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DUDEK'S MEDAL QUEST

Polish racer Patryk Dudek is determined to ensure he hasn’t won his last FIM Speedway Grand Prix medal.

24 / 05 / 2020, 12:43

Polish racer Patryk Dudek is determined to ensure he hasn’t won his last FIM Speedway Grand Prix medal.

The two-time SGP winner stormed to second in the World Championship in 2017 – becoming the first rider to achieve such a feat in their debut season.

He just slipped out of the top eight in 2018 when a broken arm ruled him out of the final two rounds. And he narrowly clung on to eighth spot last year, despite a dip in form in the closing months of a season which began with three straight final appearances.

Last year I was unlucky with setups and bikes. But I know what I can do and I haven't had my last word in the series – that’s for sure.

Patryk Dudek

The Zielona Gora star has been working hard to regain top form for SGP 2020 and insists he’s hungry to get back into the race for top honours.

The 2016 GP Challenge winner said: “That's why I won my spot in the series – to fight for these medals. I was unlucky in 2018. I felt so strong at the end of that season, but I got injured. I broke my arm in Sweden.

“Last year I was unlucky with setups and bikes. But I know what I can do and I haven't had my last word in the series – that’s for sure.”

Eighth-placed Dudek just made it into the automatic qualification places for SGP 2020 by a point, and things are set to be even tougher in the race for 2021 with only the top six guaranteed a spot.

The competition will be fierce. “It can be hard," Dudek admitted. "But I will be more focused on myself. I think a few others will worry more if I get back to my 2017 or 2018 performance.”

This season’s SGP series also features a new scoring system, which sees the meeting winner guaranteed the maximum 20 championship points, with finalists certain of taking home at least 14 and semi-finalists collecting at least nine.

Previously riders’ race points counted as championship points and Dudek has mixed feelings about the change, especially after second place at the season-closing Torun SGP in 2019 saved his World Championship status.

He said: “It has some good and bad things. It was okay when you collected points all year and in each heat.  As you saw in my last Torun SGP heat – the two points there were so important in the end. Also if you had good day and only slept for the final, you would still have good result to add to your total.

“Now you can get lucky in the final and get the best prize – the best points. We will see after a few rounds how it works.”

 

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