DUDEK: FIGHTING AND FOCUSED FOR SGP MEDAL RACE
Polish star Patryk Dudek strengthens FIM Speedway Grand Prix medal bid with AZTORIN Slovenian SGP win in Krsko.
09 / 09 / 2018, 00:17
Polish star Patryk Dudek insisted “I’m fighting, I’ll stay focused and we’ll see what happens” as he stepped up his medal bid with AZTORIN Slovenian FIM Speedway Grand Prix victory in Krsko on Saturday.
The Zielona Gora and Dackarna man claimed his second career SGP success after seeing off world champion Jason Doyle, Greg Hancock and Fredrik Lindgren to win the final.
Dudek is now fifth in the World Championship on 84 points – just five behind third-placed fellow countryman Maciej Janowski and Lindgren in fourth, who are tied on 89 with two rounds remaining.
It’s a tough season in the GP. One meeting and you can have a big change. I’m fighting, I’ll stay focused and we’ll see what happens.
After finishing second in his SGP debut season last year, Dudek is in the hunt for what would be an impressive second straight rostrum finish.
But he’s determined to take it meeting by meeting, starting at the German SGP in Teterow on September 22, with the final round on home shale at the Torun SGP on October 6.
He said: “It’s sport and I need more points. Then maybe after the last Grand Prix, I will stand on the podium. But we will see. I’ll focus on the next meeting and we need to wait and see.
“It’s not too bad, but it is very tight overall. It’s a tough season in the GP. One meeting and you can have a big change. I’m fighting, I’ll stay focused and we’ll see what happens.”
Dudek admits lightening starts were critical in Krsko as he won his final three races to top the box, despite having to deliver from a difficult gate two in his final regular heat and semi. He said: “It was a tough meeting. The starts were important today and racing on the good line on the track.
“But when you have a good sprocket on the bike and you were good from the start, it was an easy night. We worked hard all the time in the pits. And the result was brilliant so I am happy.
“When you race in the semi-final and you know you don’t have a good gate, you just have to close your eyes and drop your clutch at the good moment. I tried and did it.”
Elated Aussie star Doyle was pleased to reach his first rostrum of 2018 to storm into the World Championship’s top eight. The Newcastle-born ace admits his year as defending champion has been challenging so far.
He said: “It’s a massive honour to make a podium. It has been a tough year to dig deep and try to find the performance we had last year.
“We have really struggled, I guess with ourselves, nothing to do with the equipment. We just needed to make a lot of changes.
“After the world title last year, things have changed. I have a big target on my back. So it’s nice to finally get that trophy this year and hopefully it will be the start of me staying in the top eight.”
Third-placed Hancock was pleased to step up his SGP medal push – standing sixth on 81 and eight behind Janowski and Lindgren.
He said: “I want to win, but the win is pretty much out of the question as far as the overall championship.
“A medal spot is definitely not out of the question. It’s getting harder, but a couple more days like this and I am in striking distance. Things have to happen, as always, but I never give up.”
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Tai Woffinden 108, 2 Bartosz Zmarzlik 99, 3 Maciej Janowski 89, 4 Fredrik Lindgren 89, 5 Patryk Dudek 84, 6 Greg Hancock 81, 7 Artem Laguta 73, 8 Jason Doyle 70, 9 Emil Sayfutdinov 70, 10 Matej Zagar 61, 11 Nicki Pedersen 59, 12 Chris Holder 53, 13 Martin Vaculik 44, 14 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 32, 15 Craig Cook 30, 16 Niels-Kristian Iversen 14, 17 Szymon Wozniak 8, 18 Krzysztof Kasprzak 7, 19 Andreas Jonsson 7, 20 Vaclav Milik 6, 21 Peter Ljung 5, 22 Michael Jepsen Jensen 4, 23 Oliver Berntzon 3, 24 Maksym Drabik 2, 25 Bartosz Smektala 2, 26 Robert Lambert 1, 27 Mikkel Michelsen 1, 28 Joel Kling 1.
AZTORIN SLOVENIAN SGP SCORES: 1 Patryk Dudek 16, 2 Jason Doyle 17, 3 Greg Hancock 15, 4 Fredrik Lindgren 13, 5 Bartosz Zmarzlik 12, 6 Maciej Janowski 10, 7 Chris Holder 10, 8 Martin Vaculik 9, 9 Artem Laguta 7, 10 Nicki Pedersen 7, 11 Emil Sayfutdinov 5, 12 Niels-Kristian Iversen 5, 13 Craig Cook 5, 14 Tai Woffinden 5, 15 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 2, 16 Matic Ivacic 0, 17 Nick Skorja 0, 18 Denis Stojs DNR.