Speedway GP: Janowski becomes first Pole to win in Cardiff…

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British SGP podium (l-r): Championship leader Jason Doyle, meeting winner Maciej Janowski, Matej Zagar

Polish racer Maciej Janowski secured back-to-back FIM Speedway Grand Prix wins with victory in the Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix on Saturday.

Janowski followed up his Kjægaard Danish SGP success by storming to victory at the Principality Stadium ahead of Championship leader Jason Doyle, Matej Zagar and fellow countryman Bartosz Zmarzlik.

The win for Janowski also saw him become Poland’s first winner of the prestigious event.

Doyle, on 78 points, now has a three point lead at the top of the overall standings, while Janowski overhauled compatriot Patryk Dudek into second place by virtue of his 2016 standing, with the pair tied on 75 points apiece.

At the halfway point, the top three are setting a blistering pace, with Janowski and Dudek holding a 17-point advantage over fourth placed Fredrik Lindgren.

However, the Wrocław-born racer knows there is still much work to do, despite firing himself firmly into the title picture.

He said: ‘I think we’ll all try and win it. But we still have six rounds to finish.

‘Maybe someone else will fight for the gold in the end? All I know is I’m working hard at the moment and I’ll work even harder.

‘We’ll see what happens next. We all know how it is in speedway. We can be so confident, but I need to stay focused and keep working hard. For now everything works. I need to keep that up and work a bit harder.’

He was also delighted to become the first Pole to win in the Welsh capital. He said: ‘That is very special for me. There were a lot of Polish fans and it was crazy. They all supported me a lot and I got a lot of calls before the meeting. I will probably get a lot of messages now.

“Every win is special, so I am happy and I just want to say thank you to my team. We put in so much work and we all know how hard it is in the Grand Prix this year.’

Janowski then revealed he took a huge chance with his bike setup to ensure he got the better of fellow Pole Zmarzlik, who topped the qualifying chart on 13 points and won his semi-final, but dropped a chain when third in the all-important final.

He said: ‘For the last heat, this will be a surprise for a lot of people but we changed the setup big-time. I knew Bartek was on gate one and he would make a really good start. I knew I needed to do something. We tried and it worked, so I am happy.’

Meanwhile, Championship leader Doyle was glad of another podium finish after scoring just a point in his first ride and crashing in the next.

He said: ‘Apart from Horsens, I’ve started a couple of GPs not very well and I have really been digging deep. After the first couple of rides, I barely had any points and had to do it the hard way.

“I snuck into the semis again and fair play to Magic and Zagar. They were also good tonight. They had all the lines sorted out.

‘I’m really happy with performance. I did it for everyone watching in my box. I thought I’d be sitting out of the semis, so I’m very happy with where I ended up.’

He was also delighted to extend his lead at the top of the standings to three points, but admitted there is still a long way to go.

He said: ‘There are another six GPs. It doesn’t matter where you stand at the moment.

‘You just need to bang those points in and see where you stand at the end of the season. We’re all going to be pushing hard – it’s the GPs. It’s tough racing.’

Third-placed Matej Zagar was pleased to put his season firmly back on track with a 12-point haul that places him ninth in the standings – one point off the top eight and 10 points away from fourth.

He said: ‘It’s very tough out there and you have to get everything right to be successful. I’m in a much better position now than I was at the beginning of the season. I’m pleased with that. I would just like to say the future is bright!’

Current world champion Greg Hancock withdrew from the meeting after heat one, after initially dislocating his shoulder after falling down the stairs at home in Sweden. He was unable to continue after re-dislocating it during Friday’s practice and on the first lap of heat one.

Next up for the SGP elite is the Teng Tools Swedish SGP in Malilla on August 12.

ADRIAN FLUX BRITISH SGP: Maciej Janowski 17, Jason Doyle 13, Matej Zagar 12, Bartosz Zmarzlik 16, Emil Sayfutdinov 11, Peter Kildemand 10, Patryk Dudek 10, Chris Holder 10, Tai Woffinden 9, Niels-Kristian Iversen 7, Fredrik Lindgren 7, Antonio Lindback 7, Martin Vaculik 4, Josh Bates 2, Craig Cook 2, Piotr Pawlicki 1, Adam Ellis 0, Greg Hancock 0.

