GOLLOB HAILS SPECIAL KK
Polish skipper Tomasz Gollob paid tribute to Krzysztof Kasprzak after he notched a 15-point maximum to inspire his country into the FIM PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna Speedway World Cup Final.
The Poles claimed a commanding victory in Event Two at King’s Lynn on Monday night, scoring a sensational 62 points.
Team Great Britain were second on 49 and earned a place in the SWC Race-Off at Gorzow on Thursday night, where they will fight for one of two places in Saturday’s SWC Final at the same venue.
They will be joined by Russia, who claimed a shock third place at the Norfolk Arena on 21 despite tracking only a four-man team. The Czech Republic lost out on 20 and are eliminated.
Poland’s fantastic five all notched double figures to send a heavy Polish contingent within the bumper 4,950 crowd home happy.
Gollob, who scored 13, hopes his team can produce a repeat performance in Saturday’s Final and was particularly delighted with Kasprzak, who ended an indifferent run of form in emphatic style.
"It was perfect racing from everybody. Krzysztof Kasprzak was really perfect tonight."
- Tomasz Gollob
The world champion said: “It was perfect racing from everybody. Krzysztof Kasprzak was really perfect tonight. He rides in the British league and he was great every time.
“I think 62 points is a lot, but I promise it will be the same result on Saturday.”
Gollob also paid tribute to the scores of Polish fans who helped to create a superb atmosphere at the Norfolk Arena.
He said: “I have to say thank you to the fans. They really got behind us. I hope it will be the same at Gorzow and we will have around 20,000 people there.”
Piotr Protasiewicz also starred for Poland on 13 points. The former King’s Lynn rider feels a grippy track played right into his side’s hands.
He said: “I think the track was too grippy for the British riders. When the track is slick, the British riders race much better, but this is no problem for the Polish team. We got a good result and had good starts. This is a very good race track.”
The Poles collide with Event One winners Denmark in the Final. They will be joined by the top two from Thursday’s Race-Off.
Team GB have been drawn into the white helmets for this meeting, while the Russians are in blue. Event One runners-up Sweden wear yellow and Australia complete the line-up in red.
The Lions go into the meeting without former Grand Prix star Scott Nicholls, who will remain in the UK to look after his partner Sophie, who recently underwent surgery.
His place will be taken by Lewis Bridger and team manager Neil Middleditch hopes he will rise to the biggest test of his career to date.
He said: “Lewis has made it public that he wanted to be involved and should have been involved. So I’ll give him a chance. He has talked the talk. Now he has to walk the walk. He’s a capable rider and we know he has the talent.
“This is the world stage and it’s the toughest meeting he’s going to have for a long, long time.
“He has been in contact with me to say he has new engines and has been testing things, so he is very keen to do well.”
EVENT TWO SCORES:
Poland 62: 1 Tomasz Gollob 13, 2 Jaroslaw Hampel 10, 3 Janusz Kolodziej 11, 4 Piotr Protasiewicz 13, 5 Krzysztof Kasprzak 15. Team Great Britain 49: 1 Chris Harris 16, 2 Scott Nicholls 6, 3 Tai Woffinden 10, 4 Edward Kennett 11, 5 Ben Barker 6. Russia 21: 1 Roman Povazhny 8, 2 Sergey Darkin 4, 3 Ilya Bondarenko 3, 4 Renat Gafurov 6, 5 No Rider. Czech Republic 20: 1 Ales Dryml 2, 2 Matej Kus 0, 3 Lukas Dryml 9, 4 Tomas Topinka 5, 5 Filip Sitera 4.
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