DUDEK UP FOR SECOND-SEASON TEST
Patryk Dudek expects his second SGP season to be “tougher than the first” and admitted “I will be happy if I keep my spot in the series."
12 / 03 / 2018, 12:35
World No.2 Patryk Dudek expects his second FIM Speedway Grand Prix season to be “tougher than the first” and admitted “I will be happy if I keep my spot in the series.”
The Zielona Gora blazed to the silver medal in an unforgettable debut series – the best performance by a new rider since the series was launched in 1995.
That will inevitably put him among the World Championship favourites for 2018 in the eyes of many, but Dudek is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and knows his 2017 heroics will be hard to repeat.
I want to stay in the Grand Prix series for a long time. I know I can do more and do better than in 2017, but it doesn’t have to be in 2018.
He said: “I want to say it now – it will be a different story in 2018. As I said, I was second in 2017, but the second year can be tougher than the first.
“I will be happy if I keep my spot in the series. I know I’m still a young rider and have a lot of years in front of me.
“I hope another success will come, but I will not put pressure on myself here and now. I want to keep my mind as before – be safe and have fun and then all the other stuff will come.
“Of course I also know only one rider was better than me in 2017.
"I was the closest to Jason Doyle, but the other guys also want to win, so I have to be focused and not put pressure on myself.”
At just 25, Dudek knows he has plenty more chances to become world champion. The Polish international said: “I want to stay in the Grand Prix series for a long time. I know I can do more and do better than in 2017, but it doesn’t have to be in 2018.
“I want to keep my position in the series, have fun and be safe. Then the rest will come. The top eight is my main goal this year.”
Dudek admits he didn’t expect his sensational debut year which inked his name in the history books as the best SGP debutant ever.
“I hope it will be a compulsory subject in the history books at school!” he joked. “To be honest it's really nice to know that, but it could have been better. One rider was higher than me.
“The first year always is a big unknown, and now it could be tough to repeat that result.
“As I said before the 2017 season – I wanted to enjoy my racing, make my fans, team and sponsors happy, and be healthy. Then everything else would come from that. Everything went okay in most meetings. In a few, it could have been better. But I’m happy with my score and result.”
Dudek may be modest but the Falubaz fans weren’t shy in letting him know how proud they were.
The Bydgoszcz-born ace arrived back at Zielona Gora’s stadium to a raucous welcome as scores of fans braved the cold weather to greet him home on his return from Melbourne last October.
“As everyone knows, Zielona Gora fans are amazing,” Dudek said. “But this was a big shock! It was so cold outside and they waited for me for a lot of hours in freezing weather.
“I also lost my luggage at Berlin airport so I was late to the party. But it was a really nice feeling and I appreciate it. If they do something like this when I get silver, I can’t imagine what they will do if I win gold!”