LAGUTA POWERS TO PRAGUE VICTORY
Artem Laguta emerges from Saturday storm to claim Anlas Czech Republic FIM Speedway Grand Prix round-two victory in Prague on Sunday.
18 / 07 / 2021, 15:57
Triple FIM Speedway of Nations world champion Artem Laguta admits the Prague rain clouds had a golden lining as he stormed to victory in Anlas Czech Republic FIM Speedway Grand Prix round two on Sunday.
The sport’s biggest stars returned to Marketa Stadium for an early-afternoon start after Saturday’s event was postponed due to heavy downpours in the Czech capital.
A rare afternoon round proved lucky for Laguta as he collected the second SGP victory of his career – following up his triumph at the 2020 season opener in Wroclaw.
I am very, very happy with the win. Now I am looking forward to the next meeting. But Speedway Grand Prix is always very hard.
Laguta raced past fellow SON winner Emil Sayfutdinov to hit the front, with Friday’s round-one winner Maciej Janowski joining him for second and Sweden’s Fredrik Lindgren rounding Sayfutdinov for third on the final corner.
Heavy rain followed by bright sunshine meant track conditions changed drastically for speedway’s biggest stars. But Laguta made the most of them to move up to second place in the World Championship on 32 points – just six behind leader Janowski.
In a rare English interview, a delighted Laguta said: “I am very happy today. It was a good day for me. It was a good meeting and I made good starts today.
“I am very, very happy with the win. Now I am looking forward to the next meeting. But Speedway Grand Prix is always very hard.
“There was a lot of rain on Saturday, but it went today and the track was okay. It was very hard with grippy starts, but for me it was no problem.
“I want to say thank you to my team and thank you to my family – they are my life. I am very happy. Thank you.”
Janowski admits the bike which fired him to victory in Friday’s first round didn’t have the same impact today. But a change of equipment saw him bounce back with a very handy second place – meaning he has dropped just two championship points from a possible 40.
He said: “They were two completely different days. After four heats I changed my bike. My first bike that I used on Friday lost some energy, so we changed and then everything was much, much better.
“It could have been better, but I am happy with what we got. Second place in the second GP sounds good and I scored good points – that’s the most important thing. We had a very hard day, but I am happy with how it finished.”
Lindgren has made a habit of scraping into semi-finals and taking full advantage of the opportunity. Today he turned eight race points in the heats into a very useful 16 championship points with third place.
The Swede is now fourth in the World Championship on 30 points and was pleased to make his mark when it mattered once again.
He said: “Today was a big battle all the way through. I never really felt I had good speed. I was making decent starts and had good track craft, but I was struggling a bit and really had to scrape through to the semis.
“In the semi we found a bit more speed in the bike and I was very happy I made it to the final. In the final I just gave it everything I had. It was a big battle and a big blast around the outside on the last corner to make it on to the podium. I am happy with that.”
Next up for the FIM Speedway Grand Prix stars is Betard Wroclaw SGP of Poland rounds three and four at the legendary Olympic Stadium on July 30 and 31, as Janowski bids to extend his series lead in his home city, with Laguta and Tai Woffinden also lining up on their Polish home track.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Maciej Janowski 38, 2 Artem Laguta 32, 3 Emil Sayfutdinov 32, 4 Fredrik Lindgren 30, 5 Tai Woffinden 24, 6 Bartosz Zmarzlik 23, 7 Martin Vaculik 18, 8 Leon Madsen 17, 9 Jason Doyle 16, 10 Max Fricke 15, 11 Anders Thomsen 12, 12 Matej Zagar 11, 13 Robert Lambert 9, 14 Jan Kvech 7, 15 Krzysztof Kasprzak 5, 16 Oliver Berntzon 3.
ANLAS CZECH REPUBLIC SGP R2 SCORES: 1 Artem Laguta 20, 2 Maciej Janowski 18, 3 Fredrik Lindgren 16, 4 Emil Sayfutdinov 14, 5 Bartosz Zmarzlik 12, 6 Jason Doyle 11, 7 Martin Vaculik 10, 8 Anders Thomsen 9, 9 Tai Woffinden 8, 10 Leon Madsen 7, 11 Max Fricke 6, 12 Matej Zagar 5, 13 Krzysztof Kasprzak 4, 14 Jan Kvech 3, 15 Robert Lambert 2, 16 Oliver Berntzon 1, 17 Petr Chlupac 0, 18 Daniel Klima DNR.