July 17, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

2024 FIM Speedway of Nations starting line-ups revealed!

2024 FIM Speedway of Nations starting line-ups revealed!

The starting line-ups have been confirmed for the 2024 FIM Speedway of Nations Semi-Finals in Manchester on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Fifteen countries will compete in the ultimate test of team riding at Britain’s National Speedway Stadium in a bid to be crowned FIM Speedway world team champions for 2024.

Hosts Great Britain famously won the FIM SON world title when Manchester last staged the event in 2021 – ending a 32-year run without a world team championship win. They will bid to regain the crown they lost to Australia at Danish venue Vojens in 2022, with the Lions seeded straight through to the Final on Saturday, July 13 as host nation.

The GB starting line-up will be selected following the two Semi-Finals, with Speedway GP stars Robert Lambert, Dan Bewley and the injured Tai Woffinden named in their five-rider squad alongside FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff wild card Tom Brennan and former British champion Adam Ellis.

Fourteen countries will compete for six spots alongside GB in the FIM SON Final, 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.

Champions Australia 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 countries from each Semi-Final automatically join GB in the FIM SON Final, with the third and fourth-placed teams competing in a Final Qualifier for one last place in the Saturday showdown.

Each national team manager has named a two-rider starting line-up at No.1 and No.2, with the option to select a reserve rider at No.3, who can replace riders No.1 and No.2 at any time of their choosing.

BARTEK BACK IN MANCHESTER

Four-time Speedway GP world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik spearheads Poland’s challenge in Manchester, and he is joined by SGP rival and Lublin and Lejonen club teammate Dominik Kubera, with former world No.3 Maciej Janowski handed the No.3 reserve berth.

Zmarzlik and Janowski won FIM SON silver for Poland at the 2021 FIM SON Final in Manchester, but they will be bidding to go one better this time around after losing the Grand Final 5-4 to GB duo Lambert and Bewley.

The Swedish challenge is led by world No.2 Fredrik Lindgren, with double Swedish champion Jacob Thorssell picked to partner him. Oliver Berntzon is named at No.3 will bid to replicate his astonishing 2022 FIM SON, which saw him score 40 points across Sweden’s Semi-Final and Final – making him the highest-scoring rider of all 15 countries.

Germany will be represented by Speedway GP star Kai Huckenbeck, and he will be joined by young gun Norick Blodorn, who races regularly for the Belle Vue Aces in Manchester and will hope to give his teammates the benefit of his local knowledge. Two-time FIM Long Track world champion, Erik Riss is named at No.3.

Finland reached the 2022 Final in Vojens and Jesse Mustonen and Antti Vuolas will fly their colours in 2024, with Otta Raak named at No.3.

France qualified for the 2021 FIM SON Final in Manchester and David Bellego leads their challenge this summer, with Steven Goret stepping up to partner him in the absence of the injured Dimitri Berge. Mathias Tresarrieu is named as their No.3 reserve.

The Italian team features former FIM SGP Challenge finalists Paco Castagna and Nicolas Covatti, who both have plenty of experience on British tracks, with Nicolas Vicentin named as their No.3.

Ukraine selects just two riders for the FIM SON, with Marko Levishyn and Stanislav Melnychuk representing them in Manchester.

Ukrainian young gun Marko Levishyn celebrated a huge race win over Speedway GP world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik at Vojens in 2022. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

REIGNING CHAMPIONS RETURN

Australian boss Mark Lemon selects two of his 2022 FIM SON world-title-winning heroes to defend the crown they won at Vojens, with Jack Holder and Max Fricke joining forces once again in Semi-Final 2 on Wednesday, with Belle Vue rider and former Aussie champion Brady Kurtz named in the No.3 position.

European champion Mikkel Michelsen captains Denmark, with former Speedway GP rider Anders Thomsen partnering him and 2022 Danish champion Rasmus Jensen selected at No.3 by national boss Nicki Pedersen.

After racing to fifth place in the 2022 FIM SON, Czech duo Vaclav Milik and Jan Kvech are back to push for Final qualification in Manchester, with young gun Adam Bubba Bednar named as their No.3.

Latvian ace and current Speedway European Championship leader Andzejs Lebedevs leads his country into action, with 2023 SON2 bronze medallist Daniils Kolodinskis named at No.2 and SGP2 rider Francis Gusts listed as their No.3.

American boss Steve Evans nominates Broc Nicol and Gino Manzares as his starting pair, with FIM North America champion Luke Becker offering a powerful reserve option at No.3.

Former SGP2 rider Anze Grmek and Matic Ivacic represent Slovenia. Denis Stojs is named as their reserve at No.3.

Norway completes the Semi-Final 2 line-up, with SGP2 talent Mathias Pollestad captaining the side. He is partnered by Truls Kamhaug, as Glenn Moi takes the No.3 position.

The starting line-ups for FIM Speedway of Nations – SON2, featuring the sport’s top eight under-21 teams competing over a marathon 28 heats, will be announced very soon. The FIM SON Final starting line-ups will be confirmed following the conclusion of the two Semi-Finals.

Czech chargers Vaclav Milik and Jan Kvech taking the fight to GB in Vojens. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

FIM SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS SEMI-FINAL STARTING LINE-UPS

SEMI-FINAL 1 – TUESDAY, JULY 9

Team A – FRANCE

1. David Bellego ©

2. Steven Goret

3. Mathias Trésarrieu

Team manager: Laurent Sambarrey

Team B – POLAND

1. Dominik Kubera

2. Bartosz Zmarzlik ©

3. Maciej Janowski

Team manager: Rafal Dobrucki

Team C – ITALY

1. Paco Castagna ©

2. Nicolas Covatti

3. Nicolas Vicentin

Team manager: Alessandro Dalla Valle

Team D – UKRAINE

1. Stanislav Melnychuk ©

2. Marko Levishyn

Team manager: TBC

Team E – GERMANY

1. Kai Huckenbeck ©

2. Norick Blödorn

3. Erik Riss

Team manager: Mathias Bartz

Team F – SWEDEN

1. Fredrik Lindgren ©

2. Jacob Thorssell

3. Oliver Berntzon

Team manager: Morgan Andersson

Team G – FINLAND

1. Jesse Mustonen ©

2. Antti Vuolas

3. Otto Raak

Team manager: Aki-Pekka Mustonen

Champions in Manchester in 2021 – can GB repeat their gold-medal heroics this summer? PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

SEMI-FINAL 2 – WEDNESDAY, JULY 10

Team A – CZECH REPUBLIC

1. Vaclav Milik ©

2. Jan Kvech

3. Adam Bubba Bednar

Team manager: Ezven Erban

Team B – AUSTRALIA

1. Jack Holder ©

2. Max Fricke

3. Brady Kurtz

Team manager: Mark Lemon

Team C – NORWAY

1. Mathias Pollestad ©

2. Truls Kamhaug

3. Glenn Moi

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. Broc Nicol

2. Gino Manzares ©

3. Luke Becker

Team manager: Steve Evans

Team F – DENMARK

1. Mikkel Michelsen ©

2. Anders Thomsen

3. Rasmus Jensen

Team manager: Nicki Pedersen

Team G – LATVIA

1. Andzejs Lebedevs ©

2. Daniils Kolodinskis

3. Francis Gusts

Team manager: Vladimir Ribnikovs

Words by Speedway GP – Feature Image courtesy of Jarek Pabijan

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