July 17, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

2024 FIM Speedway of Nations squads announced

2024 FIM Speedway of Nations squads announced

Hosts Great Britain have named all four of their 2021 world title-winning heroes in their five-rider 2024 FIM Speedway of Nations (SON) squad as the competition returns to Manchester from July 9-13.

The competition last visited the National Speedway Stadium in October 2021, when GB stars Robert Lambert, Dan Bewley and Tom Brennan defied the loss of three-time Speedway GP world champion Tai Woffinden to injury to end the nation’s 32-year wait for a world team championship.

Featuring 15 countries, the FIM SON joins the calendar in place of the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup, which was staged in Polish city Wroclaw last summer, culminating in a Final for the ages, won by Poland ahead of Great Britain, Denmark and Australia.

FIM SON is speedway’s ultimate test of team riding – a pairs-style event that brings the sport’s biggest stars together to compete for their countries in a bid to be crowned world team champions for 2024.

As host nation, Great Britain is seeded straight through to the Final on Saturday, July 13, and FIM Speedway Grand Prix stars Robert Lambert, Dan Bewley and triple SGP world champion Tai Woffinden are among the riders bidding to fly the Union flag in Manchester. They are joined in the squad by 2021 FIM SON gold medallist Tom Brennan and 2021 British champion Adam Ellis.

Battling to join them in the Final are the 14 semi-finalists, with Poland lining up in Semi-Final 1 on Tuesday, July 9, taking on 2022 bronze medallists Sweden, former finalists Finland, France and Germany, with Italy and Ukraine completing the line-up.

Australia won the 2022 FIM SON gold medals at iconic Danish venue Vojens, ending a 20-year wait for a world team title, dating back to their 2002 FIM Speedway World Cup win at British track Peterborough. They compete in Semi-Final 2 on Wednesday, July 10, meeting 2020 and 2021 bronze medallists Denmark, former finalists Czech Republic and Latvia, with USA, Slovenia, and Norway also in action.

The top two nations in each Semi-Final gain automatic Final qualification, with the third and fourth-placed countries competing in a Final Qualifier for one last spot in the Saturday showdown.

National bosses can name a squad of up to five riders, which must be reduced to two starters at No.1 and No.2 and a reserve at No.3, who can replace a teammate at any time.

Australia won the last SON Final staged in 2022. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

POLES PICKED FOR SEMI-FINAL 1

Polish team manager Rafal Dobrucki names a squad featuring five current or former Speedway GP riders ahead of Semi-Final 1, led by four-time SGP world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik. He is joined by Speedway GP rival Dominik Kubera, former world No.2 Patryk Dudek, 2022 SGP bronze medallist Maciej Janowski and former Speedway GP winner Piotr Pawlicki.

The Swedish squad is led by world No.2 Fredrik Lindgren, with former SGP riders Kim Nilsson and Oliver Berntzon in selection contention, along with double Swedish champion Jacob Thorssell.

Former Finnish international Timo Lahti switches to Swedish colours for this year’s competition – taking on the country he led to an historic seventh place in the 2022 FIM SON. In his absence, the Finns are captained by Jesse Mustonen for 2024, with Antti Vuolas, Tero Aarnio, Niclas Säyriö and Otto Raak all named in the squad.

Germany will be spearheaded by Speedway GP star Kai Huckenbeck as they bid to make their first Final since 2019. He is joined by Norick Blodorn, who races regularly in Manchester for the Belle Vue Aces. Double FIM Long Track world champion Erik Riss, Kevin Wolbert and Valentin Grobauer complete the list.

The French team is led by David Bellego, with former FIM Long Track world champion Mathieu Tresarrieu, Steven Goret, Tino Bouin and Jordan Dubernard also in starting contention.

Italy is captained by Paco Castagna – son of former Speedway GP rider and current FIM Track Racing Commission director Armando Castagna. He links up with Nicolas Covatti, Nicolas Vicentin and Matteo Boncinelli in a squad of four.

The Ukrainian challenge is led by captain Andryi Karpov and SGP2 star Nazar Parnitskyi, who has impressed with Polish club Leszno this season. Marko Levishyn, Stanislav Melnychuk and Stanislav Ohorodnik also make the squad.

The Poles topped the podium in the 2023 Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Final. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

REIGNING CHAMPIONS IN SEMI-FINAL 2

Australia launches their FIM SON title defence in Semi-Final 2, with Jack Holder and Max Fricke named in the squad and bidding to repeat their heroics from the 2022 Final in Vojens, Denmark. They are joined in team manager Mark Lemon’s line-up by two Belle Vue riders – former World Under-21 champion Jaimon Lidsey and former Australian champion Brady Kurtz. Leicester and Dackarna racer Ryan Douglas completes the squad.

