Ekstraliga Preview - Round Four

In-form Robert Lambert heads back to his former club in Round Four of the PGE Ekstraliga this weekend.

Image courtesy of Darren Bott

Lambert was a key member of the Lublin side as they climbed back to the top level of Polish racing in recent years, but he moved on after an injury-hit 2019 campaign in which the likes of Mikkel Michelsen and Grigory Laguta dominated the scoring for Motor.

The Great Britain star now lines up for newly-promoted Rybnik and has been a shining light in their season so far, racking up 13+1 last time out as they grabbed their first win of the season against Gorzow.

Once again Lambert is set to be deployed at No.8 for the visitors on Friday evening, but with rider-replacement again in operation for broken leg victim Andzejs Lebedevs he is likely to make an early entry into the meeting – quite possibly in Heat 1 against Laguta and Jarek Hampel.

Lambert then faces a quick turnaround as he heads west to Torun on Saturday for the first round of the Speedway Euro Championship. This year’s schedule was extensively overhauled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it now takes place over five rounds rather than the traditional four.

All events will be staged in Poland during the month of July, and Lambert’s early-season form puts him up amongst the favourites, alongside former champions Leon Madsen and Nicki Pedersen, and current holder Michelsen. Lambert finished third in the series two years ago, and overall victory in the SEC carries the added bonus of an automatic place in the 2021 Grand Prix series.

Meanwhile Tai Woffinden’s Wroclaw will look to stop the rot when they host Zielona Gora on Sunday – and the new Polish ‘guest rider’ ruling is in full effect. Wroclaw have brought in former World Champion Chris Holder, who rides for relegated Torun in Division One, and he comes into the top five in place of British racer Dan Bewley, who could still be declared in the No.8 position.

Two successive defeats on the road have put Wroclaw under some early pressure, but Woffinden enjoys his home meetings against Zielona Gora – both of his maximums in Poland last year came against the Mickey Mouse side, one in the season-opener at the Olympic Stadium, and the other in the second leg of the play-off semi-final.

Holder’s younger brother Jack has also been snapped up in the Ekstraliga, in his case by Gorzow who have lost all three matches so far, and he is expected to come into their line-up as they host unbeaten league leaders Czestochowa on Friday evening.

Elsewhere on Sunday the other team with a 100% record, Leszno, head to Grudziadz in a fixture which ended all-square at 45-45 last season and features a clash of the Pawlicki brothers.