July 17, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

Cairns third as Pawelczak powers home for SGP3 win in Gorzow

Cairns third as Pawelczak powers home for SGP3 win in Gorzow

Polish sensation Maksymilian Pawelczak admits he thrived under the expectation of being the home hero after winning the ISS FIM SGP3 Final – Gorzow with a phenomenal 15-point maximum on Friday.

Pawelczak lifted the FIM Speedway Youth World Championship for the sport’s 250cc under-16 stars with an exhibition of starting, leaving his rivals trailing from the tapes to win all five of his rides at Edward Jancarz Stadium.

Even after winning his opening four heats, Bydgoszcz rider Pawelczak still had to deliver the goods in the final race of the night as he faced off with Australian rival Beau Bailey in heat 20. But Pawelczak showed nerves of steel to get the better of the New South Wales star as the Pole improved on the SGP3 silver medal he won at Swedish venue Malilla in 2023.

Bailey secured silver on 13 points, with Great Britain talent William Cairns bagging the bronze medal on 12.

Pawelczak hits the front ahead of Slovenia’s Sven Cerjak. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

All eyes were on Pawelczak as Poland’s greatest gold-medal hope, especially after he won his Semi-Final with a 15-point maximum in Teterow, Germany last Saturday. But the teenager admits he thrived on the pressure of delivering Poland’s first FIM Speedway Youth World Championship win since Gorzow racer Oskar Paluch topped the podium in 2021.

Pawelczak said: “I like to race, and I like to have some pressure on me. That’s what I love. Winning in my home country is an awesome feeling. I am speechless. We did everything we could in the pits, and it was 100 percent. I am very happy about it.

“Last year, I got second place and this year I knew I had to get gold. I have always wanted to be a world champion and I made my dream come true.

“We have been working very hard on the starts and, as you can see, it worked out. I am very happy about that. We tried to get the best setup that we could, and we made it.”

Pawelczak now has his sights set on climbing the SGP pyramid, with SGP2 – the FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship – his next step as he graduates up to 500cc competition.

He added: “Hopefully it won’t be my last time on this stage. It will be my last time in SGP3. Hopefully in two years, I can be in SGP2 and then Speedway GP.”

Pawelczak leads Beau Bailey and Maksymilian Kostera. PHOTO: Taylor Lanning

Runner-up Bailey was pleased to see a year of hard work pay off as he improved on ninth place in the 2023 FIM SGP3 Final – Malilla.

“It’s a better result than last year – a silver medal,” he said. “Since the 2023 Final, I have mainly been practising my starting and trying to work on the setup for the slicker tracks. But focusing on the gating was the main thing.

“I still have a little longer before I am on the 500cc bikes, but we’ll see how we go next year. I might come back into SGP3. Let’s see.”

Bailey would start among the frontrunners if he returned, but third-placed Cairns now joins Pawelczak in moving on to the 500cc bikes, as he celebrates his 15th birthday on Saturday.

After second place in his opening heat and a third in the crucial heat 10, which pitted him against Pawelczak, Cairns was pleased to fight back for a bronze medal. He sealed it with a crucial win in his final race, heat 17, which saw him crash after an epic battle with Elias Jamil Jensen, with the Dane disqualified and Cairns awarded the three points.

He said: “I rode really well. The starts just weren’t working for me. I got T-boned in my last race, which is always fun after coming from the back.

“In the first heat, I just didn’t have the speed, so we dropped a sprocket and then I managed to get out of the starts better and find the speed. That gave me a confidence boost, and I just had to keep cool and try not to lose my head. We kept on pushing and it worked out well.”

Third-placed Cairns reached the rostrum. PHOTO: Taylor Lanning

Cairns is set to sign for an undisclosed club in Britain’s WSRA National Development League – his first step into 500cc senior competition.

His father Paul owns the Leicester Lions – a Rowe Motor Oil Premiership club with a second team in the NDL. But Cairns says his next move will be revealed soon.

He said: “I ride a 500cc bike at home and I can enter the National League tomorrow. That will be fun. I can’t really say too much yet. I have a contract somewhere, but I can’t disclose where that is now.

“My dad recently bought Leicester, so he is definitely keen to get me there. But I have had multiple clubs ask me to ride and I picked the club which I felt was right for me.”

Celebrating with a shoey – Pawelczak and Cairns. PHOTO: Taylor Lanning

The world-championship action continues in Gorzow on Saturday night with the ISS FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Gorzow, as four-time Speedway GP world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik returns to the venue where he transformed from raw rookie into a living speedway legend.

Words by Speedway GP – Feature Image by Taylor Lanning

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