FIM Speedway Grand Prix quartet Artem Laguta, Emil Sayfutdinov, Martin Vaculik and Max Fricke all return for SGP 2021, while Denmark’s Anders Thomsen joins the sport’s elite after next season’s permanent wild cards were revealed.
Thomsen takes his place in the full World Championship field for the first time after enjoying a stellar 2020 campaign, which culminated in him winning his first Danish Championship at Vojens last Wednesday.
Russia’s double Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations winner Laguta has also enjoyed a season to remember after topping the podium at the SGP opener in Wroclaw, before finishing third in last night’s FST Grupa Brokerska Torun SGP round eight to claim seventh spot in the final standings.
His international team mate Sayfutdinov finished eighth in this year’s championship, as well as topping the PGE Ekstraliga averages in Poland on 2.557 points per race – just ahead of Laguta in second, who recorded 2.479.
Slovakian star Vaculik secures a return after claiming ninth spot overall, reaching six out of eight semi-finals as well as enjoying a strong season for Zielona Gora.
Double Australian champion Fricke returns for his second full SGP season on the back of a sensational victory in Friday’s FST Grupa Brokerska Torun SGP round seven – the first win of his World Championship career in only his second final. He finished 10th in this season’s standings.
The wild-card selections are joined by this year’s top six – Poland’s first double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik, Great Britain’s triple world champion Tai Woffinden, Swedish star Fredrik Lindgren, Polish ace Maciej Janowski, Danish racer Leon Madsen and Australia’s 2017 world champion Jason Doyle.
Great Britain shooting star Robert Lambert also earned automatic qualification after winning this year’s Speedway European Championship.
The line-up is completed by the top three from this year’s GP Challenge in Gorican – five-time SGP winner Matej Zagar, Swedish debutant Oliver Berntzon and former world No.2 Krzysztof Kasprzak.
The list of SGP 2021 substitute riders will be revealed soon.
2021 FIM SPEEDWAY GRAND PRIX LINE-UP (in FIM ranking order – rider numbers to be confirmed):
1. Bartosz Zmarzlik (Poland)
2. Tai Woffinden (Great Britain)
3. Fredrik Lindgren (Sweden)
4. Maciej Janowski (Poland)
5. Leon Madsen (Denmark)
6. Jason Doyle (Australia)
7. Artem Laguta (Russia)
8. Emil Sayfutdinov (Russia)
9. Martin Vaculik (Slovakia)
10. Max Fricke (Australia)
11. Matej Zagar (Slovenia)
12. Anders Thomsen (Denmark)
13. Oliver Berntzon (Sweden)
14. Krzysztof Kasprzak (Poland)
15. Robert Lambert (Great Britain)