Speedway: Zmarzlik takes lead in World Championship after Prague victory

Bartosz Zmarzlik won the Speedway Grand Prix in Prague on Friday and took the lead in the overall standings of the series, one point ahead of the Swede Fredrik Lindgren.

The leader prior to the event, Lindgren has been consistent throughout the entire series this season, advancing to the final of every Grand Prix so far. However, on Friday, he did not manage to win promotion, finishing behind Martin Vaculik and Emil Sayfutdinov.

Zmarzlik began with two victories, but was troubled with settings later on amid the difficult condition on the track. Patryk Dudek, another Pole who finished 10th, said that the second gate had “some sort of a handicap” while there was seemingly one route which favoured those who made the best start and was in front at the beginning of the race.

The Friday round of the GP series saw lots of warnings given by the referee for early starts. As every rider is allowed to receive one warning and any subsequent result in a racer’s exclusion, this had serious consequences in the second semi-final. Then, the Dane Leon Madsen and Jason Doyle from Australia were eliminated from the tournament because of said infringement. In unusual circumstances, the two riders who remained: Zmarzlik, along with Tai Woffinden from Great Britain, were just chasing for a preferable spot in the final.

The Pole showed his best form in the final. After making a perfect start he did not allow Tai Woffinden to get close and won his second Grand Prix event this season. Martin Vaculik took third while Sayfutdinov didn’t make it to the rostrum.

After five out of eight GPs, Zmarzlik, the defending champion, leads the standings on 79, just one ahead of Lindgren. Woffinden is third on 71, while Maciej Janowski, who did not make it to the semifinals, is fourth on 62.

The next event will be held on Saturday, also in Prague. The series will conclude in Toruń, north central Poland, on October 2-3.