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SGP LINE-UP OF THE DECADE | LEON MADSEN

Speedway GP fans voted for their SGP Line-Up of the Decade. Today, we feature world No.2 Leon Madsen.

18 / 03 / 2020, 12:37

Speedway GP fans voted for their SGP Line-Up of the Decade. Today, we feature world No.2 Leon Madsen.

The Dane made an historic impact in his FIM Speedway Grand Prix debut season this year, becoming only the second rider to reach the top two in their first full World Championship – following in the tyre treads of 2017 SGP silver medallist Patryk Dudek.

It wasn’t Madsen’s first taste of SGP action. He made his first SGP appearance as a wild card at the 2010 Danish SGP in Copenhagen, scoring three points. He also served as second series reserve in the 2013 season, racing in the final five rounds of the season, registering 30 points.

After a five-season wait for another shot at SGP stardom, the 2018 Speedway European Championship winner was handed a wild card for SGP 2019 – and made no secret he was targeting the top.

Madsen very quickly made his mark. Despite not winning a race on his way to the final, the 31-year-old took the chequered flag when it mattered most to win the Boll Warsaw SGP on his full series debut.

He proved it wasn’t a flash in the pan by finishing third at round two in Krsko and second at the Anlas Czech SGP in Prague.

Despite scoring seven points at the Norrbil Swedish SGP in Hallstavik, Madsen was level on 47 with Emil Sayfutdinov and Dudek at the top of the standings after four rounds.

Poland’s Bartosz Zmarzlik won the Betard Wroclaw SGP, but third place and 14 points kept the Dane level with him in first. Madsen then claimed top spot for himself with second and 14 at the Scandinavian SGP in Malilla, moving into a six-point lead over the Gorzow star.

An average night for Madsen at the Aztorin German SGP in Teterow saw him tally 10 points, while Zmarzlik zoomed to 16 to level matters at the top.

The Czestochowa rider’s title hopes then suffered a hammer-blow in his homeland when Zmarzlik won the ECCO Danish SGP on 18 points, while Madsen could only score seven.

Denmark’s finest did his best to close the gap. First he completed a sensational double of big-stadium wins, topping the box in Cardiff to add to his Warsaw triumph. This cut Zmarzlik’s advantage over him to nine going into the decider in Torun.

Madsen went into overdrive at the Marian Rose Motoarena, racing to an unforgettable, 21-point maximum to win on the night.

But it was Zmarzlik’s year as he scored 14 on his way to fourth place – beating Madsen to the title by two.

After going so close at the first time of asking, Madsen will fancy his chances of chasing down the sport’s biggest prize again in 2020. Denmark hasn’t toasted a world champion since Nicki Pedersen won his third title in 2008 – but 12 years on that could be about to change …

 

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