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BEWLEY READY FOR WARSAW TEST

Published On:: 10/05/2023

“The sophomore slump is when a sophomore fails to live up to the relatively high standards that occurred during freshman year.”

“The sophomore slump is when a sophomore fails to live up to the relatively high standards that occurred during freshman year.”

The sophomore slump, or difficult second album in music terms, is very real and it’s something that all rookies will be aware of. 

Speedway’s newest star Dan Bewley is no different, but he’s determined to not fall victim of it.

 

For those who weren’t paying attention last year, here’s a recap…

Bewley was granted a place in the 2022 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series when good friend and world champion Artem Laguta was banned from racing in FIM competition due to the ongoing conflict in Russia and Ukraine, and with just a few weeks notice he had to steel himself for a full campaign amongst the world’s elite.

After finding his feet early on, he stormed to victory at his home GP in Britain and then backed it up two weeks later with a win in his adopted home in Wroclaw, Poland. He finished in overall P6, and notched three qualifying victories on his way too. 

As rookie seasons go, it was special.

Now he faces up to the prospect of going from hunter to hunted. Speedway’s best-kept secret is officially out of the bag and now he needs to go again and prove he’s got more to give.

He kicked off the 2023 season with a solid showing in Crotia, finishing 7th, and now goes into the Warsaw SGP this weekend looking to add to his trophy haul.

 

We caught up with Dan recently to check in on how his season has gone so far.


 

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He said: “Coming into the first round you never 100 per cent know where you’re at, but after qualifying I felt good. Leading up to the GP (in Croatia) I felt really good on the bike.

“I couldn’t have had a much more of a better start with two wins. I then had two bad races but actually felt like I was still going well and I won my last one and I think I had the fastest time of the night, I had some real pace. 

“I was so confident in my starts as well, which made my result in the semi-final a bit frustrating. That was a mistake at my end.”

 

Dan is alluding to his choice of gate for the semi-final, where the riders get to choose their starting gate based on their scores in the qualifying heats. 

He chose gate two, which had just four victories from it all night, and he struggled to hit the front and was eliminated.

A mistake?

“It’s funny, everyone is a genius after it happens. At the time four was really the best but that was gone, and gate one hadn’t been good all meeting really,” said the British star.

 I actually made a good start off gate two and I was happy with my choice, it was more about do you go for gate one? You never fully want to give that up but I actually felt that even if I make the start, it’s tough after.

“So with gate two I felt it would give the momentum to come round the outside of Bartosz (Zmarzlik). I was that confident I was going to make it anyway. I came across Bartosz in the first one so I felt I could do it again. 

“I kicked the rut out to get the clearance because they were deep. I just dropped the clutch and the bike bottomed out. If that hadn’t of happened I would have still have pulled to the corner, everything was working.

“It’s a mistake at my end and it’s a little bit annoying when you know you are riding good and feeling good. Next time around I will kick the life out of that rut!”

 

Such is the regard Bewley is held in now, he goes into every event as part of the group that people know could win it. That brings with it pressure, but the likeable Cumbrian takes it all in his stride.

“I know I’m fast enough to win, but it’s not all about the speed. My equipment is good and I can ride the bike fast. I feel like my starts in Europe are great. In the UK they have been hit and miss but overall I’m real happy with everything. 

“Going to Warsaw last year I had no idea what to expect, because it was a temporary track and I hadn’t been there before. The only time before I had ridden one was in practice at Cardiff five years ago or something like that. 

“We struggled in Warsaw last year. We took the wrong equipment and it was like bringing a knife to a gunfight. We just had the wrong tools on the job.

“But we learnt a lot there and took that knowledge to Cardiff and that obviously went pretty good for me, and we also learnt a lot there so hopefully that will pay off in Warsaw.

 

The Warsaw Speedway Grand Prix takes place at the Stadion Narodowy in Saturday 13 May, and you can find out where to watch by heading to https://fimspeedway.com/where-to-watch.

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In This Article:

Dan Bewley