EKSTRALIGA | HERO DUDEK SEALS PLAY-OFF SPOT FOR FALUBAZ
Patryk Dudek defied his Enea Gorzow SGP injury woes to fire Zielona Gora into the Ekstraliga play-offs with an heroic last heat in Lublin.
13 / 09 / 2020, 21:04
Polish star Patryk Dudek defied his Enea Gorzow SGP injury woes to fire Zielona Gora into the PGE Ekstraliga play-offs with an heroic last-heat win in Lublin on Sunday.
Falubaz went down 52-38 on the night, but with Dudek squaring heat 15, the visitors denied Lublin the third point they needed to reach the top four.
With no bonus awarded after the sides tied 90-90 on aggregate, Zielona Gora will take their place alongside Leszno and Gorzow in the PGE Ekstraliga semi-finals next weekend.
Dudek produced an incredible performance just 48 hours after suffering damage to his upper leg when he crashed in the opening heat of Friday’s FIM Speedway Grand Prix round three in Gorzow.
He struggled through the weekend’s World Championship action. But he found his best form when Falubaz needed him most. Dudek left Lublin pair Mikkel Michelsen and Matej Zagar trailing from the tapes in heat 15, before holding his nerve under huge pressure.
Dudek’s heroics, which saw him pick up 11 points, were even more priceless for a side which lost SGP star Martin Vaculik during the course of the night, with the Slovak crashing hard going into the first turn in race nine, suffering suspected rib damage. He ended the night on five points along with SGP rival Antonio Lindback.
Lublin will rue a couple of costly moments, which would have handed them the bonus point they needed to secure play-off qualification.
Reserve Wiktor Lampart suffered a suspected broken hand after crashing into partner Wiktor Trofimow with a rash move in race two, with Mateusz Tonder careering into the back of Lampart as he fell. This left Lublin with one rider only in two of their heats.
Russian ace Grigorii Laguta has been a real star for Lublin this season. But he saw his victory in heat seven chalked off by the referee after he was adjudged to have crossed the white line with both wheels.
It was a moment that cost Lublin their first-ever play-off appearance, but he still raced to 11 points, while SGP star Michelsen tallied 11 paid 13, Jaroslaw Hampel scored 11 paid 12 and Zagar added 10 paid 13.
Elsewhere, Czestochowa’s play-off hopes suffered a hammer-blow as Russian ace Emil Sayfutdinov led table-topping Leszno to a 54-36 win at Alfred Smoczyk Stadium this afternoon.
The world No.3 starred on 12 paid 13 points, while Bartosz Smektala bagged 11 and Aussie Under-21 champion Jaimon Lidsey impressed on nine paid 12.
World No.2 Leon Madsen racked up 13 paid 14 with an all-action performance for the Lions, while SGP rival Jason Doyle scored 12. Freddie Lindgren was unable to follow up his SGP heroics on Saturday, racing to four paid five.
The defeat leaves Czestochowa fourth with 19 points – just ahead of Lublin after Lions won their aggregate head-to-head.
But Wroclaw are fancied to claim the final play-off place on Monday, when they bid to win in Rybnik and claim the bonus point. Maximum points would see them end the regular season on 20 and overtake Falubaz for third due to their aggregate victory in the sides’ matches this year.
Should Wroclaw complete their Rybnik mission, they would face Gorzow in the play-off semi-finals, with Zielona Gora meeting Leszno.
For full details of the day’s results, scorers and the latest league table, click here: http://bit.ly/2uoK8OX.