EUROPEAN PREVIEW - FIME European Pairs
Great Britain take their place in the FIME European Pairs Final at Macon on Saturday with Adam Ellis, Chris Harris and Tom Brennan on the hunt for a medal.
It’s an unchanged GB line-up which heads to France after they won the Debrecen qualifier a fortnight ago, and they are drawn at No.4 in the seven-nation line-up.
The host nation track David Bellego and Dimitri Berge, with Steven Goret as back-up, whilst Denmark are again led by Mads Hansen and Poland include Grzegorz Zengota, although Tobiasz Musielak misses out.
There is experience in the Latvian line-up of Andzejs Lebedevs and Jevgenis Kostigovs, whilst Vaclav Milik and Jan Kvech lead the Czech Republic, and Nico Covatti and Paco Castagna race for Italy.
Elsewhere this weekend, GB’s top 250cc youngsters are in Cloppenburg for the World Championship at that level after reaching the European Final in Torun last week.
Ace Pijper, Luke Harrison and Max James all compete in Friday’s semi-finals, with the Final taking place at the same venue the following day.
Meanwhile a crunch weekend in the PGE Ekstraliga could see two sides confirm their places in the title play-offs.
Round 12 kicks off with champions Leszno up against bottom club Grudziadz on Friday, with the home side having an opportunity to strengthen their position in the top four – as their main play-off rivals Czestochowa travel to Wroclaw on Sunday.
Tai Woffinden and Dan Bewley will both be involved for the hosts, who may well lose top spot on Friday evening assuming Gorzow defeat Zielona Gora at home in a local derby clash.
But a win for Wroclaw on Sunday, which would automatically gain them three points as they won the reverse fixture 52-38, would move them on to 24 points in the league and mean they would be guaranteed at least a top three finish.
Woffinden will go up against Grand Prix rivals Fredrik Lindgren and Leon Madsen a week before the series heads to Wroclaw for another double-header, and Czestochowa will again look to flying reserve Jakub Miskowiak if they are to cause an upset.
Sunday’s other fixture is a big one for Lublin as they look to hang on to a play-off place, currently with a three-point advantage over Leszno and Czestochowa.
They travel to Torun, with Robert Lambert’s side just clear of immediate relegation danger thanks to their 45-45 draw at Grudziadz, but still needing points to be certain of survival.
The bonus point is in Lublin’s favour with a 51-39 advantage, but even a win on the night could effectively secure Torun’s place in the top flight for next year, as Grudziadz – assuming they lose at Leszno – travel to Lublin on Monday in a Round 13 fixture brought forward due to the GP rounds at the venue, and should they be four points behind Torun after that meeting they would be unable to catch them.
Division One has a blank weekend with all clubs now having raced 12 matches, and although Tarnow are officially relegated, the play-off battle is still very much on with the top five covered by just four points. The final regular rounds are on August 1 and August 15.
In Division Two, Rawicz are chasing leaders Opole and they visit third placed Daugavpils on Sunday – whilst the Latvian side are also in Germany on Friday to face Landshut.
Another busy week of Swedish action saw Lambert collect 11 from five rides in Lejonen’s 49-41 win over Piraterna, and then repeat that score in a narrow 43-47 defeat at Vetlanda on Thursday.
Lambert’s side are fourth in the table at the halfway stage, four points behind leaders Smederna, who lost 48-42 at Dackarna but then defeated Vastervik 52-38 on Thursday with Gleb Chugunov scoring a paid maximum.
Dackarna are second, with Vastervik third after a 52-38 win over Indianerna before their defeat to the leaders.
Elsewhere, Vetlanda grabbed a 46-44 win at Masarna, with two victories in a week leaving them fifth and very firmly in contention, whilst Rospiggarna edged out bottom side Piraterna 45-44, and Indianerna drew 45-45 with Masarna.