EUROPEAN PREVIEW - SGP Sweden / Elitserien
Tai Woffinden will be on his new home Swedish track when the FIM World Championship heads to Dackarna this weekend.
Woffinden has recently joined the club for the Elitserien run-in, after a previous association in 2012, although he is yet to race a home meeting in their colours.
However, the Skrotfrag Arena circuit will be a familiar one for the majority of the Grand Prix regulars, as it has been on the calendar since way back in 2005 – making a welcome return this year after being absent in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Jason Crump won the first GP to take place at the venue whist Woffinden himself triumphed in 2014 when he defeated Greg Hancock, Chris Holder and Jarek Hampel in the Final.
He was then second to Nicki Pedersen in 2015 but has not reached a Final there since that occasion.
After three double-headers so far this season, just the one event is staged this time with the Wild Card place for Saturday’s Round 7 going to Pontus Aspgren. Meanwhile Dominik Kubera gets another call-up after his successful weekend in Lublin, this time as third reserve due to Martin Vaculik’s injury and the unavailability of Aleksandr Loktaev (travel restrictions) and Jaimon Lidsey (concussion).
Woffinden is sixth in the standings on 65 points, and whilst the top two of Bartosz Zmarzlik (101) and Artem Laguta (100) may prove be out of range, Fredrik Lindgren’s (80) third place is still a realistic target.
Meanwhile Robert Lambert starts the event in 11th place on 41 points, and should clear the injured Vaculik this weekend. He is also just six points off Jason Doyle, and eleven behind Max Fricke.
Woffinden made his return to Elitserien racing this week – but he couldn’t prevent a narrow defeat for Dackarna at Smederna.
The leaders won 46-44 in a dramatic finish which saw Grigory Laguta and Pontus Aspgren take a 5-1 in the last race over Woffinden, who scored seven points, and a previously unbeaten Doyle.
Smederna themselves were edged out 46-44 at Rospiggarna on Thursday, but they still hold a handy six-point lead at the top of the table.
Vastervik are second after winning 47-43 at Masarna, whilst at the other end of the table Indianerna won 47-43 at Piraterna, for whom Adam Ellis scored 3+2 from five rides.
This weekend’s action centres on the concluding round of Polish Division One fixtures, and the race for the final play-off place.
The critical matches take place on Sunday, with Bydgoszcz needing to match the result of Gdansk if they are to hold on to fourth spot.
But Gdansk can be fully expected to take a maximum haul as they race at home to bottom club Tarnow, where victory will give them all three points.
That would put all the pressure on Bydgoszcz, who travel to third-placed Ostrow, where a win would also be enough for the bonus point as they won the reverse fixture 46-44.
The battle for top spot, meanwhile, be resolved on Monday when the top two meet with Krosno hosting Rybnik.
The sides are level on 22 points, which is a remarkable turnaround for Krosno from the opening weekend of the season when they were hammered 63-27 in the reverse fixture.
There are also key fixtures in Division Two with the top two both at home as Opole (21) and Rawicz (20) take on the sides vying for fourth place, Rzeszow (11) and Daugavpils (13) respectively.
Third-placed Landshut (16) are without a meeting and all of the contenders will have one match to go after this weekend. Meanwhile point-less Wittstock complete their schedule at second-bottom Poznan.