May 23, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

Heroic Holder makes history with first-ever Speedway GP win in Croatia!

Aussie ace Jack Holder inked his family name into the FIM Speedway Grand Prix history books after storming to his first-ever SGP win at the Boll FIM Speedway GP of Croatia on Saturday.

The world No.4 topped the podium in Donji Kraljevec ahead of fellow Aussie star Jason Doyle in second place, Sweden’s Fredrik Lindgren in third, with Poland’s reigning world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik in fourth.

Holder joins five-time SGP-winning older brother Chris – the 2012 Speedway GP world champion – in the SGP winner’s club – making them the first sibling duo in SGP history to both top the podium.

Jack also breaks four-time Speedway GP world champion Zmarzlik’s near-two-year, uninterrupted run at the top of the SGP standings, which stretches back to the Pole’s victory at the FIM Croatian Speedway GP on April 30, 2022.

Five-time 2023 podium finisher Holder was elated to seal his first SGP win after making the gruelling 10-hour drive from his Polish PGE Ekstraliga club Lublin on Friday to line up in Croatia, where he triumphed in front of a 7,000-strong capacity crowd at Speedway Stadion Milenium.

He said: “I just made history and put the Holder family down as the first brothers to win. It’s a massive monkey off my back; I have been wanting this victory for so long.

“My partner Jessica is back home in England and has our son in her belly, so she can’t travel anymore. That one is for her. I can’t wait to get home. Mum and Dad are back home in Australia with my brother Jimbo, and Chris was watching it too. The whole Holder crew – we did it!”

Holder is delighted to see his name atop the Speedway GP standings for the first time in his career. While he’s determined to stay there, he knows it will be no easy task with 10 rounds to race, starting with the Orlen FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Warsaw on May 11.

“It’s only the first round tonight,” Holder said. “I can’t really look at that too much. It’s awesome to be the leader. I just need to stay healthy throughout the rounds and be there at the end.”

Aussie one-two – Jason Doyle congratulates Jack Holder. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

Doyle was delighted to bounce back after a tough week with his Polish club Grudziadz, which saw him score four points away to Wroclaw in a PGE Ekstraliga match on Friday, before he made the long trek to Donji Kraljevec overnight.

Despite finishing 18th and last in the Qualifying Practice timing charts during the afternoon, he delivered the goods when it mattered most.

“You wouldn’t believe it!” he said. “What a couple of days we have had. I had a terrible one in Poland last night. I went into Qualifying Practice and got 18th place, so to come here and stand on the rostrum is great. What a night!

“I can’t thank my mechanics enough. They worked so hard over the last week, and I really appreciate all the fans here, who created an amazing atmosphere.

“We know how important it is to keep pushing in the semi-final and then the big points come if you get into the final.”

Third-placed Fredrik Lindgren. PHOTO: Taylor Lanning

Swedish star Lindgren only just made it into the semi-finals on eight race points, before delivering a big first corner in semi-final two to round British racer Robert Lambert for the all-important second place that put him in the final.

“I was battling like everyone,” he said. “I made a couple of mistakes in the heats, dropping points which made it a lot harder to get the semi. I had the outside – gate four – which was a bit of a nightmare. I had to make something happen and managed to do it. I am happy to have been on the podium in the end.”

The SGP action resumes with the Orlen FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Warsaw in front of a 50,000-plus crowd at the iconic PGE Narodowy on May 11.

Report by SpeedwayGP – Images by Taylor Lanning

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