EUROPEAN PREVIEW - FIME U23
Great Britain’s youngsters take centre stage this weekend as they compete at Pardubice in their semi-final of the European U23 Team Championship.
Image courtesy of Steve Hone Photography
Simon Stead’s side will have high hopes of progression, with their biggest challenge likely to come from host nation Czech Republic. The line-up is completed by France and a Team Europe side after Holland withdrew.
Dan Bewley, Tom Brennan, Drew Kemp and Jordan Palin make up the GB team for Saturday’s event, with the second semi-final taking place in Norway next month and the Final at Polish venue Krakow in early October.
Meanwhile Chris Harris is the latest GB rider to go for progress in the Speedway Euro Championship, as he races in the third and final qualifier at Hungarian venue Nagyhalasz, with five places available for the SEC Challenge at Krsko.
Likely contenders in the line-up include former rostrum finisher Vaclav Milik, French star David Bellego and Poland’s Dominik Kubera.
Midweek action in Poland focused on the Under-24 Ekstraliga, with Jordan Palin scoring an impressive 11+3 from five rides in Torun’s 63-27 win over Lublin.
There were two tight matches as Anders Rowe scored 8+2 from five rides in Gorzow’s 45-44 win at Grudziadz, Jason Edwards scoring four for the home side, whilst Leszno and Ostrow drew 45-45.
Wroclaw raced to a 50-40 win at Czestochowa with three British riders involved, the highest scorer being Jordan Jenkins with seven for the hosts. Sam Hagon added 1+1, whilst Jack Smith scored two for the visitors.
In Sweden, there was no meeting for Smederna meaning Bewley and Robert Lambert were inactive, whilst Adam Ellis scored 4+2 from three rides in Dackarna’s 49-41 defeat at Masarna.
He was then racing in the UK on Thursday when they went down to a 44-46 home defeat to Lejonen with a Heat 14 5-1 from Bartosz Zmarzlik and Oliver Berntzon key to the away win.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, Piraterna edged out Rospiggarna 48-42, whilst Indianerna and Vastervik drew 45-45 thanks to a last heat win for the visitors’ Fredrik Lindgren.
In Denmark, Tai Woffinden helped Esbjerg to their third win of the season with 11+1, including three race victories, in their 53-31 success over Grindsted, with Matias Nielsen scoring a six-ride paid maximum.
The PGE Ekstraliga resumes this weekend, and Lublin will expect to make it six wins out of six when they visit bottom club Ostrow in Friday’s first fixture.
The second match on Friday sees Czestochowa host Grudziaz, who are set to be without Nicki Pedersen due to rib and lung damage after a crash in Denmark on Wednesday.
Lambert will be in action for Torun as they visit Leszno, who hold second place in the league table following their amended result victory over Gorzow, who travel to Wroclaw on Sunday evening.
The reigning champions are down in fifth place – one of four sides on four points – but it’s always an eagerly anticipated clash involving GP riders Bewley, Woffinden and Maciej Janowski for the hosts, up against Bartosz Zmarzlik, Martin Vaculik and Anders Thomsen for the visitors.
Zielona Gora lead the way in Division One and host Bydgoszcz on Sunday in a clash of the top two, whilst third placed Krosno race away from home at Gniezno on Monday after their track controversy last week.
Elsewhere in the second tier, Landshut host Lodz on Saturday, and Sunday’s other fixture is Gdansk v Rybnik.
In Division Two, Ellis is in action on Sunday for Daugavpils at home to Rawicz, who include Brennan in their team line-up. Leaders Poznan host third-paced Opole on Saturday, whilst bottom club Rzeszow travel to Pila.