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SGP 2018 REVIEW | BOLL WARSAW SGP OF POLAND

SpeedwayGP.com looks back at a great year of action in SGP 2018. We get started with the BOLL Warsaw SGP of Poland on May 12.

02 / 11 / 2018, 14:51

SpeedwayGP.com looks back at a great year of action in SGP 2018. We get started with the BOLL Warsaw SGP of Poland on May 12.

This year’s FIM Speedway Grand Prix series started in spectacular style at PGE Narodowy – sold-out stadium, electric atmosphere and spectacular racing in the Polish capital.

And the year began in exactly the same way it finished as Great Britain hero Tai Woffinden won in Warsaw for the second time in his career to launch himself on his way to an historic third world title.

Even the race for the semis was tense as Russian star Emil Sayfutdinov and American legend Greg Hancock both missed the cut on eight points – usually enough to make it through.

It was a rough introduction to life as reigning world champion for Jason Doyle as he managed only five points, while the recurrence of a hand injury for Nicki Pedersen saw his night end on two.

But the semis were tense and featured an impressive SGP return from Russian racer Artem Laguta.

The 2010 GP Challenge winner reached just one semi in 2011 as he struggled to make his mark in the World Championship. But after qualifying as runner-up at the 2017 GP Challenge in Togliatti, he wasted no time taking on the sport’s elite with an exhibition of lightening starts.

He came out on top in an epic showdown with Woffinden in semi-final two as the pair booked their place in the final – joining Freddie Lindgren and Maciej Janowski, who made it through semi one.

Round one of 10 it may have been, but the stakes were massive as four riders bid to make a dream start to SGP 2018.

It appeared Laguta was about to do just that when he roared clear from the start in the blue helmet. But holding the lead in an Ekstraliga race is one thing; he was about to realise keeping control of an SGP final is a different proposition.

Woffinden neatly worked his way around the Russian on the back straight. With Laguta attempting to block the Brit, there was nothing he could do to stop Janowski surging up the inside.

Magic forced his way into a popular lead on lap two sending PGE Narodowy crazy as the home fans roared for Warsaw’s first Polish winner.

But he couldn’t deny Woffinden as his Wroclaw team mate powered around the outside going into lap three to hit the front and claim the win – shortly before Lindgren nipped past Laguta for third on the night.

It was enough to hand the Swede top spot in the early World Championship standings as he finished on 16 points to Woffinden’s 15. But it was the Lions hero who heard his national anthem at PGE Narodowy to herald the eighth SGP win of his career.

 

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