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UNBEATEN ARTEM STAYS COOL

Artem Laguta’s manager Rafal Lewicki insists the Russian won’t get carried away by his unbeaten start to the PGE Ekstraliga season.

24 / 06 / 2020, 12:57

Artem Laguta’s manager Rafal Lewicki insists the Russian won’t get carried away by his unbeaten start to the PGE Ekstraliga season with Grudziadz.

Laguta has won all 11 races across his club’s opening matches away to Czestochowa and at home to Rybnik to mark himself out as the man to beat in the early stages of the delayed Polish season.

Lewicki says the former world No.6 has worked hard on his mental approach throughout the winter months, as well as on his bikes and fitness, with his efforts starting to pay dividends.

We’re not saying a big hooray after winning 11 races. It makes us happy and we smile, but we know that in sport – especially motorsport – there is a very fine gap between being a winner and loser.

Rafal Lewicki

But in a sport where a rider’s fortunes can change rapidly, Team Laguta will not rest in their efforts to stay on top.

Lewicki said: “We’re not saying a big hooray after winning 11 races. It makes us happy and we smile, but we know that in sport – especially motorsport – there is a very fine gap between being a winner and loser.

“We are trying to keep our heads cool. What’s happening is fantastic, but it can change very quickly. One day you are on the top and the next minute you are at the bottom. We have seen guys win GP rounds and score poorly in the league the next day or the other way around.

“We know what we did during the winter break. That gives us the feeling we are ready and hopefully it is enough to give us something extra in the GP, but also in the leagues.

“We have the feeling in the pits that when Artem goes out, he is there to win the races. So far it is working very well, but the others do not sleep. They’ll put more effort into beating Artem and being the first one who can pass him.”

While Rybnik are regarded as the PGE Ekstraliga’s relegation favourites, Grudziadz’s opening-weekend opponents Czestochowa track arguably the strongest top three in the world in Leon Madsen, Freddie Lindgren and Jason Doyle.

Laguta may have seen them off, but Lewicki insists anyone can put up a fight in the Ekstraliga.

Rybnik’s Latvian star Andzejs Lebedevs came within a lap of ending the Russian’s unbeaten record in heat 15 on Tuesday night, only to crash and suffer a suspected broken leg, allowing Laguta a second chance in the re-run.

“No matter who you race against, everyone is in it to win it,” Lewicki said. “There aren’t any easy races in the Ekstraliga. Even the world champion Bartek Zmarzlik has trouble winning every single race.

“The Ekstraliga is very even and you have to be 100 percent ready for every race. In the last race on Tuesday, Artem missed out a bit in the first run. The crash was bad luck for Andzejs and we wish him all the best in his recovery.

“They stopped the race, we made changes for the re-run and Artem got a chance to win. But it just goes to show it isn’t easy to win every race.

“Everyone is prepared very well and they are all ready to fight for the win. No matter who you are racing against, you have to be 100 percent ready.”

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