Great Britain’s three Grand Prix stars kick off their World Championship challenge in the first round of the 2024 series in Croatia on Saturday.

Image courtesy of Taylor Lanning Photography

Robert Lambert, Dan Bewley and Tai Woffinden are all back to compete at the top level of the sport as they aim to stop Bartosz Zmarzlik from collecting his fifth world title.

Lambert embarks on his fourth full season in the series having finished as the top British rider in the last two years – fifth in 2022 and sixth last year.

But he still awaits that elusive first GP victory, with best results so far of second at Vojens in 2022, and in last years’ opener in the Donji Kraljevec event.

Bewley finished seventh overall, one place lower than in 2022, but he does have three wins to his name after following up his back-to-back Cardiff and Wroclaw triumphs in his debut GP campaign with victory at Malilla last year.

But despite reaching seven of the ten semi-finals in 2023, the Swedish GP was his only Final, and he will be looking to improve that conversion rate in the new season.

Like Bewley, Woffinden received a nominated position back into the series after his 2023 challenge ended with a crash at Cardiff, ruling him out of the last two rounds.
Woffinden had shown signs of a return to form when he reached the Final in the previous round at Riga, and he will look to get back on the podium for the first time since Prague 2022, where he finished second, with his last victory coming back at Torun in 2018 where he clinched his third world title.

Zmarzlik has won both of the GPs since the series returned to Croatia in 2022, and he starts as strong favourite to take the crown once again with Leon Madsen, Fredrik Lindgren and Jack Holder next in the odds – followed by the British trio of Bewley, Woffinden and Lambert.

There are eleven rounds in the series this year, increased from the recent total of ten, with Wroclaw back on the schedule after a break to host the SWC last year, and the German GP switches from Teterow to Landshut.

It’s a busy weekend with Polish Ekstraliga action either side of the GP, starting on Friday when leaders Lublin host Torun who are currently in second place, albeit they are one of five clubs who are on two points so far.

As ever, the defending champions are strong favourites as they track four GP riders and three of the world’s current top four – Zmarzlik, Fredrik Lindgren and Jack Holder, along with Dominik Kubera.

But it will be a good test of Lambert’s strong early season form as he builds up to Croatia, with Lublin being a former home track of his during their years of working back through the leagues.

Friday’s other fixture will see Woffinden and Bewley look to put in good performances before heading to Gorican when they take on Grudziadz, who have Max Fricke in good form and will be looking for a better night from Jason Doyle if they are to cause a surprise result.

The headline clash on Sunday is Leszno v Zielona Gora as the visitors include both Pawlicki brothers who spent their early careers with the home club, with Piotr leaving as recently as the end of the 2022 season, and this could also be a key fixture in the relegation battle.

Elsewhere Gorzow face Czestochowa with the visitors having raced only once so far, as their postponed home match with Wroclaw has been re-arranged for Tuesday (April 30).

There are four matches in Metalkas 2. Ekstraliga, with unbeaten leaders Krosno making the short trip to Rzeszow on Sunday, whilst on the same day second-placed Bydgoszcz take on Lodz who are yet to get off the mark.

Saturday’s schedule features Poznan v Gdansk with Tom Brennan lining up for the visitors, whilst Rybnik take on Ostrow.

There are also re-arranged matches on Tuesday April 30 with Lodz due to host Poznan whilst Rybnik are at home again, this time against Rzeszow.

The National Speedway League has been affected by the weather so far, but a full programme of three matches is scheduled this weekend.

On Saturday Pila include Adam Ellis for their home match against Gniezno, led by Sam Masters, whilst on Sunday Steve Worrall will be racing for Daugavpils at Opole, The remaining fixture sees Landshut take on Tarnow.