July 17, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

Ninth for Flint as Przyjemski tops a SGP2 1-2-3 in Sweden!

Ninth for Flint as Przyjemski tops a SGP2 1-2-3 in Sweden!

Polish star Wiktor Przyjemski insists he won’t be putting any extra pressure on his shoulders after opening his FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship bid with victory in the 3P Logistics FIM SGP2 of Sweden – Malilla on Friday.

Przyjemski was tipped by many as one of the championship favourites and delivered a big ride when it mattered most to lead a Polish one-two-three in the final, beating second-placed Bartosz Banbor and Sebastian Szostak in third, with Swedish favourite Philip Hellstrom-Bangs taking fourth spot.

Last year’s champion Mateusz Cierniak, silver medallist Damian Ratajczak and third-placed Bartlomiej Kowalski packed the podium for Poland in the 2023 SGP2 championship.

But even with a new generation of stars in 2024, Przyjemski and his compatriots have maintained the nation’s grip on the FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship series.

Two-time SGP2 gold medallist Przyjemski was expected to be the most likely rider to follow Cierniak into the club of SGP2 winners. While he was delighted to live up to this tag, the Lublin favourite insists he won’t be putting too much pressure on his shoulders ahead of the final two rounds in Latvian capital Riga on September 6 and at Polish venue Torun on September 27.

He said: “I didn’t put too much pressure on myself tonight and I am taking it step by step. People may think that I am favourite, but we will see about that at the end of the series. Right now, I am very happy with the win tonight and that’s all that matters.

“I didn’t feel very good and comfortable on this track tonight. First of all, I struggled with the starts. I couldn’t find the best setups for tonight’s meeting. I changed everything before the last heat of the night, and still didn’t feel that comfortable. But I found a line on the inside of the track, and I made the most of it. I just had a bit of luck.

“I am very proud of myself and my friends. It’s a great feeling to be on the rostrum with my compatriots. I would say that Poland rules, but we will take it step by step. Last year, the podium at the end of the series was Polish. Maybe it will be the same again, but we will see. It is the first round, and we will keep it going.”

Runner-up Bartosz Banbor hits the front. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

Runner-up Banbor, 17, delivered a sensational performance on his SGP2 debut as he followed his Lublin teammate Przyjemski home in the final.

He only entered the series courtesy of a wild card from the SGP2 Commission after falling just short of qualification at German track Ludwigslust last Saturday. Banbor feared his chance of racing against the sport’s top junior stars had gone for 2024.

He said: “I thought I had no chance of getting the wild card. It was a really nice surprise for me. I wanted to show I deserved it. I think I did that, and I hope to do it again.

“I am 17 and this is a really big thing for me. It’s my first time in SGP2 and my first time on the podium. It was a good debut, I think. I want to keep it up for the next rounds and have fun.”

Runner-up Bartosz Banbor hits the front. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

Third-placed Szostak started his night with two last places but hit back in incredible style with four straight victories to reach the final.

He said: “For me, third place was a very positive outcome. Obviously, the start of the meeting wasn’t great for me. After zero, zero, I had to be very strong mentally to bounce back. I did it and I am very happy about my third.

“We made a lot of changes to the bike through the night before every heat. Before the crucial one when I scored my first three points, we made a big change and that paid off.”

Hellstrom-Bangs in fourth was delighted his Malilla track knowledge paid dividends. But he was gutted to miss out on the podium in front of his home fans after delivering a dramatic battling performance to score 13 points from five heats, before producing a daring ride in the semi-final to snatch second place from Danish teenager Mikkel Andersen.

He said: “I like this track and I know how to race here. This is one of my favourite tracks. I showed that in the first 20 heats. I just needed to be better in the semi-final and final and I wasn’t so good.

“I think I should have taken white – gate three – for the final and then I would have been on the podium. But I had three very good riders next to me and they are racing against the best riders every week. I am only racing in Sweden. I only race the best riders once a week. I hope this will help to get me noticed by other clubs around Europe. That’s what I am looking for.”

Words by Speedway GP – Feature Image by Jarek Pabijan

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