RIDER REVIEW: PIOTR PAWLICKI
SGP Rider Review looks back at how this year’s FIM Speedway Grand Prix stars got on. Today we feature Piotr Pawlicki.
The Polish international has been threatening to emerge as one of the sport’s biggest stars for a few years and was crowned World Under-21 champion in 2014.
But after qualifying for the World Championship at the GP Challenge in Rybnik in September 2015, he found life hard in the beginning.
Pawlicki failed to make the semi-finals at any of the opening four rounds. But his season took a dramatic upward turn from round five onwards when older sibling Przemyslaw flew to Cardiff to be part of his pit crew.
Having come within half a wheel of qualifying for the SGP series himself in Rybnik, Przemek is a world-class rider in his own right. And when the brothers put their heads together in their quest to get the Pawlicki name into the top eight, the points flowed.
A fantastic 14 in Cardiff were followed by 13 in Malilla, which saw Piotr finish third at the Swedish SGP – his first and only SGP final appearance.
Ten-point hauls in Gorzow, Stockholm and Torun and 11 in Teterow ensured Pawlicki all but qualified for 2017 with a round to spare and he ended his year with a steady eight in Melbourne to secure sixth spot overall.
Pawlicki may have made just the one final appearance, but consistency is king in the SGP series and the Leszno and Lejonen star delivered that, with a little help from his brother, in the closing stages of the season.
The highlight of Piotr’s year came in the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup, when he skippered Poland to gold at the Final in Manchester in first year in the senior side.
One of the most improved riders in the world this season, Pawlicki has laid a rock-solid foundation for 2017 as he bids to push on and challenge for a place on the World Championship podium.
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