FIM SPEEDWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (after 6 rounds): 1 Jason Doyle 78, 2 Maciej Janowski 75, 3 Patryk Dudek 75, 4 Fredrik Lindgren 58, 5 Emil Sayfutdinov 58, 6 Tai Woffinden 57, 7 Bartosz Zmarzlik 55, 8 Martin Vaculik 49, 9 Matej Zagar 48, 10 Greg Hancock 45, 11 Chris Holder 44, 12 Piotr Pawlicki 44, 13 Niels-Kristian Iversen 38, 14 Antonio Lindback 36, 15 Peter Kildemand 22, 16 Vaclav Milik 13, 17 Nicki Pedersen 8, 18 Maksims Bogdanovs 8, 19 Kenneth Bjerre 7, 20 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 3, 21 Craig Cook 2, 22 Josh Bates 2, Nick Skorja 1.

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Speedway GP: Horsens double for Magic…

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Horsens double: Maciej Janowski tops the podium (centre), with Emil Sayfutdinov (left) in second and Patryk Dudek (right) in third

Polish star Maciej Janowski has once again won the Kjægaard Danish FIM Speedway Grand Prix in Horsens.

Janowski topped the box at the CASA Arena, alongside runner-up Emil Sayfutdinov and fellow countryman Patryk Dudek.

Australian racer Jason Doyle produced a heroic performance to an extraordinary fourth place finish in order to edge ahead of Dudek at the top of the overall standings, despite undergoing surgery on a broken foot just five days earlier.

However, it was Janowski who stormed to victory and the Wrocław born racer was delighted with his performance as he moved to third in the World Championship standings on 58 points.

He said: ‘It was an amazing night. It doesn’t matter where you are, but this is the second time it has happened in Denmark. I’m so happy.

‘This was a really tough night. It’s a very small track and there’s not enough room for everyone. You need to be smart and lucky also. Everything worked well for me today – my team, everything. I am happy.

‘Points are the most important thing. That was a good kick going into the next half of the season.’

Magic also admits that his experience of the British leagues, where he won three consecutive Elite League titles with the Poole Pirates between 2013 and 2015, paid off as he mastered the tight Horsens track once again.

He said: ‘I have some experience on the small tracks from racing in Britain.

‘Sometimes I have two crashes and two points on them! But Britain was a good school for me.

‘That’s the way for a lot of young riders to learn. It’s hard to get the experience you get there anywhere else.’

The next SGP date for Janowski will be in Cardiff, when he heads to the Principality Stadium on July 22 for the Adrian Flux British SGP.

First though, he is hoping to be a part of Poland’s team for the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Final in Leszno on July 8.

The Poles will be the firm favourites to retain their title, won last year at Manchester’s National Speedway Stadium. However, the weight of expectation on home shale could be seen as burden for some, but not for Janowski.

He said: ‘There’s no pressure. We’ll just have fun like today and that’s the best way. If you start thinking too much about things, it’s not good for you. I’m really happy to ride speedway, I’m really enjoying it and that’s the most important thing. Everything around it … I don’t care!’

It wasn’t all plain sailing for second placed Sayfutdinov though, as the Salavat-born racer worked wonders to get to Horsens in time after a hold-up on the motorway in Germany saw him and his team stranded for two and a half hours. As a result, he was more than happy with his first podium finish since finishing third at the 2013 Italian SGP.

He said: ‘After my third race, it went really well. I won my last two heats and I was last in the semi, but I passed Lindback and Zagar.

‘I got into the final and I am really happy to be on the podium. I’d just like to say thanks to my team. We have really worked hard. With that hard work, we got to the final.

‘We scored some important points today. I’m going up in the standings and I am really happy.’

Dudek is level on 65 points with Doyle at the top of the standings, with only the Aussie’s 2016 ranking keeping the Pole out of first place. Despite this, he isn’t too concerned as he bids to keep piling up the points.

He said: ‘It doesn’t matter for me now. For me, I just want to score points through the whole series. When I have the podiums, it’s great. Sometimes I won’t. What’s most important is my score.’

He also admits that it was hard to get to grips with the tight 272-metre temporary track at the CASA Arena, having rarely raced on such small circuits.

He said: ‘The track here had tight corners and for me, that’s not normal. Tracks in Poland are so big. But that doesn’t matter. I had third place.’

The SGP series will now take a break for the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup, which begins with Event 1 at King’s Lynn’s Adrian Flux Arena next Saturday. The meeting features Australia, Czech Republic, USA and hosts Great Britain.

The action will then switch to the Stena Arena in Vastervik, Sweden for Event 2. Here the Swedes will face Denmark, Russia and the winner of the qualifying round between Latvia, Germany, France and Italy in Riga.

The winners of each event will then join Poland in the Monster Energy SWC Final at the Alfred Smoczyk Stadium in Leszno on July 8, while the second and third-placed side contesting the Race Off on July 7. The winners of that meeting will take the last spot in the Final.

