AMERICANS DEFEAT REST OF THE WORLD IN CALIFORNIA TEST

American racer Max Ruml starred as the United States scored a 61-52 victory over the Rest of the World in a test match at Kern County Raceway in Bakersfield, California on Saturday.Ruml led the charge on 13 paid 15 points from five rides, scoring four in heat 15, where double points were up for grabs.FIM North America champion Luke Becker also impressed with 12 points as he went unbeaten in his first four rides, before failing to finish the final race, heat 17.Gino Manzares notched nine from four races as he pushes for a return to European racing, while Billy Janniro and Broc Nicol both scored seven paid eight from four.Triple British champion Chris Harris was the star for the tourists on 18 points from five races, including two six-point wins.GB international Tom Brennan weighed in with a very useful 17 points from six, doubling two points to four in heat 11. His compatriot Leon Flint collected six paid eight, with Italian star Paco Castagna scoring six.

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WOZNIAK: POLISH TEAM SPIRIT STRONG AFTER MALTA TRAINING CAMP

Speedway GP newcomer Szymon Wozniak believes Poland’s Maltese training camp has strengthened the squad’s bond as they chase their first-ever FIM Speedway of Nations gold medal in Manchester this summer.The Poles jetted to Malta for a pre-season camp, where Wozniak, Speedway GP world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik and SGP permanent wild card Dominik Kubera have been training, cycling and also enjoying some downtime alongside the likes of Maciej Janowski, Patryk Dudek, Janusz Kolodziej, Jaroslaw Hampel, plus young guns like SGP2 champion Mateusz Cierniak and Bartlomiej Kowalski.While getting into shape for the season is part of the mission in Malta, Wozniak admits spending time together as a group can make a big difference ahead of the FIM SON, in which team riding is vital as 15 countries go for gold.The Gorzow star told PolskiZuzel.pl: “Physical activity and training are important, but each of us works on this all the time, so the most important thing is the atmosphere that can be built by spending time together.“The weather is so beautiful that you want to go out for fresh air and spend time with your friends, drinking coffee in the sun or just relaxing together. At this training camp we have many opportunities to simply be together, meet and talk. This creates an atmosphere.”Wozniak recently travelled to California with his family to train with his new Speedway GP coach, Greg Hancock. Now he is exploring Malta on two wheels – albeit without the aid of a 500cc engine. Wozniak added: “The island is compact, it's warm, the people are nice, and the views are beautiful. “You can just leave the hotel, get on your bike and you can see it all. The island is not large, so this bike is an indispensable and very helpful element of the training camp.”

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EIGHT NATIONS SET FOR 28-HEAT SON2 SHOWDOWN IN MANCHESTER

Eight of the sport’s top under-21 teams will compete over an epic 28 heats for the FIM Speedway of Nations – SON2 title in Manchester on Friday, July 12.The FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship is staged as part of the FIM Speedway of Nations – the sport’s world team championship for 2024, which takes place at Britain’s National Speedway Stadium from July 9-13.While the FIM SON was replaced on the 2023 calendar by the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup, SON2 was still raced in in Riga on August 11 as Poland blazed to an incredible 10th straight gold medal and their 16th overall.

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PEDERSEN NAMES DANISH SQUAD FOR 2024

Speedway GP duo Leon Madsen and Mikkel Michelsen are among the contenders to lead Denmark into the 2024 FIM Speedway of Nations after coach Nicki Pedersen confirmed his provisional squad for next year.Madsen and Michelsen are both named as senior riders along with 2023 Speedway GP star Anders Thomsen and 2022 Danish champion Rasmus Jensen.They are joined on the list by Denmark’s “sub-elite team”, which consists of 2021 FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship runner-up Mads Hansen, Andreas Lyager and former SGP2 rider Benjamin Basso.Denmark’s junior list features William Drejer, who raced to an unforgettable third place at the Jørgen Hansen Biler FIM SGP2 of Denmark – Vojens last September, despite starting the night as a track reserve and racing just four heats instead of five.FIM SON2 silver medallist Jesper Knudsen also features on the junior list along with 2023 SGP2 star Nicolai Heiselberg and Bastian Pedersen, Nicki’s nephew and son of his brother Ronni Pedersen, a former SGP reserve.The list is completed by 2022 SGP3 champion Mikkel Andersen and Villads Nagel, who finished runner-up in that Wroclaw event, as both riders move into the under-21 category and step up their professional careers.Pedersen must select three riders for the FIM SON in Manchester from July 9-13 – two starters and one reserve rider.But despite naming this provisional squad, there is nothing to stop Denmark’s rider-manager from adding other names as the season progresses, with final FIM SON squads not due to be submitted until June.

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WORLD NO.2 LINDGREN LEADS SWEDISH SQUAD FOR 2024

World No.2 Fredrik Lindgren leads the Swedish team into 2024 after next year’s national squad list was revealed.Sweden fell short of the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Final in Wroclaw last summer. But with the FIM Speedway of Nations returning after a year’s break, taking place from July 9-13 in Manchester, Morgan Andersson’s side will be determined to build on the bronze medal they won at the 2022 tournament in Vojens.Lindgren was part of that team alongside former Speedway GP star Oliver Berntzon, who was the highest-scoring rider of all 15 countries on 40 points.Both are named in Sweden’s provisional squad, and they are joined by 2023 Speedway GP rider Kim Nilsson, plus former SGP veteran Antonio Lindback and double Swedish champion Jacob Thorssell.Timo Lahti is a surprise inclusion, despite racing for his native Finland in the 2023 Monster Energy FIM SWC. The line-up is completed by Filip Hjelmland, Mathias Thornblom, Joel Andersson, Anton Karlsson, Victor Palovaara, Daniel Henderson and Jonatan Grahn – brother of former SGP2 rider Gustav Grahn.Swedish junior coach Alexander Edberg has also named a talented list of under-23, under-21 and under-19 stars, headed by Casper Henriksson, who finished fifth in the 2023 SGP2 series.He is joined by 2023 SGP2 rival Philip Hellstrom-Bangs, who famously starred at the 2021 FIM SON in Manchester. The junior list also features Noel Wahlqvist, Ludvig Selvin, brothers Avon and Sammy van Dyck, Eddie Bock, Anton Jansson and Erik Persson.With Andersson not required to name his FIM SON squad until June, there is nothing stopping him from adding more names to the list as the tournament approaches should he wish to do so.

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