EMIL'S HOME COMFORTS
Russian icon Emil Sayfutdinov admits getting a taste of being a home hero was “an amazing feeling” when he claimed Monster Energy SON gold.
14 / 04 / 2020, 12:37
Russian icon Emil Sayfutdinov admits getting a taste of being a home hero was “an amazing feeling” when he claimed the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations world title last summer.
The Salavat-born star led his country to gold alongside Artem Laguta and Gleb Chugunov last July – retaining the trophy they won in Wroclaw in 2018.
Now I know how that feeling is – being a Polish rider in Warsaw, Wroclaw or Torun … when all the people support you. It’s a really nice feeling.
Russia’s victory in Poland was their first senior speedway world title win of any kind – adding to the country’s years of success in ice racing events. But retaining the crown in his homeland was also an unforgettable moment for Sayfutdinov.
The Polish-based racer his criss-crossed Europe for over a decade to represent his country, but that was the first time he had raced for a world title on home soil.
Sayfutdinov admits the ovation he received from the fans after his Monster Energy SON triumph will live with him forever.
“It was an amazing feeling,” he said. “The whole stadium was supporting us and that was amazing. Now I know how that feeling is – being a Polish rider in Warsaw, Wroclaw or Torun … when all the people support you. It’s a really nice feeling.
“Some riders don’t have the support like the Polish, Swedish or British riders get when they race at home, so for sure it was so good to have that night in Russia.”
Russia launch their Monster Energy SON title defence in Russian-speaking city Daugavpils – just across the Latvian border – on September 26 after Semi-Final 2 was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Sayfutdinov is waiting to hear who will be managing the side after former leader Andrei Savin passed away last year. But he is hopeful the Russians can track an unchanged line up.
He said: “We don’t know who will be our new manager. I don’t know anything about that for the moment. Everything has changed – all the work was done by Savin. I don’t know what plans they have so we just need to wait.
“But we want to go with the same team and fight for another title. We have a really good team. We will see.”