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SGP 2018 REVIEW | TORUN SGP

SpeedwayGP.com looks back at the best of SGP 2018. And we complete our season review with the Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland.

04 / 01 / 2019, 12:58

SpeedwayGP.com looks back at the best of SGP 2018. And we complete our season review with the Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland.

With Polish hero Bartosz Zmarzlik breathing down series leader Tai Woffinden’s neck in the FIM Speedway World Championship race, the Brit knew he couldn’t ease off the throttle at the Marian Rose Motoarena.

With a 10-point advantage going into the round, 12 points for the Scunthorpe-born star would have been enough to seal gold – however Zmarzlik performed. But brilliant Bartek nearly pulled off the mother of all comebacks.

Woffy took a giant stride towards the title with wins in both his opening two rides, with Zmarzlik matching that feat.

Bartek’s unforgettable last-to-first burst to see off bronze medal contenders Freddie Lindgren, Maciej Janowski and Greg Hancock in heat one only underlined his desire to become Poland’s third world champ.

With the rivals neck and neck, the wheels threatened to come off Woffy’s challenge when the world’s top two went head to head in heat 11.

The Indianerna and Wroclaw man lost control as he battled Jason Doyle for second place and crashed. Woffinden was excluded, allowing Zmarzlik to slash his lead to seven points with a victory.

A third behind Artem Laguta and Greg Hancock in heat 13 didn’t help Woffy’s cause as Zmarzlik maintained his maximum with a win in race 15 to reduce the gap to five and really pile on the pressure.

But things began to turn Tai’s way in race 19. Laguta – also unbeaten in his first four rides – blotted Zmarzlik’s scorecard, dropping him into second to move Woffy a point nearer the trophy. Woffinden then stepped up with a huge victory over Matej Zagar, Janowski and Nicki Pedersen in heat 20 to send himself into the semis needing just a point to finish the job.

Woffinden and Zmarzlik locked horns in semi-final two, and the Brit - with the sport's ultimate prize at stake - held his nerve. He followed Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen home and relegated the Pole into third to spark wild celebrations in his camp and among the British fans in Torun.

It was a moment of history as Woffinden became the first Brit to lift three world titles and further cemented himself as an SGP legend.

He wasn’t done yet. Laguta had raced to six straight wins and went into the final seeking the holy grail of an SGP maximum. But Woffinden had one last big ride in the tank and took the chequered flag to break the Russian’s heart.

It was a night neither man will forget and Laguta’s time will surely come to stand atop the SGP rostrum.

His compatriot Emil Sayfutdinov’s hunt for a first SGP win since 2013 goes on after he finished third to book his spot in SGP 2019.

Iversen was fourth – a result which maintains his record of reaching the final at every Torun SGP he has raced in.

But the night and SGP 2018 belonged to Woffinden – now Britain’s most decorated world champion.

 

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