A Round-up of all the action from Ekstraliga week two
With the FIM cancelling two more Grand Prix rounds, the debate continues of whether Poland this year will be able to accommodate additional events other than the “richest speedway in the world”. With the three already booked to host SGP events PLUS those used for league meetings on a weekly basis, could we be closer to an all-Polish 2020? Only time will tell.
As for the Ekstraliga, we saw a thoroughly entertaining round of fixtures in week one and this week looked to offer up much of the same with fans now being allowed into the stadiums. The four winners from last week faced off against each other and the four losers also battled it out. And because there just hasn’t been enough delay to the season already, Friday’s meetings were moved to midweek due to unfavourable weather. Here’s a round-up of what happened over the course of week 2…
Motor Lublin 53-37 Stal Gorzów (21.6.20)
Jaroslaw Hampel was the star for Motor Lublin with a (paid) 14 point haul as they kick-started their 2020 campaign with a thumping 53-37 victory over Stal Gorzow.
Lublin were seeking to make amends on home soal after going down hard at Wroclaw in week one and made a single change to their line-up; Pawel Miesiac coming in for Jakub Jamrog while Stanislaw Chomski’s side remained unchanged.
A strong ride going into the first corner of lap four from Grigorij Laguta was enough to produce the first of nine heat advantages in heat one; a clear statement of intent that they would fight for every point. This idea was compounded when he and Miesiac both passed a less-than-impressed Kryzstof Kasprzak in the last lap and half; Kasprzak seemingly too concerned where Miesiac was during the final corner, allowing his adversary past on the run to the line. Laguta, alongside Hampel and Zagar, dominated the middle part of the meeting with Michelsen also chipping in with points as they generally outclassed their Gorzow counterparts from the gate to the chequered flag.
Niels-Kristian Iversen was absent again for the visitors, who can look to the middle third of the meeting as the reason for such a hefty defeat – an aggregate score of 24-6 between heats six and eleven closed the proverbial lid and hammered the proverbial nails on this one. World Champion Bartosz Zmarzlik worked overtime last week; the only rider to turn out for seven rides continued to remain hugely important for his side, notching up 14 points from his seven rides. Anders Thomsen’s 10+2 deserves a mention as well; the talented Dane reached double figures for the second week running and was involved in both of Gorzow’s 5-1 advantages. While finishing last on nine occasions didn’t exactly help Gorzow’s cause, they just couldn’t get to the front often enough; only two wins outside of Zmarzlik’s scorecard just isn’t enough and following only six wins against Leszno last week, is something that simply has to change.
|N-K. Iversen||Rider Replacement|
Heat 1: Hampel, Kasprzak, Laguta, Wozniak – 69.10s (4-2)
Heat 2: Lampart, Karczmarz, Trofymov, Bartkowiak – 69.18s (8-4)
Heat 3: Zmarzlik, Michelsen, Zagar, Wozniak – 68.88s (11-7)
Heat 4: Karczmarz, Thomsen, Lampart, Miesiac – 68.41s (12-12)
Heat 5: Zagar, Hampel, Thomsen, Zmarzlik – 68.85s (17-13)
Heat 6: Kasprzak, Michelsen, Wozniak, Trofymov – 68.65s (19-17)
Heat 7: Laguta, Miesiac, Zmarzlik, Bartkowiak – 68.41s (24-18)
Heat 8: Michelsen, Lampart, Thomsen, Kasprzak – 68.53s (29-19)
Heat 9: Laguta, Miesiac, Kasprzak, Wozniak – 68.81s (34-20)
Heat 10: Hampel, Zmarzlik, Zagar, Karczmarz – 68.28s (38-22)
Heat 11: Zagar, Laguta, Thomsen, Kasprzak – 69.10s (43-23)
Heat 12: Hampel, Zmarzlik, Karczmarz, Trofymov – 68.19s (46-26)
Heat 13: Zmarzlik, Thomsen, Michelsen, Miesiac – 68.60s (47-31)
Heat 14: Michelsen, Thomsen, Zagar, Karczmarz – 67.87s (51-33)
Heat 15 (Re-run): Zmarzlik, Hampel, Thomsen, Lampart – 67.75s (53-37)
Referee: Artur Kuzmierz
Zielona Góra 31-59 Częstochowa (22.6.20)
Zielona Gora probably wish they’d ridden in the rain on Friday rather than on Monday night as they fell victim to a brutal 59-31 home reverse at the hands of Czestochowa, who maintain their 100% start to the season and jump to the top of the fledgling Ekstraliga table. Several GP riders from past and present adorned these teams, promising a mouth-watering encounter at the W69 Stadium.
The visitors were quick to assert their dominance over the meeting, recording four 5-1 maximums in the first six heats. Jason Doyle was on fire for Czestochowa, recording a paid maximum on the night and Leon Madsen also continued his impressive start to the season with 13+1. Marek Cieslak’s side recorded in impressive 12 heat winners and 9+2 coming from the junior spots contributed to a formidable night’s work they will look to take into Friday night’s meeting with Wroclaw.
