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Images from Round 7 of the 217 SGP series
NEWS

ZMARZLIK COMES OUT ON TOP IN MALILLA THRILLER

Aug 132017

It may not have the bright lights and cutting-edge architecture of some of the more salubrious venues on the Speedway Grand Prix calendar but you can guarantee one thing with the G&B Arena in Malilla – entertainment.

It’s a small, compact stadium situated in a forest in the south of Sweden but when you put 16 of the world’s best riders inside it it comes alive and as always, it served up a treat with some pulsating action from start to finish.

This year has seen a new breed of racers take the reins and lead the SGP title charge and it was another different face on top of the podium on Saturday with Polish shredder Bartez Zmarzlik producing one of the most awesome last-bend charges you’ll see to take his first GP win of the season.

Bartek lined up in the Final with home heroes Freddie Lindgren and Antonio Lindback and man in form Magic Janowski but there was no denying him, even if he did leave it late to make his move.

Lindback got the better start and headed to the front early on but Zmarzlik trailed him for the whole race, moving inside and out looking for his opportunity to pass, until he put it all on the line on the last bend and sent the bike to the fence and got enough speed to bull-doze his way round Lindback to take the chequered flag.

 

It was a stunning way to get your first gold medal of the season and, on a night when the title race was blown wide open, proved that there are no guarantees in this series.

 

With World Champ Greg Hancock sidelined with a shoulder injury it was left to Tai Woffinden, Chris Holder and Patryk Dudek to represent the M-claw but it was only Woffinden who left with a smile on his face.

 

He was almost back to his majestic best and qualified easily for the Semi-Final stage with 13 points from a possible 15, but he lost out in an epic battle with eventual winner Zmarzlik to finish his night on a season-best 14.

 

Holder started slowly and turned his night around towards the end, but it wasn’t enough to make the top eight while Dudek had his worst ever GP round and lost ground at the top of the standings with five points.

 

All that means, with five rounds to go Magic Janowski sits top overall, with Aussie Jason Doyle five back in second place and Dudek a further three behind in the bronze medal position.

Hear from our guys after a mixed night;.

“I’m pretty happy, I had a new engine tonight and it worked good for me. It’s been frustrating because I haven’t changed as a rider, I didn’t wake up this year and become a rider that can’t make a Semi-Final, it’s all about what’s underneath you and making sure your equipment is right. People have told me that I’m not riding the same but I’m not riding any different, my equipment just hasn’t been working as it should and you saw tonight what happens when I have something that works good.

 

“I have put all my eggs in one basket since 2010, engine-wise, and I think it has been good for me to have a couple of options and just freshen things up. There are five rounds left and my only goal is to be world champion, nothing else matters, and it’s not over until the fat lady sings so I’ll keep getting it everything I’ve got.”

“I’m so frustrated, I know what the problem is but I have been persevering with it but the bottom line is my equipment isn’t good enough and I’ve got to change it. One minute you think you’ve got something working and then it goes back to not working, things got better for me towards the end bit that’s because the track was slick and it’s fine when it’s like that.

 

“I’ve stuck it out for long enough, we’ve tried everything, I’ve spent good money on trying to fix it and hoping I can turn things round but I’ve got no rewards so I’ve got to do something now and hope I can pull it back for the last five rounds. Normally if I’m struggling it’s me and my equipment has been the best but this year I’m busting my ass on the track trying to make up for my engines. It gets you down, I’ve got to just make the decision to change and get my head down and try to make it work now in Gorzow in two weeks.”

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