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FIM Speedway Grand Prix star Chris Harris survived a rain-soaked SGP qualifying semi in Terenzano to reach his third straight GP Challenge.

27 / 06 / 2015, 23:14

FIM Speedway Grand Prix star Chris Harris survived a rain-soaked SGP qualifying semi in Terenzano to reach his third straight GP Challenge.

The Cornishman, who flies the Union Jack in next Saturday’s Adrian Flux British SGP in Cardiff, finished fifth in Italy on nine points.

He is Great Britain’s sole representative in the last round of the SGP qualifiers at Rybnik on September 5, when a top-three finish will book him a World Championship return for 2016.

Track conditions challenged all 16 riders after rain lashed the northern Italian circuit - delaying the start by two hours.

Italian ace Nicolas Covatti didn't let the wet stuff slow him down and was the shock winner – dropping just one point to triumph on 14.

Polish brothers Przemyslaw and Piotr Pawlicki both made it into the GP Challenge field after finishing on 12 apiece, with Piotr winning a run-off for second, which his elder sibling didn't contest.

Czech shooting star Vaclav Milik qualified on 11. Freddie Lindgren and Kacper Gomolski beat Kim Nilsson in a run-off for the last two qualification berths after the trio tied on eight points apiece.

In-form Slovak rider Martin Vaculik made a shock exit on seven points, along with SGP regular Michael Jepsen Jensen. Last year’s New Zealand SGP winner Martin Smolinski missed out on five points.

In the other semi-final in Riga, Danish racer Leon Madsen stormed to victory on 14 points to book his place in Rybnik.

Ukrainian star Andrey Karpov shone in second place with 12 points. Latvia’s Kasts Puodzuks won a run-off for third with Ukrainian licence holder Aleksandr Loktaev as they both progressed on 10.

Monster Energy SWC winners Linus Sundstrom and Antonio Lindback both made the cut on nine, along with Latvia’s Maksims Bogdanovs.

Danish star Peter Kildemand endured a day to forget after crashing in his opening ride and being forced out of the meeting due to concussion. He expects to be fit to race after a few days of rest. Former SGP regular Kenneth Bjerre also missed out on five after a long overnight journey from a Polish Ekstraliga meeting in Tarnow.

GP CHALLENGE LINE-UP: Nicolas Covatti (Italy), Przemyslaw Pawlicki (Poland), Piotr Pawlicki (Poland), Vaclav Milik (Czech Republic), Chris Harris (Great Britain), Freddie Lindgren (Sweden), Kacper Gomolski (Poland), Leon Madsen (Denmark), Andrey Karpov (Ukraine), Kasts Puodzuks (Latvia), Aleksandr Loktaev (Ukraine), Linus Sundstrom (Sweden), Antonio Lindback (Sweden), Maksims Bogdanovs (Latvia), plus two wild cards.

RIGA SCORES: 1. Leon Madsen (Denmark) 14, 2. Andrey Karpov (Ukraine) 12, 3. Kasts Puodzuks (Latvia) 10+3, 4. Aleksandr Loktaev (Ukraine) 10+2, 5. Linus Sundstrom (Sweden) 9, 6. Antonio Lindback (Sweden) 9, 7. Maksims Bogdanovs (Latvia) 9, 8. Kevin Wolbert (Germany) 8, 9. Dakota North (Australia) 7, 10. Andzejs Lebedevs (Latvia) 7, 11. Peter Ljung (Sweden) 6, 12. Karol Baran 6 (Poland), 13. Kenneth Bjerre (Denmark) 5, 14. Miroslaw Jablonski (Poland) 4, 15. Ricky Wells (USA) 3, 16. Eduard Krcmar (Czech Republic) 1, 17. Peter Kildemand (Denmark) 0.

TERENZANO SCORES: 1 Nicolas Covatti (Italy) 14, 2 Piotr Pawlicki (Poland) 12+3, 3 Przemyslaw Pawlicki (Poland) 12+N, 4 Vaclav Milik (Czech Republic) 11, 5 Chris Harris (Great Britain) 9, 6 Freddie Lindgren (Sweden) 8+3, 7 Kacper Gomolski (Poland) 8+2, 8 Kim Nilsson (Sweden) 8+1, 9 Martin Vaculik (Slovakia) 7, 10 Michael Jepsen Jensen (Denmark) 7, 11 Jesper B Monberg (Denmark) 5, 12 Martin Smolinski (Germany) 5, 13 Jurica Pavlic (Croatia) 5, 14 Max Fricke (Australia) 4, 15 Sam Masters (Australia) 4, 16 David Bellego (France) 1, 17 Justin Sedgmen (Australia) DNR, 18 Alessandro Milanese (Italy) DNR. 


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