KJÆRGAARD DANISH SGP SCORES: Maciej Janowski 17, Emil Sayfutdinov 14, Patryk Dudek 14, Jason Doyle 15, Matej Zagar 11, Tai Woffinden 11, Antonio Lindback 8, Fredrik Lindgren 8, Kenneth Bjerre 7, Greg Hancock 7, Bartosz Zmarzlik 7, Chris Holder 7, Piotr Pawlicki 4, Peter Kildemand 3, Niels-Kristian Iversen 3, Martin Vaculik 1, Andreas Lyager Hansen DNR, Frederik Jakobsen DNR.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (after 5 rounds): 1 Jason Doyle 65, 2 Patryk Dudek 65, 3 Maciej Janowski 58, 4 Fredrik Lindgren 51, 5 Tai Woffinden 48, 6 Emil Sayfutdinov 47, 7 Greg Hancock 45, 8 Martin Vaculik 45, 9 Piotr Pawlicki 43, 10 Bartosz Zmarzlik 39, 11 Matej Zagar 36, 12 Chris Holder 34, 13 Niels-Kristian Iversen 31, 14 Antonio Lindback 29, 15 Vaclav Milik 13, 16 Peter Kildemand 12, 17 Nicki Pedersen 8, 18 Maksims Bogdanovs 8, 19 Kenneth Bjerre 7, 20 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 3, 21 Nick Skorja 1.

Speedway GP: Jason Doyle tops the box again in Prague…

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Czech SGP podium: Greg Hancock, Jason Doyle and Vaclav Milik

Australian speedway star Jason Doyle defied a nightmare start to top the podium for the second straight year at the Mitas Czech Republic FIM Speedway Grand Prix in Prague on Saturday (June 10).

Newcastle-born Doyle, who picked up his first Grand Prix win at the Marketa Stadium in 2016, repeated the feat with a great start to triumph in the final ahead of reigning world champion Greg Hancock, meeting wildcard Vaclav Milik and Championship leader Patryk Dudek.

Polish ace Dudek currently has a one point cushion over Doyle at the top of the World Championship standings.

The Swindon, Zielona Gora and Rospiggarna star was delighted to produce a champagne finish, despite having recorded just three points from his opening three rides for the second straight round.

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Making the start: Wildcard Vaclav Milik

Doyle said: “We just needed to score the points. I got 13 tonight and if someone had offered me that when I had three going into my fourth ride, I’d have taken it. We’ve got out of jail again.

“We did it in Daugavpils. We had a tough start and battled into the final there, and now we have done it in Prague. We should have had a podium at the last Grand Prix, but the bike broke down in the final. I guess luck was on our side here and we had a great night.

“If I finished how I started, it was not looking good. For the first three heats, I couldn’t get any speed out of the first engine.

“It was the engine I rode for all of last year in the Grand Prix and it was very fast. But we have another rocket now, I guess. I jumped on the third bike and made that work.

“I have never worked so hard to get points. My fourth ride was against a very hard line-up in Bartosz Zmarzlik, Tai Woffinden and Dudek. I knew that win got me on to six points and it made it a little easier for me to get into the semis. I didn’t have to win the last race.

“The points just weren’t coming at all. I couldn’t make a start; I couldn’t do anything right. But then it just clicked and started working with the track. It was one of those nights where we finished in the right way.”

The Aussie produced the ride of the night to force his way past the Polish duo of Dudek and Bartosz Zmarzlik to win heat 14 – the race which turned his night around.

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Fourth place: Patryk Dudek gets assistance from his mechanic

He hit the tapes in his opening ride of the night and it was something that ultimately proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Aussie ace – as he avoided a warning for jumping at the start.

Under new rules implemented this season, Doyle would have received a warning from meeting referee Craig Ackroyd, had he not touched the tapes. This would have seen him excluded from the final when he jumped the start again. Despite this though, the Australian international admitted he was pretty keen to gain an advantage from the tough outside gate.

“I knew I had to have a dig off gate four and make a really good start,” he said, “I double-clutched it just to try and get the bike pulling to the corner. I made too good a start the first time. I kept it still in the re-run and it was a very hard four laps.”

Topping the podium in Prague has brought good fortune for many riders. Eight of the last 13 winners have gone on to become world champion in the same season, however Doyle has little time for that statistic after triumphing last season, only for his campaign to end with a horrific crash in Torun.

He said: “Last year I won Prague and ended up in a hospital for nearly six weeks. It’s all statistics and it means nothing to me.”

Runner-up Hancock was delighted to regain top form with a hopping 18 points out of 21 after making his first SGP final to climb up to seventh in the overall standings.