As for the hosts, they’ll want to put this one down to experience and make a comeback quickly against GKM Grudziadz. They’ll know they can’t get away with almost two-thirds of their points coming from just two riders and having a pair of zeros alongside a 1+1 just doesn’t cut it in such a strong league. On the positive, Martin Vaculik was solid for his 11 and veteran Piotr Protasiewicz continues to defy the ageing process, recording two of Gora’s three race wins on his way to a battling nine-point haul. Aside from these, Piotr Zyto’s side can only put their tails between their longs and start again on Friday night.
|M. Jepsen Jensen||0||0||–||–||–||0|
Heat 1: Lindgren, Doyle, Vaculik, Lindbaeck – 60.88s (1-5)
Heat 2: Swidnicki, Miskowiak, Tonder, Krakowiak – 62.14s (2-10)
Heat 3: Madsen, Protasiewicz, Holta, Jepsen Jensen – 60.71s (4-14)
Heat 4: Miskowiak, Dudek, Tonder, Przedpelski – 60.96s (7-17)
Heat 5: Lindgren, Przedpelski, Dudek, Jepsen Jensen – 61.67s (8-22)
Heat 6: Doyle, Holta, Protasiewicz, Krakowiak (DNF) – 61.86s (9-27)
Heat 7: Vaculik, Madsen, Dudek, Swisnicki – 61.24s (13-29)
Heat 8 (Re-run): Przedpelski, Tonder, Lindgren, Protasiewicz – 61.96s (15-33)
Heat 9: Doyle, Vaculik, Dudek, Holta – 62.11s (18-36)
Heat 10: Madsen, Vaculik, Lindbaeck, Miskowiak – 61.42 s (21-39)
Heat 11: Doyle, Vaculik, Przedpelski, Lindbaeck – 62.40s (24-43)
Heat 12: Protasiewicz, Holta, Swidnicki, Tonder – 62.06s (26-46)
Heat 13: Madsen, Lindgren, Dudek, Protasiewicz – 61.86s (27-51)
Heat 14: Protasiewicz, Przedpelski, Lindgren, Tonder – 62.71s (30-54)
Heat 15: Doyle, Madsen, Vaculik, Dudek – 62.45s (31-59)
Referee: Krzysztof Meyze
Unia Leszno 53-37 Sparta Wroclaw (22.6.20)
The first meeting of the round consisting of two winners from last weekend saw Unia leszno run out comfortable 53-37 winners over Sparta Wroclaw.
In what seemed likely to be the highlight of the weekend, Leszno hit the front early on, trading 4-2 heat advantages with Wroclaw to earn themselves a four-point lead before recording three maximums back-to-back to really turn the screw on their opponents. In what was becoming an all-or-nothing meeting (there wasn’t a shared heat until heat 12), three-time world champion Tai Woffinden rode brilliantly to get the better of Piotr Pawlicki to follow Maciej Janowski in for a 5-1 of their own in heat eight. But after the same duo were on the other end of the same scoreline in the very next race, the meeting always seemed as if it had got away from them. In truth, Wroclaw did well to stay even with the hosts over the course of the last four heats, but you’d question how hard Leszno were really riding as their job was done and the result was sealed.
Where Piotr Pawlicki was the hero last time out, it was Emil Sayfutdinov and Januasz Kolodziej that grabbed the headlines this week. Both grabbed themselves 12 points on the evening; Kolodziej winning all four of his programmed rides, the Russian taking two bonus points on top of his and was only beaten by an opponent in heat 15 where Maciej Janowski overtook him in the latter stages. Sayfutdinov joins Czestochowa’s Leon Madsen as the only riders not to finish outside the top two heat positions so far this season.
It’d be easily to lose Dominik Kubera’s name amongst the plethora of talent in the spots above him, but the junior produced some excellent racing for his 10+3 and was rewarded for his work with a spot in the final heat of the evening.
Conversely, Dan Bewley’s tough start to the season continued; the youngster failed to score in either of his outings before being hooked from his third and fourth programmed ride. He was joined on zero by both Max Fricke and junior Przemyslaw Liska and here laid the problem – three non-contributing scores heaped pressure on the rest of the side whom could only muster five first places on an evening where racing opportunities were there for all but Leszno were just too strong. Janowski rode well for his 12 points and Woffinden recorded the fastest winning time of the evening in heat three but beyond that, back to the drawing board in time for Czestochowa away on Sunday.
