EMIL: NOW FOR THE GOLD
Monday 16th July 2012, 17:38
Russian sensation Emil Sayfutdinov powered his team to an historic FIM Monster Energy Speedway World Cup bronze medal and is already setting his sights on the gold in 2013.
The 22-year-old bagged over half Russia’s points, scoring 17 of their 30, including a tactical joker win, as they reeled off four heat wins in the last five races to clinch third place.
It’s the first time Russia have appeared in the world’s top three since the old USSR team finished second in the World Team Cup Final at German venue Norden in 1975.
Sayfutdinov was proud of Russia’s new generation as Laguta brothers Grigory and Artem helped him deliver the goods, despite Roman Povazhny failing to score.
And now the former Coventry man is hopeful his side can mount a push for the gold medals next year.
"I think next year will be much different and better â€“ we will see. Maybe next year we will come to the World Cup and win some gold medals."
- Emil Sayfutdinov
He said: “I think next year will be much different and better – we will see. Maybe next year we will come to the World Cup and win some gold medals.
“For us, the bronze was very important because I think Russian speedway will be much better now. We are working hard – our whole team worked hard on Saturday; me, Povazhny and the Laguta brothers.
“The beginning was really hard because we had a few problems, but later we found the good setups and it went much better.
“We had bad setups on the bike and it was a hard track – this was a problem. There are so many passing lines there. The track quickly changed later and this was good.”
Sayfutdinov had to finish third in his last ride in Event 1 at Bydgoszcz on July 7 to ensure Russia held off Poland and Denmark in one of the most gripping World Cup rounds ever staged.
So he was pleased Czestochowa hotshot Grigory Laguta spared him another last-heat pressure race by winning race 19 ahead of Michael Jepsen Jensen, Chris Holder and Freddie Lindgren.
“We nearly had the same problem we had in Bydgoszcz on Saturday,” Sayfutdinov said. “Grisha went wide in his last heat there, went to the fence and only took one point instead of three. My last heat there was a real stress for me.
“But Grisha did it on Saturday and I am happy. I went into the last heat with a smile on my face. That was good.”
Sayfutdinov is due to race for Vetlanda on Tuesday night, and this Swedish commitment should prove a doddle compared to his Russian league expedition this Thursday.
The Salavat-born man races for Balakovo at Vladivostok – nestled not far from the North Korean and Chinese borders and just across the water from Japan.
He said: “It’s a long way. It’s nine hours from Moscow and it’s close to Japan. But it’ll be okay.”
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- 23/05: HANCOCK LEADS AMERICAN ASSAULT
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- 01/05: LATVIANS EARN SWC SPOT
- 20/04: RACE OFF & FINAL TICKETS ON SALE