It was also a special night for the home fans as local star and meeting wildcard Vaclav Milik stormed to a sensational third place and his first SGP final.

Next up for the SGP elite is the Kjægaard Danish SGP in Horsens on June 24.

MITAS CZECH SGP SCORES: Jason Doyle 13, Greg Hancock 18, Vaclav Milik 13, Patryk Dudek 13, Chris Holder 11, Martin Vaculik 10, Antonio Lindback 9, Peter Kildemand 8, Bartosz Zmarzlik 8, Tai Woffinden 7, Piotr Pawlicki 7, Fredrik Lindgren 6, Maciej Janowski 6, Matej Zagar 4, Niels-Kristian Iversen 3, Emil Sayfutdinov 2, Josef Franc 0, Matej Kus 0.

FIM SPEEDWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (after 4 rounds): 1 Patryk Dudek 51, 2 Jason Doyle 50, 3 Martin Vaculik 44, 4 Fredrik Lindgren 43, 5 Maciej Janowski 41, 6 Piotr Pawlicki 39, 7 Greg Hancock 38, 8 Tai Woffinden 37, 9 Emil Sayfutdinov 33, 10 Bartosz Zmarzlik 32, 11 Niels-Kristian Iversen 28, 12 Chris Holder 27, 13 Matej Zagar 25, 14 Antonio Lindback 21, 15 Vaclav Milik 13, 16 Peter Kildemand 9, 17 Nicki Pedersen 8, 18 Maksims Bogdanovs 8, 19 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 3, 20 Nick Skorja 1.

Speedway GP: Fast Freddie wins in Warsaw…

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Fredrik Lindgren holds the winners trophy aloft after winning the LOTTO Warsaw FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland at PGE Narodowy

Sweden’s Fredrik Lindgren saw his five year wait for an FIM Speedway Grand Prix win come to an end at the LOTTO Warsaw SGP of Poland on Saturday.

Freddie topped the podium ahead of home favourite Maciej Janowski, Australian star Jason Doyle and Slovenian SGP winner Martin Vaculik at the PGE Narodowy.

The win marks Lindgren’s first victory since he won the Swedish SGP at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg in 2012. As a result, he retains the FIM Speedway World Championship lead, which he has extended to five points over nearest rival Doyle.

The Orebro-born racer is currently in the form of his life and was elated to be back in the SGP winner’s circle after a great display in front a passionate Polish crowd.

“Right now I am just pumped with adrenaline. It’s so cool to ride in this stadium in front of all these people and perform like I did tonight.” he said.

“It’s something that we live to do. It’s what I like. I have been training so hard in the winter. I have so many good people behind me – all my sponsors and pit crew; everyone is helping me out. I’m so pleased to give back to them.

“I feel absolutely awesome. I have only won one GP before. This is so important for me.”

This victory is also a major milestone for Swiss engine tuner Marcel Gerhard as his GTR engine collected its first SGP triumph, and Lindgren relished racing at Poland’s national stadium as it delivered another SGP classic.

He is also determined to maintain his blistering form, which has seen him star for Wolverhampton in the UK, Dackarna in Sweden and Polish club Rybnik.

Runner-up Janowski was gutted not to become the first Pole to clinch an historic win in Warsaw, while third placed Doyle was content with moving into second place in the race for the World Championship.

The next round of the FIM Speedway Grand Prix is the Rietumu Bank Latvian SGP in Daugavpils on Saturday May 27.

LOTTO WARSAW SGP OF POLAND SCORES: Fredrik Lindgren 16, Maciej Janowski 16, Jason Doyle 15, Martin Vaculik 10, Tai Woffinden 13, Bartosz Zmarzlik 12, Patryk Dudek 9, Niels-Kristian Iversen 9, Piotr Pawlicki 7, Chris Holder 6, Emil Sayfutdinov 6, Antonio Lindback 6, Nicki Pedersen 5, Greg Hancock 4, Przemyslaw Pawlicki 3, Matej Zagar 1, Krystian Pieszczek DNR, Pawel Przedpelski DNR.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (after 2 rounds): 1 Fredrik Lindgren 32, 2 Jason Doyle 27, 3 Martin Vaculik 26, 4 Maciej Janowski 22, 5 Patryk Dudek 22, 6 Tai Woffinden 21, 7 Bartosz Zmarzlik 18, 8 Niels-Kristian Iversen 18, 9 Emil Sayfutdinov 18, 10 Greg Hancock 15, 11 Piotr Pawlicki 14, 12 Chris Holder 12, 13 Matej Zagar 11, 14 Antonio Lindback 8, 15 Nicki Pedersen 8, 16 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 3, 17 Nick Skorja 1.