The Danes are spearheaded by triple Speedway European Championship winner Mikkel Michelsen, who is joined in boss Nicki Pedersen’s quintet by former Speedway GP rival Anders Thomsen, 2022 Danish champion Rasmus Jensen, former World Under-21 Championship runner-up Mads Hansen and Andreas Lyager.

Czech chargers Jan Kvech and Vaclav Milik are named in their national squad, with Adam Bednar, Daniel Klima and Eduard Krcmar listed alongside them as they bid to better their fifth-place finish from 2022.

Speedway GP star Andzejs Lebedevs captains Latvia, with SGP2 rider Francis Gusts, SEC rider Jevgenijs Kostigovs, Daniils Kolodinskis and Olegs Mihailovs completing the list.

The USA challenge is led by FIM North America champion Luke Becker, with Gino Manzares, Broc Nicol, Alex Martin and SGP2 first substitute star Slater Lightcap taking their place in the squad.

American hero Luke Becker. PHOTO: Taylor Lanning

Norway will be led into the tournament by SGP2 rider Mathias Pollestad, who has emerged as his country’s next big star on the world stage. He is joined by Edinburgh rider Lasse Madland Fredriksen, as well as Glenn Moi, Truls Kamhaug and Magnus Klipper.

The three-rider Slovenian squad features 2023 SGP2 rider Anze Grmek, as well as Matic Ivacic and Denis Stojs.

The starting line-ups for the FIM SON Semi-Finals will be announced in the week ahead of the tournament.

SGP star Kai Huckenbeck leads the German squad list. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

YOUNG GUNS FACE OFF

An epic week of action in Manchester also features FIM Speedway of Nations – SON2 on Friday, July 12.

For the first time in its history, the sport’s team under-21 world championship event features eight countries competing over a marathon 28 heats for SON2 gold. The highest scoring nation after 28 races will be crowned champion.

Hosts Great Britain name an SON2 squad featuring SGP2 rider Leon Flint, as well as British Under-21 champion Sam Hagon. They are joined by talented teenager Ashton Boughen and brothers Dan and Joe Thompson.

Reigning champions Poland select a stellar squad featuring Wiktor Przyjemski, Bartosz Banbor and Sebastian Szostak, who finished first, second and third respectively in the 3P Logistics FIM SGP2 of Sweden – Malilla on June 14. They are joined by SGP2 rival Jakub Krawczyk and Gorzow sensation Oskar Paluch as the Poles chase an astonishing 11th straight gold medal.

Last year’s silver medallists Denmark nominate five SGP2 riders in their squad – Jesper Knudsen, William Drejer, 2022 SGP3 top two Mikkel Andersen and Villads Nagel, plus Bastian Pedersen – nephew of national boss Nicki Pedersen.

GB U21 skipper Leon Flint leads the Lions’ SON2 charge. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

After winning SON2 bronze on home soil in Riga last year, Latvia’s challenge is led by Francis Gusts, who joins forces with Nikita Kaulins and Artjoms Juhno in a three-rider squad.

The Swedish squad features two SGP2 stars in Philip Hellstrom-Bangs and Casper Henriksson, plus 2023 SGP3 winner Rasmus Karlsson, Noel Wahlquist and Sammy van Dyck.

Belle Vue favourite Norick Blodorn leads Germany’s SON2 challenge on his British home track. He is named in the under-21 squad alongside Jonny Wynant, Patrick Hyjek, Ben Iken and Marlon Hegener.

The Czech Republic squad is captained by Prague youngster Adam Bednar. He teams up with Matous Kamenik, Jaroslav Vanicek, Bruno Belan and Jan Jenicek as they bid to better the country’s 2022 SON2 silver medal.

The Aussies complete the field for SON2, led by 2023 SGP2 star Keynan Rew, plus James Pearson, Michael West, Tate Zischke and Harrison Ryan.

