EUROPEAN PREVIEW - SEC / Ekstraliga
Great Britain’s Dan Bewley will be straight into action in Round 3 of the Speedway Euro Championship in Gdansk on Saturday.
Image courtesy of Taylor Lanning Photography
Bewley lines up in Heat 1 at the coastal venue as the series moves beyond its halfway stage, with that opening race also featuring Mikkel Michelsen, Jacob Thorssell and Patrick Hansen.
The Belle Vue man starts the meeting fifth in the overall standings – which would be enough for automatic qualification for 2022 – but he is just four points off second place at this stage.
The all-British clash between Bewley and Robert Lambert takes place in Heat 5 and also involves Sergey Logachev and title contender Leon Madsen, with Lambert facing a crucial meeting as he looks to make his way back up the leaderboard.
Piotr Pawlicki takes a five-point lead into the event following his win in Gustrow, as the series visits Gdansk for the first time since the very first round under the current format in 2013, with that meeting won by Emil Sayfutdinov.
Current home rider Krystian Pieszczek takes the Wild Card position, and Nicki Pedersen is expected back from injury after missing Round 2.
In the PGE Eksraliga, Round 11 of 14 features one of the biggest crunch matches of the season, and Lambert will be fully involved.
Torun head to Grudziadz on Sunday afternoon with both teams fighting to retain their top flight status, with Torun on five points and the hosts on four.
The first target for Torun would be to secure the bonus point, and they lead 55-35 from their home match, as that would ensure they remain above their rivals with three matches to go.
And given that Grudziadz finish the campaign with tough away trips to Leszno and Lublin, and then a home clash with Czestochowa, a positive result for Torun on Sunday would all-but seal their survival.
Lambert is set to take his usual No.8 position for Torun, meaning his first race will be in Heat 3 up against the home side’s strongest pairing of Pedersen and Kenneth Bjerre, and he will meet Pedersen again in Heat 13.
The other team in the relegation mix are Zielona Gora, who have six points as they head to Lublin on Friday afternoon, having lost the reverse clash between the sides by two points.
Lublin are one of three teams on 14 points either side of the play-off cut-off line, and a fascinating Friday evening fixture will see second-placed Gorzow travel to Czestochowa, who dramatically won the reverse fixture 46-44 and could therefore take all three points from the meeting.
And a potential Sunday evening blockbuster sees leaders Wroclaw visit Leszno, another team on 14 points, with all outcomes possible as the scoreline from the first meeting was 47-43 in Wroclaw’s favour.
Tai Woffinden lines up at No.1 for the visitors leading to an immediate clash with Sayfutdinov in Heat 1, with Artem Laguta and Jaimon Lidsey also thrown into the mix.
Bewley’s first appearance will be in Heat 4 up against Leszno specialist Janusz Kolodziej, and the GB riders race together in Heat 11 against Sayfutdinov and Jason Doyle.
In Division One, in-form leaders Ostrow can take another step to securing top spot if they win at Krosno, whilst Rybnik could take advantage of any slip-up if they defeat Lodz at home.
Gdansk hold the fourth play-off place ahead of their trip to Bydgoszcz, whilst the bottom two meet as scoreless Tarnow visit Gniezno, with the visitors facing likely relegation.
Division Two’s top three clubs are all without fixtures this weekend, with fourth-placed Poznan travelling to Daugavpils on Sunday, whilst Saturday’s fixture sees the bottom two meet with Rzeszow hosting Wittstock.
This week’s Swedish Elitserien action featured a massive 67-23 win for Dackarna against a heavily weakened Piraterna side, with four riders scoring maximums. Meanwhile Smederna remained top of the table with a 57-33 win over Vetlanda, whilst Lambert collected eight points to help Lejonen to a 49-41 win at his former club Masarna. Vastervik defeated Rospiggarna 50-40 in the week’s other fixture