EUROPEAN PREVIEW: SGP Qualifying Rounds
Adam Ellis will be the first British rider to compete in the Grand Prix qualifiers this season as he races at Abensberg on Monday.
Image courtesy of Steve Hone Photography
Ellis is one of four GB men involved at this stage of the competition, with Dan Bewley, Robert Lambert and Chris Harris all involved next weekend.
There are two events on Monday, one at Hungarian venue Debrecen, and one in Germany which features a strong line-up including three current GP riders.
Ellis faces opposition from Warsaw GP winner Max Fricke, former World No.2 Patryk Dudek and Danish star Anders Thomsen, as well as ex-World Champion Chris Holder and former GP man Piotr Pawlicki.
The Hungarian meeting includes Holder’s younger brother Jack, former World Under-21 Champion Bartosz Smektala and 2017 SEC winner Andzejs Lebedevs.
In the Under-24 Ekstraliga this week, Grudziadz were 55-35 winners over Torun in a meeting held over from the previous Round 5 schedule. Jason Edwards scored four points from four rides for the hosts, and Jordan Palin scored three from four for the visitors.
Smederna remain top of the Swedish Bauhas-Ligan after a 50-40 win at Indianerna on Tuesday.
Lambert won three races for the visitors to finish with 11+2 from five rides, whilst Bewley notched 7+1 including a win in his final outing. Kacper Woryna top-scored with 13+2 from six.
Vastervik are level on points with Smederna after two wins this week, as they were successful 48-42 at Dackarna and then defeated Lejonen 47-43 at home for the Gislaved club’s first defeat of the season.
Elsewhere, Lejonen’s Tuesday fixture saw them thrash Piraterna 55-35 with Mathais Thornblom scoring a 13+2 paid maximum at reserve, whilst Rospiggarna took a big 54-36 away win at Masarna.
Ekstraliga action resumes this weekend after last week’s break, and the outstanding match of the round is unbeaten Lublin’s home clash with Wroclaw on Sunday evening.
The home side have won all six matches so far and will look to reach the halfway stage with a perfect record, whilst Wroclaw go into the meeting fifth in the league table on six points.
Opposition for Bewley and Tai Woffinden will come from current GP racer Mikkel Michelsen, former World Under-21 Champion Maksym Drabik and last Friday’s SGP2 winner in Prague, Mateusz Cierniak, for a Lublin side who have proved super-solid so far this season.
Elsewhere on Sunday, second-placed Leszno will expect to keep pace with Lublin, if they can win at Grudziadz who are set to welcome top man Nicki Pedersen back after a short injury lay-off.
Lambert’s Torun side are sixth in the table on four points, two behind Czestochowa who they host on Friday, whilst Gorzow open the weekend’s racing against bottom side Ostrow, who have yet to score a point so far but do have Chris Holder in excellent form.
A busy weekend in Division One includes leaders Zielona Gora hosting Rybnik on Sunday, whilst second placed Krosno follow that fixture when they visit Landshut.
Local rivals Gniezno and Bydgoszcz meet twice in two days, at Gniezno on Saturday and then Bydgoszcz on Sunday in a Round 7 fixture, whilst Round 8’s schedule also features Gdansk v Lodz on Saturday.
In Division Two, Opole can take over at the top if they win at Pila on Saturday, which would then leave Poznan looking for a response at Daugavpils on Sunday, with Ellis lining up for the home side. Saturday also features a mid-table clash between Tarnow and Rawicz.