June 24, 2024
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FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship Challenge hopefuls head to Italian and Slovakian Qualifying rounds – Preview & Rider Lists

FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship Challenge hopefuls head to Italian and Slovakian Qualifying rounds

The second pair of Qualifying rounds to decide the line-up for the FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship Challenge are scheduled for this coming Saturday (25 May) at Lonigo in Italy and Žarnovica in Slovakia, meaning we are just days away from confirming the riders who will compete at Pardubice in the Czech Republic on 4 October.

At stake in Pardubice will be four priceless permanent places in the 2025 FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship (SGP), but before that showdown there is more pressing business to be taken care of with thirty-six riders still to fight for their right to compete at the Challenge event.

With eight hungry hopefuls already through following the first Qualifying rounds at Abensberg in Germany and Debrecen in Hungary earlier this week, the final field will be completed with four riders progressing from Italy and four from Slovakia, although in the event of no Czechs making the cut only three will go through from Žarnovica with the final place in Pardubice taken by a Czech wild card.

There is not much to choose between the starting line-ups in Lonigo and Žarnovica, with both featuring three riders who have competed in the 2024 SGP series, although on paper at least the Italian event looks slightly stronger based on this season’s results so far.

Heading the entry at Lonigo, Australia’s Jack Holder surely starts favourite. The twenty-eight-year-old from New South Wales was a member of the victorious team at the 2022 FIM Speedway of Nations (SON) and is currently sitting second in the SGP standings having scored a win and a third from the three events already contested this season.

The formbook suggests Holder’s main opposition could come from Dan Bewley who is sixth in the SGP points table, although the twenty-four-year-old British rider – who was a member of the winning team at the 2021 SON – is still looking for his first podium finish of the season.

As expected, the event has attracted a strong Italian contingent looking to take advantage of racing on home shale and there will also be racers from Argentina, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Denmark and Sweden in a truly international field.

Žarnovica also boasts its own big-hitters with Britain’s Robert Lambert among the favourites. The twenty-six-year-old, who mounted the top step of the podium alongside Bewley at the 2021 SON, has started the SGP season in sparkling form and following the opening three rounds sits fourth in the points table with a podium finish at round two in Poland.

Just three places behind Lambert in the SGP standings, Martin Vaculik will be aiming to use home advantage to maximum effect, as will his compatriot Jakub Valkovic.

At least thirteen nations will be represented in Žarnovica, making it another international line-up that is only appropriate given the potentially career-changing prize that awaits four riders in Pardubice.

You can watch the action live from Lonigo and Žarnovica on FIM-MOTO.TV.

Rider lists

Zarnovica_starting_list

Starting_list_Lonigo

Words by FIM – Images Jesper Veldhuizen

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