ZMARZLIK'S SILVER LINING
Bartosz Zmarzlik insists he’s content with Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations silver after coming within four laps of gold in Togliatti.
23 / 07 / 2019, 12:25
Polish international Bartosz Zmarzlik insists he’s content with Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations silver after coming within four laps of gold in Togliatti last weekend.
Zmarzlik produced arguably the individual performance of the weekend, dropping just one point from a possible 36 as Poland defied the loss of Maciej Janowski to top the scorechart and reach the Grand Final.
He couldn’t quite grab the win when it mattered most as a sublime start from Emil Sayfutdinov and Artem Laguta saw Russia pip the Poles to glory and win their second straight world title.
I don’t think that we have brought shame on ourselves. On the contrary, we have improved in comparison to the first edition of the Speedway of Nations in Wroclaw, where Poland took bronze. Now it is silver, so there is progress.
Zmarzlik refused to be downbeat after the event, and was pleased with what was an impressive debut performance at the Anatoly Stepanov Stadium.
He told Przeglad Sportowy: “I just lost the start. Emil Sayfutdinov and Artem Laguta quickly ran away and that’s it. With such good riders, there was nothing to be done.
“Overall, however, I am happy with my performance in Russia. I competed on this track for the first time in my career, and very quickly I managed to adjust the settings of the engines to the track.
“On the second day, I also did not look worse than the competitors who race there regularly.”
Zmarzlik was pleased to earn his first Monster Energy SON medal as Poland built on the bronze they claimed in 2018.
He added: “This medal is very important to me because I know how hard I had to fight for it.
“In the current formula for the world championship, only one race decides it, and speedway is just a sport.
“I don’t think that we have brought shame on ourselves. On the contrary, we have improved in comparison to the first edition of the Speedway of Nations in Wroclaw, where Poland took bronze. Now it is silver, so there is progress. I'm happy because it is the first medal of my career in this competition.”
Some were surprised when the Poles picked gates two and four instead of one and three with team manager Marek Cieslak hinting that this was his riders’ preference and not his.
But Zmarzlik declined to be drawn on whether being on the inside would have made a difference. He added: “It's hard to say what would happen, but maybe our starts would look better. However, there is no point crying over spilled milk. We have silver and we have to enjoy it.”