World No.2 Bartosz Zmarzlik raced to Betard Wroclaw FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland glory on Saturday night and declared the epic event “the best GP in history.”
The Polish icon raced to his second win of 2019 and the second of his career on home soil – five years on from his unforgettable 2014 Gorzow SGP triumph as a wild card, which saw him become the youngest SGP winner of all time at the age of 19.
Zmarzlik topped the podium ahead of Martin Vaculik and Leon Madsen, and now leads the World Championship standings on 61 points – level with Emil Sayfutdinov and Madsen, but ahead of his rivals by virtue of his FIM ranking.
It was an incredible night of action which saw passing aplenty as Wroclaw staged its first SGP event in 12 years in a sold-out Olympic Stadium.
Zmarzlik was delighted to take the win a huge 17-point haul, but admits he had to fight for it. He said: “I think that was the best GP in history because there were so many riders changing places all night. It was nice speedway.
“I’m very happy because this is my first win in Poland away from my home track Gorzow. I am very happy because I scored good points and it was a good meeting. It was good work today. It wasn’t so easy at the start, but the last heats were the best.”
Zmarzlik is nicely placed in his quest to become Poland’s third world champion, following in the footsteps of his former Gorzow team mate and mentor Tomasz Gollob in 2010.
But he’s not taking anything for granted at the championship’s halfway stage, with five rounds still to race.
He said: “I am not looking at the table. I am only looking at my work. Today was one story and we’ll see what happens in Malilla.”
Next up is the Scandinavian SGP at Malilla’s G&B Arena on August 17. Zmarzlik triumphed there in 2016 and has been in extraordinary form in the Swedish Elitserien this season, leading the average charts on 2.900 per race – from a maximum of 3.000.
That’s an astonishing record from 12 meetings and 60 heats. Asked his Swedish secret, Zmarzlik was humble in his response.
He said: “I’m just riding, doing my thing and doing my job. Everywhere I ride, I want to be the best.
“The tracks there are good for me without having to search for a good setup because in Sweden you go there and it’s okay.
“I cannot guarantee any result, though. I really wish I can be as good as I have recently been in Sweden in Malilla next time. This is a Grand Prix so I can’t predict my result. But I hope it will be the best.”
Zmarzlik had plenty of praise for the passionate Polish fans, who played their part in a great night of racing.
He said: “Of course I think the Polish fans are the best in the world. There was a good atmosphere all night I want to say a big thanks to all my fans and sponsors, and keep your fingers crossed for me.”
Vaculik was pleased to pick up his third SGP second place of the season and 15 valuable points. He’s now just two off top spot with 59, occupying fourth place. But the Slovak admits he’s determined to convert his next final appearance into a victory.
He said: “I am very happy about today. The most important thing is we collected many points again. That’s the main thing in the Grand Prix.
“That’s my third second place from five GPs. I am very happy about that, but I want to win one! Let’s try it next time. Well done to Bartek and the other guys. They were also very fast.”
Third-placed Madsen produced a show reel of epic rides on his way to the final. While he admits his starts forced him to go on the offensive, he was pleased to have the pace to pull off some big moves to stay among the championship frontrunners.
He said: “It’s the World Championship, so you have to give it 100 percent. I had to really fight for my points again. I didn’t make the best starts every time, so I had to do a lot of passing.
“I felt very good on the bike, very fast and this is a good racing track. There are many lines out there, so I really fought hard and did some good passing.
“I am very happy to get away from this meeting as the joint leader again. I would have liked to be top on my own and made a small gap to the rest of the guys. But to come away and be joint leader is still very good. I am at the top and fighting for the championship and that’s what it’s all about.”
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Bartosz Zmarzlik 61, 2 Emil Sayfutdinov 61, 3 Leon Madsen 61, 4 Martin Vaculik 59, 5 Patryk Dudek 55, 6 Fredrik Lindgren 47, 7 Janusz Kolodziej 44, 8 Maciej Janowski 36, 9 Jason Doyle 35, 10 Artem Laguta 34, 11 Niels-Kristian Iversen 34, 12 Max Fricke 31, 13 Matej Zagar 30, 14 Antonio Lindback 30, 15 Robert Lambert 24, 16 Tai Woffinden 21, 17 Bartosz Smektala 10, 18 Oliver Berntzon 7, 19 Vaclav Milik 4, 20 Maksym Drabik 4, 21 Matic Ivacic 2.
BETARD WROCLAW SGP SCORES: 1 Bartosz Zmarzlik 17, 2 Martin Vaculik 15, 3 Leon Madsen 14, 4 Janusz Kolodziej 15, 5 Emil Sayfutdinov 14, 6 Maciej Janowski 12, 7 Patryk Dudek 8, 8 Antonio Lindback 7, 9 Artem Laguta 7, 10 Tai Woffinden 6, 11 Jason Doyle 5, 12 Fredrik Lindgren 5, 13 Maksym Drabik 4, 14 Max Fricke 4, 15 Matej Zagar 3, 16 Niels-Kristian Iversen 2, 17 Przemyslaw Liszka DNR, 18 Mateusz Cierniak DNR.