TOP 10 FACTS | FREDDIE LINDGREN
As we build up to SGP 2021, SpeedwayGP.com editor Paul Burbidge lists his Top 10 Facts on the SGP stars. Next up, it’s Freddie Lindgren.
30 / 03 / 2021, 11:30
As we build up to SGP 2021, SpeedwayGP.com editor Paul Burbidge lists his Top 10 Facts on the FIM Speedway Grand Prix stars. Next up, it’s Sweden’s world No.3 Freddie Lindgren.
1. 13 AND COUNTING
Of all the SGP 2020 riders, none of them have made more appearances in the series than Freddie Lindgren.
Going into this year’s World Championship, he has raced 133 SGP rounds – with Matej Zagar the only other rider in three figures on 115.
Lindgren has also raced more SGP seasons than his rivals – this will be his 13th full campaign. Since he first joined the competition full time in 2008, Fast Freddie has missed only the 2015 season.
He was only named as first reserve for 2016, but ended up racing the whole campaign after Jaroslaw Hampel withdrew due to injury.
2. SWEDISH SUCCESS
Many of Lindgren’s finest SGP moments have come on home shale. He roared to third place as a wild card at the 2007 Swedish SGP in Eskilstuna, which earned him a permanent spot for the 2008 World Championship.
He nearly completed the holy grail of a seven-ride maximum at the 2008 Swedish SGP in Gothenburg. Despite winning his first six races, he was cruelly forced to settle for second place when Rune Holta defeated him in the final.
But Lindgren’s moment of glory at Ullevi Stadium came four years later, when he topped the podium there in 2012 for his first SGP win.
He sent the home fans wild again in Malilla in 2019, when he won the Scandinavian SGP on his way to fourth place in the championship.
3. TIME OUT
Despite establishing himself as one of Sweden’s brightest stars, Lindgren’s SGP career was in jeopardy when he lost his spot in the series at the end of 2014, after finishing 10th.
He sat out the 2015 competition, but after roaring to third spot at the 2016 GP Challenge in Vetlanda, winning a brutal run-off with Kenneth Bjerre for the final qualification place, a new Lindgren returned to the big stage in 2017.
The Orebro-born ace returned with game-changing drive and focus and stormed to victory at the Warsaw SGP.
Lindgren was hot favourite for the bronze medal that year until he was stopped in his tracks by a spinal injury suffered at an SGB Premiership play-off match for Wolverhampton.
4. FROM HIS BED TO THE MEDAL BOX
Lindgren’s injuries left him struggling to walk even short distances in the early stages of his recovery, but it wasn’t long before he was back – and he was better than ever.
Fast Freddie topped the 2018 Czech SGP podium in Prague and reached an impressive five finals as he ended Sweden’s wait for an SGP medal, taking bronze behind Tai Woffinden and Bartosz Zmarzlik.
It saw Lindgren become the first Swede since 2011 silver medallist Andreas Jonsson to finish in the top three.
5. MORE CHAMPAGNE IN 2020
Lindgren nearly went one better last season when he went into the Torun SGP round-eight final, needing to avoid last place to seal SGP silver.
But disaster struck when his bike packed up at the start line, forcing him into a run-off with Woffinden for second place after they tied on 117 championship points, with the Brit getting the verdict and Lindgren left with bronze.
6. FAMILY BUSINESS
It wasn’t all bad news that weekend, though. Lindgren’s finest moment came away from Torun as his wife and manager Carolina gave birth to the couple’s first child on the Friday.
Their daughter Millie-Li was born in Czestochowa after Carolina opted to spend the season in Poland, despite her pregnancy.
Millie-Li’s arrival meant it was December before the family were able to make the journey back to their home in Andorra.
7. MOUNTAIN BASE
Lindgren swapped his homeland of Sweden for a base in Andorra, nestled high in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, in the winter of 2014/15.
The tiny state is home to a host of motorcycling stars, including Lindgren’s SGP rival Max Fricke and four-time World Long Track champion Joonas Kylmakorpi. Aussie star Chris Holder has also lived there.
With its high altitude, Andorra is a great location for pre-season training, with nearby Catalonia offering plenty of chances to train on a motocross bike.
The Lindgrens will also spend plenty of time in Czestochowa this year, where they buying a house.
8. WORLD CHAMP WITH SWEDEN
Away from the SGP series, Lindgren is already a world champion, having won the 2015 FIM Speedway World Cup Final with Sweden at Vojens.
Teaming up with Andreas Jonsson, Antonio Lindback and Linus Sundstrom, a side that started the afternoon as outsiders stunned the competition to end their 11-year wait for a world title.
Lindgren watched their previous victory at Poole in 2004 from the pits. But this time, he was very much part of the action and will be keen to repeat the feat in the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations one day.
9. ONE-CLUB MAN
Lindgren is officially a one-club man and, aside from his SGP meetings, he will only line up for Czestochowa in this year’s PGE Ekstraliga in Poland.
After leading Eskilstuna to Elitserien glory in 2019, Fast Freddie opted out of his home league last year to focus solely on his Polish and World Championship commitments.
It didn’t prove a bad move as the Swedish league only staged half a season due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and it’s a decision Lindgren is sticking with for 2021 as he joins an increasing number of riders just racing in Poland.
10. HUNGRY LIKE A WOLF
Lindgren’s days competing regularly in the UK may be over, but he remains a legend in the eyes of his one and only British club Wolverhampton.
He made the move to Monmore Green in 2003 and struggled to get to grips with the tight and technical track at first, prompting strong rumours that he would jump ship to Poole in 2005.
But Lindgren stayed put and raced there almost every year until 2017, missing only the 2014 season when he sat out British speedway.
The 35-year-old played his part in two of the club’s greatest nights, joining forces with SGP rival Woffinden to lift the 2009 Elite League title and the 2016 SGB Premiership trophy.