FIVE FACTS: EMIL SAYFUTDINOV
As we gear up for the 2017 FIM Speedway World Championships, SGP Five Facts brings you five things you might not know about the world’s top riders. Today we feature Emil Sayfutdinov.
1. The Russian racer was the first rider ever to win the FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship more than once when he topped the box in 2007 and 2008. It’s a record that was immediately matched by Aussie icon Darcy Ward, who won the title twice in 2009 and 2010.
2. Sayfutdinov was the first rider to win an SGP round on his World Championship debut when he took the chequered flag at the Czech SGP in Prague on April 25, 2009. Technically he’s not the first rider to win their maiden FIM Speedway Grand Prix. That was Tomasz Gollob who won the first ever SGP round staged at Wroclaw in 1995.
3. The Salavat-born star is the only Russian rider to have reached the World Championship’s top three in the SGP era, winning bronze in 2009. But the man tipped to be his nation’s first world champion is still battling to beat USSR legend Igor Plechanov’s back-to-back silver medals in the 1964 and 1965 World Finals.
4. When Sayfutdinov wins in the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series – he usually wins big! He has six SGP victories to his name – three of them in 2009 and another trio in 2013. The only venue where he has won twice is Gothenburg’s Ullevi Stadium, where he topped the Swedish SGP podium both years.
5. Sayfutdinov inspired Russia’s greatest ever Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup performance, when they claimed third place at Malilla in 2012. The double European champion scored 17 of their 30 points in the Final as Russia stormed to their best result since winning silver at Diedenbergen in 1996.
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