Teamwork made the dream work for Aussie heroes Jack Holder and Max Fricke in Vojens in 2022. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

2024 FIM SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS SQUADS

SEMI-FINAL 1 – TUESDAY, JULY 9

Team A – FRANCE

1. David Bellego ©

2. Steven Goret

3. Mathias Trésarrieu

4. Tino Bouin

5. Jordan Dubernard

Team manager: Laurent Sambarrey

Team B – POLAND

1. Patryk Dudek

2. Maciej Janowski

3. Dominik Kubera

4. Piotr Pawlicki

5. Bartosz Zmarzlik ©

Team manager: Rafal Dobrucki

Team C – ITALY

1. Paco Castagna ©

2. Nicolas Covatti

3. Nicolas Vicentin

4. Matteo Boncinelli

Team manager: Alessandro Dalla Valle

Team D – UKRAINE

1. Andryi Karpov ©

2. Marko Levishyn

3. Stanislav Melnychuk

4. Nazar Parnitskyi

5. Stanislav Ohorodnik

Team manager: TBA

Team E – GERMANY

1. Kai Huckenbeck ©

2. Erik Riss

3. Kevin Wölbert

4. Norick Blödorn

5. Valentin Grobauer

Team manager: Mathias Bartz

Team F – SWEDEN

1. Fredrik Lindgren ©

2. Jacob Thorssell

3. Oliver Berntzon

4. Kim Nilsson

5. Timo Lahti

Team manager: Morgan Andersson

Team G – FINLAND

1. Jesse Mustonen ©

2. Antti Vuolas

3. Tero Aarnio

4. Niclas Säyriö

5. Otto Raak

Team manager: Aki-Pekka Mustonen

SEMI-FINAL 2 – WEDNESDAY, JULY 10

Team A – CZECH REPUBLIC

1. Jan Kvech

2. Vaclav Milik ©

3. Adam Bednar

4. Daniel Klima

5. Eduard Krcmar

Team manager: Ezven Erban

Team B – AUSTRALIA

1. Ryan Douglas

2. Max Fricke

3. Jack Holder ©

4. Brady Kurtz

5. Jaimon Lidsey

Team manager: Mark Lemon

Team C – NORWAY

1. Mathias Pollestad ©

2. Glenn Moi

3. Truls Kamhaug

4. Lasse Madland Fredriksen

5. Magnus Klipper

Team manager: Kenneth Klipper Smith

Team D – SLOVENIA

1. Anze Grmek

2. Matic Ivacic ©

3. Denis Stojs

Team manager: Gregor Arnsek

Team E – USA

1. Alex Martin

2. Broc Nicol

3. Gino Manzares ©

4. Luke Becker

5. Slater Lightcap

Team manager: Steve Evans

Team F – DENMARK

1. Mikkel Michelsen ©

2. Anders Thomsen

3. Rasmus Jensen

4. Mads Hansen

5. Andreas Lyager

Team manager: Nicki Pedersen

Team G – LATVIA

1. Andzejs Lebedevs ©

2. Daniils Kolodinskis

3. Francis Gusts

4. Jevgenijs Kostigovs

5. Olegs Mihailovs

Team manager: Vladimir Ribnikovs

FIM SON FINAL – SATURDAY, JULY 13

GREAT BRITAIN

1. Dan Bewley

2. Tom Brennan

3. Adam Ellis

4. Robert Lambert

5. Tai Woffinden ©

Team managers: Simon Stead and Oliver Allen

FIM SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS – SON2 – FRIDAY, JULY 12

Team A – POLAND

1. Bartosz Banbor

2. Jakub Krawczyk

3. Oskar Paluch

4. Wiktor Przyjemski ©

5. Sebastian Szostak

Team manager: Rafal Dobrucki

Team B – GERMANY

1. Norick Blödorn ©

2. Jonny Wynant

3. Patrick Hyjek

4. Ben Iken

5. Marlon Hegener

Team manager: Sascha Dörner

Team C – GREAT BRITAIN

1. Leon Flint ©

2. Daniel Thompson

3. Samuel Hagon

4. Ashton Boughen

5. Joe Thompson

Team manager: Neil Vatcher

Team D – LATVIA

1. Francis Gusts ©

2. Nikita Kaulins

3. Artjoms Juhno

Team manager: Vladimirs Ribnikovs

Team E – CZECH REPUBLIC

1. Adam Bubba Bednar ©

2. Jan Jenicek

3. Matous Kamenik

4. Jaroslav Vanicek

5. Bruno Belan

Team manager: Evzen Erban

Team F – SWEDEN

1. Casper Henriksson ©

2. Philip Hellström-Bängs

3. Noel Wahlquist

4. Rasmus Karlsson

5. Sammy Van Dyck

Team manager: Alexander Edberg

Team G – AUSTRALIA

1. James Pearson

2. Keynan Rew ©

3. Harrison Ryan

4. Michael West

5. Tate Zischke

Team manager: Mark Lemon

Team H – DENMARK

1. Jesper Knudsen ©

2. Bastian Pedersen

3. William Drejer

4. Villads Nagel

5. Mikkel Andersen

Team managers: Nicki Pedersen / Hans Andersen

 

Words by Speedway GP – Feature Image by Jarek Pabijan

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