EUROPEAN PREVIEW - PGE Ekstraliga
Great Britain duo Tai Woffinden and Dan Bewley face a testing weekend on the road with two away Ekstraliga fixtures for Wroclaw in the space of three days.
Image courtesy of Taylor Lanning Photography
Both riders were in good form in the recent home win over Torun, which got their side off to a winning start in their opening match of the campaign.
After a week off due to poor weather, Wroclaw head to Grudziadz on Friday for a meeting initially postponed due to Covid earlier in the month.
Last season it was the scene of an emphatic 54-36 victory for the visitors, with Woffinden collecting 12 points from five rides whilst Gleb Chugunov starred at reserve.
Wroclaw then make the long trip to Lublin on Sunday, and the scene of one of their most disappointing results of the 2020 when they went down to a 51-39 defeat although they did salvage the bonus point.
Woffinden was top-scorer in that meeting with 13+1 from six rides but they had no answer to Grigory Laguta who scored a 15-point maximum.
However, in 2019 Wroclaw did manage a notable away win despite Woffinden being withdrawn with injury after a clash with Laguta, which caused him to miss the Speedway of Nations Final.
Lublin lost their opening match of the season at Gorzow but are boosted by the availability of new signing Dominik Kubera, whose protracted move from Leszno has now gone through after the opening of the transfer window.
It comes at a good time as they race twice at home in three days, with the Wroclaw fixture preceded by the visit of Czestochowa on Friday.
European Champion Robert Lambert is also back in action this weekend as Torun get ready to face a tough trip to Leszno on Saturday.
It hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the visitors in recent years, and they crashed to an embarrassing 64-26 defeat at the Alfred Smoczyk Stadium in 2019 – although they did pick up a 46-44 away win six years ago.
But on that occasion their last-heat hero was Jason Doyle, who now lines up in the home side’s colours!
Lambert is again set to appear at No.8 for Torun, in a meeting which will see him go up against fellow Grand Prix racers Doyle and Emil Sayfutdinov.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Czestochowa follow up their trip to Lublin with a home match against Zielona Gora – a meeting which saw the visitors pull off a shock 47-43 victory last season.
Meanwhile Sunday’s clash between Grudziadz and Gorzow looks set to see the visitors include Danish youngster Markus Birkemose for the first time.
The early leaders will be looking to make it three wins out of three at a venue where they lost narrowly last season in a meeting abandoned after nine races due to rain.
In Division One, the only meeting to be completed last weekend saw Bydgoszcz secure a comfortable 54-35 win over Tarnow with Vadim Tarasenko, David Bellego and Adrian Gala all dropping just one point to an opponent.
Rohan Tungate won his first three races for the visitors but was then red-carded out of the meeting by the referee after clashing with Andreas Lyager, and he will now miss the home encounter with Gniezno on Monday.
The weekend action begins with Gdansk v Bydgoszcz on Saturday, followed by Ostrow v Krosno – whilst Lodz host Rybnik on Sunday.