Menu
Card image cap

KOLODZIEJ, IVERSEN AND LINDBACK INTO SGP 2019

Janusz Kolodziej admitted “it’s like a dream for me” as he joined Niels-Kristian Iversen and Antonio Lindback in qualifying for SGP 2019.

29 / 07 / 2018, 02:05

Polish racer Janusz Kolodziej admitted “it’s like a dream for me” as he joined Niels-Kristian Iversen and Antonio Lindback in qualifying for the 2019 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series.

Kolodziej, who last served as a full-time SGP star in 2011, topped the podium on 12 points at the GP Challenge in Landshut on Saturday night to end a seven-season absence from the sport’s biggest stage.

He’s joined by runner-up Iversen, who made it with a race to spare on 11 points to return to the series after just a year out.

At the moment, it’s like a dream for me! Every rider wants to ride in Speedway GP, but now I know I can race in it next year. This is very important for me.

Janusz Kolodziej

And Swedish star Antonio Lindback also returns after a season away after dramatically roaring around current SGP rider Craig Cook to win a tense run-off, with the pair tying on 10 points after five rides.

Two-time FIM Speedway World Cup winner and three-time Polish champion Kolodziej can’t wait to have another shot at SGP success. And after realising his ambition of getting back into the big time, the Tarnow-born ace is already plotting for a successful return in 2019.

He said: “At the moment, it’s like a dream for me! Every rider wants to ride in Speedway GP, but now I know I can race in it next year. This is very important for me.

“Now I have to really think because I must change many things to produce good racing in the GP and be a good rider. But this is very good for me because maybe I will be a better rider. I look at when I rode in the GP and see what mistakes I made now. It’s easier for me because I know what I must change, I want to try it and now I can.”

Former world No.3 Iversen is elated to have put a year of shoulder-injury strife behind him by overcoming the Challenge for the fourth time in his career. He said: “It was good. I am really, really happy about the result. These meetings are always difficult – very tough and very cutthroat. But I am very happy I made the cut and I’m back in the game for next season.

“This is the fourth time I have qualified now. I have won the Challenge twice and I came third in 2012 and second in this one.

“I know what we have to do now. There is a long time to prepare for next season. It has been a tough time since I got injured last year and it has taken a long time to get back. Hopefully now I can just focus on building everything up and coming back strong.”

Lindback produced one of the moves of the meeting in the run-off as he broke Cook’s heart to put himself through to SGP 2019.

He said: “It was nice. It was hard work. The track was very difficult in the beginning, but I did a lot of hard work on it and finished up the meeting well. I am happy.

“I knew Craig was fast and he had a better start than I had. I needed to have a second plan and I was a little bit lucky he stayed on the inside, so I could go around him.

“Now I have qualified, I want to finish up this season first and then I will start to think about next year.”

Kolodziej, Iversen and Lindback will be joined in SGP 2019 by the top eight riders in this year’s World Championship, plus four permanent wild cards chosen by the SGP Commission.

GP CHALLENGE SCORES: 1 Janusz Kolodziej 12, 2 Niels-Kristian Iversen 11, 3 Antonio Lindback 10+3, 4 Craig Cook 10+2, 5 Robert Lambert 9, 6 Piotr Pawlicki 9, 7 Max Fricke 8, 8 Martin Smolinski 8, 9 Jack Holder 8, 10 Kenneth Bjerre 7, 11 Vaclav Milik 7, 12 David Bellego 7, 13 Hans Andersen 6, 14 Kevin Wolbert 5, 15 Matej Zagar 2, 16 Max Dilger 1, 17 Krzysztof Kasprzak 0, 18 Valentin Grobauer 0.

 

Card image cap

EKSTRALIGA | KUBERA ON FORM AS FINAL OPENER ENDS EVEN

Dominik Kubera racked up a sensational 16 paid 17 points for Lublin as they held Wroclaw to a 45-45 draw in the Ekstraliga final, first leg.

Card image cap

MADSEN: DANES CAN GRAB SON GOLD

Danish racer Leon Madsen insists his country can claim Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations gold in Manchester “on a perfect day”.

Card image cap

LINDGREN: GAME ON FOR BRONZE

Swedish ace Freddie Lindgren insists “it’s still game on for the bronze medal” as he chases his second straight rostrum finish.

Card image cap

ELITSERIEN | WOFFY LEADS DACKARNA INTO SEMIS

Great Britain racer Tai Woffinden roared to 13 points for Dackarna as they booked their place in the Bauhaus Elitserien semi-finals.

Card image cap

LEMON: DOYLE HITTING FORM

Australian team manager Mark Lemon believes Jason Doyle is racing into form after starring in his country's Monster Energy SON Semi-Final.

Card image cap

TALKING DIRT EPISODE 10 | WATCH NOW

Talking Dirt: Fuelled by Monster Energy heads to the GP Challenge in Zarnovica, Slovakia

Card image cap

PRZEDPELSKI’S SGP PREVIEW IN TORUN

Torun favourite Pawel Przedpelski named as wild card for eWinner Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland double-header.

Card image cap

MONSTER ENERGY SON FINAL DRAW CONFIRMED

Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Final draw hands Great Britain two Aussie finales.