VACULIK MAKES IT A SPEEDWAY GP DOUBLE IN PRAGUE
Slovak star Martin Vaculik was elated to live his Prague FIM Speedway GP of Czech Republic dream for a second straight season after topping the podium in his ‘home’ event again on Saturday night.
In one of most exciting nights of Speedway GP action witnessed since the series first visited the Czech capital in 1997, Vaculik got the better of Danish racer Leon Madsen in second, Aussie star Jack Holder in third and Poland’s triple Speedway GP world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik in fourth as Slovakia’s finest won his local SGP event for the second straight year.
The Zarnovica-born ace sent the crowd wild when he crossed the finish line, climbing up to fourth place in the Speedway GP World Championship on 41 points – leaving him just nine behind series leader Zmarzlik, who has 50.
Vaculik experienced Speedway GP for the first time when he watched from the terraces as a fan around two decades ago, getting pictures with SGP legends like Greg Hancock and Tony Rickardsson.
Now he has also established himself as a hero for the Prague fans and the 33-year-old was delighted to follow up an unforgettable victory in 2022 with another famous night.
He said: “It is unbelievable. I love the city of Prague; I have many friends here and have made many good memories here since I was a junior rider.
“Prague is special for me and to have won here two times is unbelievable. I am super happy and super excited about that.
“I would like to say a big thank you to all the fans from Slovakia, who come here and support me. I saw many people I know – hundreds and hundreds of people with my flag.
“It’s amazing. It’s unbelievable when this many people support you. I also want to say thank you to the Czech fans, who gave me a very warm welcome and support me big time. It’s amazing and I am very pleased with that.
“Right now, I am full of positive energy, and I am super excited. I really enjoy it every time I am in Prague. Racing here is always special for me and when I win, it is unbelievable.”
Zmarzlik remains as Speedway GP series leader on 50 points and has now left an incredible 13 straight rounds as World Championship leader, dating back to the season-opening 2022 FIM Speedway GP of Croatia.
Swedish star Fredrik Lindgren occupies second spot on 47 points after scoring 11 points as he exited at the semi-final stage.
Meanwhile, Holder’s second Speedway GP podium on the spin places him third on 42 – just eight behind Zmarzlik and very much in the race for the sport’s biggest prize, won by his older brother Chris 11 years ago in 2012.
Next up for the world’s best riders is the FIM Speedway GP of Germany – Teterow at the Bergring Arena next Saturday.