Heat 1: Sayfutdinov, Janowski, Smektala, Bewley – 61.40s (4-2)
Heat 2: Kubera, Chuganov, Szlauderbach, Liska – 61.25s (8-4)
Heat 3: Woffinden, Pawlicki, Drabik, Kurtz – 60.97s (10-8)
Heat 4 (Re-run): Kolodziej, Chuganov, Szlauderbach, Fricke (excl.) – 61.22s (14-10)
Heat 5: Kurtz, Smektala, Janowski, Fricke – 61.81s (19-11)
Heat 6: Kubera, Pawlicki, Woffinden, Bewley – 61.41s (24-12)
Heat 7: Kolodziej, Sayfutdinov, Drabik, Liszka – 61.81s (29-13)
Heat 8: Janowski, Woffinden, Pawlicki, Szlauderbach – 61.38s (30-18)
Heat 9: Kolodziej, Sayfutdinov, Janowski, Woffinden – 61.75s (35-19)
Heat 10: Chuganov, Drabik, Smektala, Kurtz – 62.31s (36-24)
Heat 11: Sayfutdinov, Kubera, Chuganov, Drabik – 61.40s (41-25)
Heat 12: Woffinden, Smektala, Kubera, Chuganov – 61.93s (44-28)
Heat 13: Kolodziej, Janowski, Drabik, Pawlicki – 62.03s (47-31)
Heat 14: Smektala, Chuganov, Drabik, Pawlicki – 61.53s (50-34)
Heat 15: Janowski, Sayfutdinov, Kubera, Woffinden – 61.54s (53-37)
Referee: Remigiusz Substyk
GKM Grudziądz 58-32 ROW Rybnik (23.6.20)
GKM Grudziadz ended a week of big victories with one of their own; a 26-point win over ROW Rybnik which saw Artem Laguta end the night having maintained his perfect personal start to the season.
Piotr Swiderski took his Rybnik side to the Grudziadz Staium on Tuesday night buoyed by a spectacular 14-point haul from team reserve Robert Lambert at home to Zielona Gora last time out. With both teams taking big beatings in week one, they were out to get their season immediately back on track. It was quickly clear that there would only be one winner of this meeting, however. Having taken heat advantages in each of the opening four heats, the hosts were able to maintain their advantage throughout and then turn the screw late on with back-to-back 5-1 in heats 13 and 14. The score could have been even worse for Rybnik; heat 12 saw a home 5-1 become a 3-3 in the final straight where Kzrystof Buczkowski was unfortunate to come down with mechanical gremlins. Nevertheless, four riders scoring in double figures against a side who could only muster a top score of six will please the management and they will be hoping to continue such form against Ziolona Gora on Friday night.
Swiderski’s visitors were frequently beaten out of the gate and when they did get themselves into a position to attack, they found intelligent racing in front of them to thwart their efforts.
The aforementioned Lambert was initially kept at team reserve but was soon called into action after Troy Batchelor withdrew from the meeting after just a single ride. While he rode stoically through his opening three rides, he walked into inspired duo Nicki Pedersen and Artem Laguta who were in sublime form for Grudziadz, the latter going through the card for the second time in as many weeks. A big sour note for Rybnik is that when comfortably holding a consolation 5-1 in heat 15, Lambert cut across team-mate Andzei Lebedevs, who couldn’t help but clip the Brit’s back wheel and was sent catapulting up the fence and over his handlebars before crashing back down to earth. The Latvian was subsequently taken away in an ambulance.
Heat 1: Pedersen, Bjerre, Milik, Batchelor – 65.42s (5-1)
Heat 2: Turowski, Kowacki, Lotarski, Tudziez – 66.75s (9-3)
Heat 3: Laguta, Lebedevs, Pawlicki, Woryna – 64.97s (13-5)
Heat 4: Szczepaniak, Buczkowski, Lotarski, Kowacki – 65.98s (16-8)
Heat 5 (Re-run): Bjerre, Milik, Szczepaniak, Pawlicki – 66.37s (19-11)
Heat 6: Laguta, Lambert, Lebedevs, Turowski – 65.76s (22-14)
Heat 7: Buczkowski, Pedersen, Woryna, Kowacki – 66.36s (27-15)
Heat 8: Laguta, Szczepaniak, Milik, Lotarski – 66.49s (30-18)
Heat 9: Pedersen, Lambert, Lebedevs, Buczkowski – 66.59s (33-21)
Heat 10: Woryna, Bjerre, Lakhbaum, Tudziez – 66.51s (36-24)
Heat 11: Pedersen, Lambert, Lakhbaum, Szczepaniak – 66.87s (40-26)
Heat 12: Bjerre, Lebedevs, Kowacki, Turowski – 67.52s (43-29)
Heat 13: Laguta, Buczkowski, Woryna, Milik – 66.03s (48-30)
Heat 14: Buczkowski, Bjerre, Woryna, Lambert – 67.93s (53-31)
Heat 15 (Re-run): Laguta, Pedersen, Kowacki, Lambert (exc.) – 66.67s (58-32)
We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Ekstraliga Week 2 Round-up.’ What was your favourite moment from week 2 of Ekstraliga Speedway? Let us know!
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