SEC Final Review / Weekend Preview
Great Britain’s Dan Bewley enjoyed a stunning debut in the Speedway Euro Championship with third place at Bydgoszcz on Wednesday.
Image courtesy of Taylor Lanning Photography
And Bewley could even have been celebrating an incredible victory only for the Final to be stopped just as he appeared to have taken the lead.
Bewley charged inside Piotr Pawlicki going into the third bend of lap three, but behind them there was a clash between Mikkel Michelsen and Leon Madsen which resulted in Madsen crashing hard at the end of the back straight.
Michelsen was excluded and in the re-run it was Madsen who got the better of Pawlicki from the back, with Bewley having to be content with third.
But it was another hugely encouraging performance from the youngster who showed great speed and track craft, and opened the meeting with two consecutive wins.
He scored ten points from his five qualifying rides and then made a brilliant start to win the Last Chance race-off as Patryk Dudek inside him failed to get off the start-line.
With eleven in total from the meeting Bewley is only four points adrift of overall leader Pawlicki, with Michelsen (14) and Madsen (13) also ahead of him, and Dudek level on 11, as the series heads to Gustrow on June 26.
That meeting will see defending champion Robert Lambert look to regain ground on familiar territory, as he was left with eight points from the opener.
Lambert looked well placed himself with wins from his first two rides, but he than ran a last in Heat 12 when he was squeezed out by Madsen and couldn’t then get on terms with Vaclav Milik.
He then suffered bike trouble at the start of Heat 15, and second place in Heat 17 after a battle with Sergey Logachev wasn’t enough for progression – although the result was not disastrous to his overall hopes.
Attention this weekend switches to the World Championship with five Great Britain riders looking to book their place in the Grand Prix Challenge.
Bewley, Charles Wright and Lewis Kerr are all in action at Glasgow, where their opposition includes 2012 World Champion Chris Holder and reigning U21 Champion Jaimon Lidsey – whilst former Glasgow racer Rasmus Jensen is also likely to be a threat on his old home track, with only four qualifying places available.
Ellis races at Italian venue Terenzano in a meeting which includes SEC regulars Mikkel Michelsen, Patryk Dudek, Piotr Pawlicki, Kai Huckenbeck and Timo Lahti, as well as current GP man Max Fricke.
Lambert, meanwhile is at Gorican, Croatia where he will face his Torun team-mate Jack Holder and Leszno’s in-form former GP racer Janusz Kolodziej. The other qualifier is at Hungarian venue Nagyhalasz.
The PGE Ekstraliga has a week off from its full programme, but this has enabled last week’s rained-off Lublin v Gorzow fixture to be re-scheduled for this Sunday.
The meeting is well poised with Lublin fourth in the table, two points behind their visitors, who bring a 52-38 advantage for the bonus point into the meeting.
All eight Division One clubs race on Sunday with Gdansk, winners in Krosno on Monday, facing an immediate re-match at home as they look to gain ground on the leaders.
Second-placed Ostrow are at home to Lodz and third-placed Rynbik will expect a win at bottom club Tarnow, whilst there is a mid-table fixture between Gniezno and Bydgoszcz.
In Division Two, leaders Opole are at Poznan on Sunday whilst Ellis will look to help Rzeszow off the foot of the table at home to Landshut. Wittstock face Rawicz on Saturday.
In Sweden this week, Ellis scored four points from five rides for Piraterna in their 56-34 defeat at Indianerna.
Lejonen, with Lambert not racing, lost 40-50 at home to Dackarna, whilst Rospiggarna were beaten 53-37 at Smederna. Meanwhile Vastervik defeated Masarna 53-37.