EUROPEAN PREVIEW - SGP Teterow
After Martin Vaculik’s victory in the Czech Republic last week, the race for the World Championship immediately heads to Germany and the Bergring Arena this Saturday.
Image courtesy of Steve Hone Photography
The German GP is the fourth of this season’s ten rounds and is an event which has been on the calendar since 2016, excluding a break in 2020-21 due to the Covid pandemic.
Previous winners in this year’s field are Jason Doyle, who won the inaugural event, Tai Woffinden in 2018, Maciej Janowski in 2019 and Patryk Dudek last season.
World Champion and current series leader Bartosz Zmarzlik has never won in Teterow, although he has reached the Final on four occasions, finishing runner-up three times.
Second-placed Fredrik Lindgren finished third last year but is also yet to top the rostrum at the German venue.
Woffinden is looking to bounce back from a tough night in Prague with his 2018 victory at Teterow helping him on the way to his third World title. He made the Semi-Finals last year, something he has achieved in three of his five visits.
Dan Bewley and Robert Lambert are currently level in the series on 32 points apiece, and both made the Semi-Finals last year, with Bewley finishing in fifth place.
Lambert meanwhile raced all the way to the Final for the first time in his career, finishing fourth in that race.
Bewley and Lambert trail third placed Jack Holder in the series by 10 points, with Woffinden a further eight in arrears, and strong performances are required in Germany as the series heads towards the halfway stage.
It’s also a busy weekend in the PGE Ekstraliga with the Round 9 fixtures starting at Wroclaw as the unbeaten leaders, including Bewley and Woffinden, take on bottom club Grudziadz.
The bonus point is also expected to be collected by the home side, who won the reverse fixture 48-42, and the visitors include GP rider Max Fricke and incoming Peterborough signing Vadim Tarasenko.
Elsewhere on Friday, third placed Gorzow will expect to claim the points against Krosno, with three GP riders – Vaculik, Anders Thomsen and Jason Doyle involved in the meeting.
They also lead 28-26 for the aggregate point after the controversially abandoned fixture in Krosno last month which led to track penalties for the Ekstraliga newcomers.
Lambert will follow up the German GP with a tough match for Torun at his former club Lublin, who remain second in the table despite their surprise defeat at Grudziadz last week.
The reverse fixture was a thriller with Lambert the hero in a 46-44 win, and the meeting will see him once again go up against Zmarzlik.
Meanwhile there is a mid-table contest between Czestochowa and Leszno, with the home side seeking a double after winning on the road 49-41 last month.
In Division One, the leaders Zielona Gora look to keep up their unbeaten record when they travel to sixth-placed Ostrow on Sunday evening.
Their only real challengers for top spot are Bydgoszcz, who will be looking for an away win at Poznan, whilst Rybnik are currently third but only one point ahead of Lodz who they visit on Saturday.
The other fixture on Sunday sees Landshut looking to move off the bottom of the table with a home match against Gdansk. There are no meetings in Division Two this weekend.
In the Swedish Bauhaus-Ligan, Woffinden was in good form with 10+3 in Vastervik’s convincing 60-30 win at home to Piraterna on Tuesday.
But the main drama was in Malilla where the other British riders went head to head, and Bewley and Lambert both scored 10+2 from five rides as Dackarna edged their clash with Smederna 46-44.
Lambert, who was unbeaten after failing to finish Heat 1, helped to put Smederna ahead with a 5-1 in Heat 14 alongside Maksym Drabik – but Dackarna hit back in the last race through Bewley and Janowski who took a maximum over Kacper Woryna and Jaimon Lidsey.
The other fixture on Tuesday saw Indianerna race to a convincing 54-36 win at Rospiggarna, led by Doyle with 13 points from five rides.
In the Polish U24 Ekstraliga, Krosno remained top of the table with a 47-43 win at Leszno, whilst Leon Flint scored 4+2 for Ostrow in their 53-37 win over Wroclaw – for whom Connor Bailey impressed with eight points.
Jason Edwards scored 4+1 in a narrow 46-44 win for Grudziadz at home to Gorzow, whilst Czestochowa were 49-41 winners at Lublin.