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RIDER REVIEW | EMIL SAYFUTDINOV

SpeedwayGP.com looks back at how the SGP class of 2018 fared this year. Today, we feature Emil Sayfutdinov.

08 / 12 / 2018, 09:09

SpeedwayGP.com looks back at how the SGP class of 2018 fared this year. Today, we feature Emil Sayfutdinov.

The Russian racer flew out of the blocks, charging to third in the World Championship after four rounds.

More importantly, he joined Artem Laguta and Gleb Chugunov in lifting his country’s first ever speedway world title when they won the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations in Wroclaw in June.

But things got tough for Sayfutdinov towards the end of the year and it took a big finish in Torun, coupled with an injury for Poland’s Patryk Dudek, to ensure he reached the top-eight automatic qualification places for SGP 2019.

Sayfutdinov started the season with an eight in Warsaw – unusually not enough to reach the semi-finals.

But he roared on to the rostrum in Prague, finishing third as he racked up 15 points – his best score of the year.

Sayfutdinov then raced to three straight semi appearances in Horsens, Hallstavik and Cardiff, with his 11 and 14-point hauls in Scandinavia putting him third in the standings.

After scoring eight at the Principality Stadium, things took a downturn as the St Petersburg-based man failed to reach any of the following four semis, scoring 22 points in four rounds.

It sent him into the decider in Torun hanging on in eighth place and needing to overhaul the injured Patryk Dudek to be certain of qualification.

With compatriot Laguta racing to a huge 20 points on the night, his place in SGP 2019 was safe.

And Sayfutdinov also delivered. Victory in his final heat ride put him on to eight points on the night and saw him close the six-point gap between him and Dudek, before he went on to finish third with 11 points and make his second podium appearance of 2018.

After getting the job done, Sayfutdinov made no secret of the fact he had a title push in his sights for next season.

If the former world No.3 can produce his consistent best, Russia might not have to wait long for its first individual world crown.

 

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