DUDEK'S FIGHT FOR SGP SURVIVAL
Polish star Patryk Dudek admits his fight for FIM Speedway Grand Prix survival in Torun was like a World Championship battle.
09 / 11 / 2019, 12:34
Polish star Patryk Dudek admits his fight for FIM Speedway Grand Prix survival in Torun was like a World Championship battle as he looks forward to 2020.
Dudek has plenty of reason to be cheerful ahead of the new season after signing a new contract with Polish giants Zielona Gora, with Danish team mate Michael Jepsen Jensen also extending his stay today.
The Bydgoszcz-born racer finished second in the 2017 SGP series and pushed Jason Doyle all the way for gold.
For me, this round was like a fight for the World Championship, but only to stay in the top eight.
Injury cost him his medal hopes last year and Dudek only just held on to eighth place after a tough end to this season, which saw him reach just two semi-finals in the final seven rounds, despite reaching three straight finals to open 2019.
Dudek was left sweating until the Revline Torun SGP final, which Niels-Kristian Iversen’s top-eight hopes finally ended – confirming the Pole’s place in SGP 2020.
While he was chasing the world title just two years ago, Dudek admits his qualification quest was every bit as tense.
He told Falubaz.com: “For me, this round was like a fight for the World Championship, but only to stay in the top eight.
“I scored four points and we waited until the final to see whether we would hold on. There was a risk that I would have to go into a run-off.
“We were all the time looking at Artem Laguta to see if he would get into the semi-finals, but he did not succeed.
“Niels-Kristian Iversen attacked and we felt uncertainty until the last race, because if he won the final, we would go into a run-off to stay in the series. When he didn’t win, a stone fell from our hearts.”
The cause of Dudek’s drop in form has caused much speculation, but the man himself is already looking to 2020.
He said: “We probably know what was wrong although it is difficult to indicate all the reasons. Maybe if we found them right away, I wouldn't have had a weak end to the season. But I'm not thinking about what happened this year anymore. I'd like to get ready for the next one.”