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DUDEK'S SECOND-SEASON TEST

Polish ace Patryk Dudek admits he expected a tough battle to repeat his 2017 heroics in SGP 2018.

17 / 01 / 2019, 09:04

Polish ace Patryk Dudek admits he expected a tough battle to repeat his 2017 heroics in SGP 2018.

The Zielona Gora hero made history when he raced to second in the World Championship in his maiden FIM Speedway Grand Prix season – the highest ever finish by a debuting rider.

Dudek was fifth in the standings and just five points short of third place after winning the AZTORIN Slovenian SGP in Krsko on September 8.

I expected a tough year. After big success in 2017, everyone thought I could be in the top one in my second year.

Patryk Dudek

But his series ground to a halt just three days later when he suffered a broken arm at a Swedish Elitserien meeting in Malilla, which saw him miss the rest of the season, dropping to ninth place.

While Dudek was unable to reach the level he achieved in SGP 2017 prior to that crash, he admits he was never anticipating an easy ride.

He said: “I expected a tough year. After big success in 2017, everyone thought I could be in the top one in my second year.

“As you saw, after a good result it is always hard to repeat it the year after. Jason Doyle also had a tough year after winning the title. I wanted to be in the top eight and I nearly did that.

“My year was up and down. The rounds in Hallstavik and Horsens were hard for me. I scored six and I didn't reach my minimum target there.

“But there were also two times when I was on the podium and I won my second SGP round in Krsko. The one in Gorzow was full of nervous situations after having a crash, a re-run etc in the final. I think on that round I could have had a little better result, but I was fourth and that’s how it is.

“I’m happy with my season, though. I’m just sad I couldn't ride in Torun where I won in 2017.”

Dudek insists he wasn’t weighed down by any extra pressure to better his 2017 silver medal as he targeted the top eight.

He said: “I didn't feel that pressure. I knew a lot of people would put that on me, so that’s why I stated my goal before 2018 and hoped everyone would respect that.

“I have my goals and no-one can decide where I have to be. I want win like all the boys, but the most important thing for me are the goals which I make with my team.”

As for SGP 2019, Dudek is determined to maintain his consistency and insists his goals remain unchanged.

He said: “To be in the top eight again and score 10 points minimum and semi-finals at each round; the goal is the same. If that happens, I will be happy.”

 

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