Lublin lift their first-ever PGE Ekstraliga championship.
Czech charger Jan Kvech will hope to spoil the Polish party as he stands second on 28 points after finishing fourth in the opening two rounds.
Third place in Cardiff leaves Denmark’s Benjamin Basso third overall on 25. He heads to Torun buoyed by lifting the Danish Under-21 Championship in Grindsted last week. He finished just ahead of Kevin Juhl Pedersen, who is fourth in the SGP2 standings on 22.
Czech racer Petr Chlupac is still in the medal race – he is fifth on 20 points, with Poland’s Wiktor Lampart sixth on 19 and reigning champion Miskowiak eighth on 18 as he prepares to line up in both the SGP2 and Speedway GP rounds in Torun this weekend.
Seventh-placed Francis Gusts sits out due to a knee injury, while Sweden’s Gustav Grahn is missing following thumb surgery. Great Britain’s Tom Brennan and Australia’s Keynan Rew step in.
2022 NICE FIM SGP2 OF POLAND – TORUN LINE-UP (in FIM ranking order with rider numbers): 196. Kevin Juhl Pedersen (Denmark), 127. Keynan Rew (Australia – substitute for 2. Francis Gusts), 201. Jan Kvech (Czech Republic), 717. Daniel Klima (Czech Republic), 43. Casper Henriksson (Sweden), 108. Mateusz Swidnicki (Poland), 842. Mateusz Cierniak (Poland), 515. Jakub Miskowiak (Poland), 408. Jonas Knudsen (Denmark), 47. Wiktor Lampart (Poland), 505. Wiktor Przyjemski (Poland), 44. Petr Chlupac (Czech Republic), 281. Timi Salonen (Finland), 92. Benjamin Basso (Denmark), 27. Tom Brennan (Great Britain – substitute for 118. Gustav Grahn), 16. Krzysztof Lewandowski (Poland – wild card), 17. Celina Liebmann (Germany – first track reserve), 18. Mateusz Affelt (Poland – second track reserve).
There is a full day of entertainment on offer for fans heading to the Marian Rose Motoarena on Saturday as the For Nature Solutions FIM Torun Speedway GP fanzone opens between Qualifying Practice and the evening’s racing.
Gates open at 14:00 CET in the fanzone area next to the stadium’s green zone – behind bends three and four. There is no fanzone ahead of Friday’s SGP2.
All of the Speedway GP riders take part in an autograph session from 16:30 – the perfect opportunity to pick up a signature or a speedway selfie.
Fans can meet the Monster Energy athletes and grab some freebies when the Monster Energy Rig Riot kicks off at 16:00. Monster Energy will be on hand with free drinks and lots of photo opportunities throughout the afternoon.
There’s the chance to win Speedway GP prizes from 17:35 with games and quizzes on the big screen, plus the chance for fans to test their commentary skills and commentate on an SGP race.
Visitors can grab a photo with the FIM Speedway trophies and the We Love Speedway sign. There’s also the opportunity to sit on a speedway bike and there will be a display of vintage bikes.
There will be activities for kids and remote-controlled cars for big and little kids. Plus, fans can pick up their brand-new SGP merchandise and food and drink will be available for purchase.
WHERE TO WATCH
- Nice FIM SGP2 of Poland – Torun: Friday – 19:00 CET
- Qualifying Practice: Saturday – 13:00 CET
- For Nature Solution FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun: October 1 – 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, a documentary series and other innovative features, including live data such as rider heartbeat.
Coverage of the Nice FIM SGP2 of Poland – Torun is available live on Discovery+ and the Eurosport App.
Linear coverage of the For Nature Solutions FIM Torun Speedway GP is also available in selected countries – see below for more details of where to watch.
ACROSS EUROPE: Live on the Eurosport App
BRITAIN: Live on Discovery+ and Eurosport 2
POLAND: Live on TTV and Eurosport Extra
SWEDEN: Live on Discovery+
DENMARK: Live on Discovery+
AUSTRALIA: Live on Fox Sports
NEW ZEALAND: Live on Sky Sport
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: Coverage on beIN SPORTS
2022 FIM SPEEDWAY GP CALENDAR
The 2022 FIM Speedway World Championship includes:
April 30: Tehnix 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
June 4: Wölk FIM Speedway GP of Germany – Teterow
June 25: 3W FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Gorzow
August 13: FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff
August 27: Betard FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Wroclaw
September 10: FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens, sponsored by ECCO
September 17: Kaeser FIM Speedway GP of Sweden – Malilla
October 1: For Nature Solutions FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun