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SGP 2018 REVIEW | ANLAS CZECH SGP

SpeedwayGP.com looks back at the nights that decided the 2018 FIM Speedway World Championship. Today, we review the ANLAS Czech SGP.

09 / 11 / 2018, 15:19

SpeedwayGP.com looks back at the nights that decided the 2018 FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship. Today, we review the ANLAS Czech SGP in Prague on May 26.

The stakes are always higher when the sport’s biggest stars head to Marketa Stadium. Not only are SGP points up for grabs, the sport’s ultimate lucky omen is on the line.

With nine out of the last 14 Prague winners prior to 2018 going on to become world champion in the same season, the race was on to see who could claim a huge psychological boost in the battle for SGP gold.

Freddie Lindgren went into the meeting with a one-point lead over BOLL Warsaw SGP winner Tai Woffinden. But the Brit quickly levelled things up when he won heat one with the Swede in hot pursuit.

Woffy proved the man to beat throughout the heats as he dropped just a point on his way to 14 from a possible 15, with only Russian racer Artem Laguta lowering his colours in race 15.

Lindgren, in contrast, had to do things the hard way. Three seconds and a third left him with work to do going into his final heat. But he delivered a huge win over Emil Sayfutdinov, Jason Doyle and Laguta in race 17 to book his place in the last eight.

The Swede faced down Woffinden, Doyle and Pedersen in semi-final one. His fans feared his night was over when Pedersen crashed as Lindgren dived under him on turn three, prompting referee Krister Gardell to hit the red lights.

But it was the Dane who was disqualified, handing Lindgren a huge reprieve. He took full advantage as he blasted past Doyle and then leader Woffinden to join the Brit in the final.

The second semi saw Patryk Dudek and Emil Sayfutdinov get the better of Laguta and Maciej Janowski to complete the final line-up. With Dudek winning three heats on the bounce, he went into the medal race with huge momentum.

But Lindgren was not going to be denied as he lit the fuse on the World Championship race.

Dudek made a sensational start and Lindgren took up second. Woffinden had the pace to roar around his former Wolverhampton team mate, but the Andorra-based star snapped his nose off coming out of bend two, almost felling the Brit.

A furious Woffinden pulled up, but Lindgren didn’t make a backward glance. He had Dudek in his sights with the added complication of Sayfutdinov cranking up the pressure as Sweden’s finest took to the dirt.

Dudek rode a flawless three laps, but Lindgren produced an even better final lap. He wound his speed up on the outside, before roaring spectacularly around his rival on the run to the line, stealing the win by a wheel.

Lindgren was unable to convert his Czech triumph into a world title. But he did land his first ever World Championship medal, and the world No.3’s Prague heroics suggest he could go even better in SGP 2019.

 

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