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HAMPEL READY FOR PRAGUE TEST

Polish skipper Jaroslaw Hampel knows his side faces a “10 times tougher” task in the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Final.

14 / 07 / 2013, 17:49

Polish skipper Jaroslaw Hampel knows his side faces a “10 times tougher” task in the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Final after winning Event 1 in Czestochowa at a canter on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts qualified automatically for the Final in Prague on Saturday after topping the rostrum on 48 points. Australia were second on 34 to qualify for the Race Off, which will also be staged in Prague, on Thursday. They are joined by qualifiers Latvia, who finished third on 27 to dump 2012 bronze medallists Russia out of the competition after they totalled 14.

The day very much belonged to the Poles. Hampel led their scorechart with a fantastic 14 points from five rides. Krzysztof Kasprzak and Maciej Janowski tied on 13 apiece.

FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship leader Patryk Dudek scored eight. He replaced 2010 world champion Tomasz Gollob on the morning of the meeting after the 42-year-old pulled out with a back injury sustained in a motocross session.

Hampel admits Poland enjoyed an easy ride at the SGP Arena Czestochowa. But he knows they face a far sterner test when they meet the winners of Event 2 at King’s Lynn on Monday, the top nation from the Race Off on Thursday and hosts, the Czech Republic, in the Final.

It’s going to be 10 times tougher in Prague. We know that and we’ll try to keep up our good performance.

Jaroslaw Hampel

He said: “We expected it to be tougher at Czestochowa, but we tried to keep going the best we could and in the end, we won pretty easily. It’s going to be 10 times tougher in Prague. We know that and we’ll try to keep up our good performance.”

Poland’s gating was a cut above that of their rivals and Hampel knows his team must maintain their fast starting to regain the Ove Fundin Trophy at the Marketa Stadium.

He said: “The most important thing in Prague is going to be to make a good jump from the start. We will go to Prague with good focus and try to race hard. We’ve got a great team spirit and we’ll do all we can to bring home the gold medals.”

Hampel was impressed with young gun Dudek, who races with him for Polish Ekstraliga club Zielona Gora. The Dackarna starlet suffered an engine failure on the last turn of heat seven while he was cruising to victory, but Hampel was delighted with his Monster Energy SWC debut.

He said: “Patryk had some engine trouble in one race, but when he didn’t make the gate he was pretty quick and tried to fight on the track.

“That was impressive and he did everything he could on the bike. He looked pretty fast and pretty good, so we’re looking really strong with him in the team.”

Asked whether he expected Gollob to return for the Final, Hampel replied: “I don’t know. We’ll need to ask our coach. He knows everything. I don’t know what will happen before the final.”

The Monster Energy SWC moves to Great Britain on Monday, when Event 2, featuring Team Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden and the USA, takes place at King’s Lynn (7.30pm start). Tickets are still available to be purchased at the Norfolk Arena.

MONSTER ENERGY SWC EVENT 1 SCORES:

POLAND 48: 1 Patryk Dudek 8, 2 Jaroslaw Hampel 14, 3 Krzysztof Kasprzak 13, 4 Maciej Janowski 13.

AUSTRALIA 34: 1 Davey Watt 1, 2 Jason Doyle 7, 3 Troy Batchelor 12, 4 Darcy Ward 14.

LATVIA 27: 1 Kasts Puodzuks 9, 2 Maksims Bogdanovs 11, 3 Vjaceslavs Giruckis 0, 4 Andzejs Lebedevs 7.

RUSSIA 14: 1 Viktor Kulakov 1, 2 Vladimir Borodulin 4, 3 Ilya Chalov 2, 4 Andrey Kudryashov 7.

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