23/04/2012, 11:08

German racer Martin Smolinski’s produced some last-heat heroics to earn his nation a spot in Event Two of the FIM Monster Energy Speedway World Cup at King’s Lynn on July 9.

Germany and Latvia were tied on 34 points going into heat 20 of the SWC qualifier at German track Herxheim on Sunday.

But the Birmingham rider got the better of Latvian racer Kjastas Puodzuks when it mattered most to send the hosts through by one point to meet Team Great Britain, Australia and the Czech Republic.

Max Dilger weighed in with 10 for the winners, who finished on 37 overall, while Tobias Kroner bagged nine and King’s Lynn’s Kevin Wolbert added six.

Puodzuks picked up 11 for the runners-up, who finished on a total of 36, while 2010 World Under-21 Championship bronze medallist Maks Bogdanovs tallied 10.

Eastbourne reserve Timo Lahti scored 11 to lead pre-meeting favourites Finland to third place on 29 points. Tero Aarnio collected 10, but it was clear the Finns missed the injured Joonas Kylmakorpi and the absent Kauko Nieminen.

France were fourth on 16 points. David Bellego top-scored for them with six.

The second qualifier sees Slovenia take on Italy, the Ukraine and the United States at Slovenian track Ljubljana on May 5.

World champion Greg Hancock will race for the Americans, who will also field 1996 SGP series winner Billy Hamill on his much-anticipated international comeback.

The winners progress to Event One on July 7 and meet Poland, Denmark and Russia.

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