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SON 2018 | RACE OFF 2 REVIEW continues its look back at all the 2018 action. Today, we rewind to Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Race Off 2.

18 / 01 / 2019, 12:50 continues its look back at all the 2018 action. Today, we rewind to Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Race Off 2 in Manchester.

It was a night where the big guns fired as favourites Sweden, Great Britain and Australia booked their places at the Finals in Wroclaw. But there was still no shortage of drama at the National Speedway Stadium.

With France making their World Championship debut and Finland returning for the first time since the 2010 FIM Speedway World Cup, the two nations were determined to make their mark against some of the sport’s top names.

The one nation which made it look easy was Sweden – winners on the night as they dropped just four points over six rides. Freddie Lindgren and Antonio Lindback showed their class as they blazed to four 5-1s and a 4-2 to book qualification with a heat to spare.

This was fortunate as heat 20 saw them come up against a GB side searching for the three points it needed to secure the second automatic Finals berth.

Lions hero Tai Woffinden – returning to the national team after a year’s absence – started the night alongside Craig Cook, scoring a 4-2 over France in their opening race.

This prompted team boss Alun Rossiter to throw in under-21 reserve Robert Lambert for the remainder of the meeting. And the British champion gave the world a taste of what could be ahead in the years to come.

First Woffinden shepherded the SGP first reserve to a 5-1 over Finland. Then the Czech Republic suffered the same fate. Italian star Nicolas Covatti split Woffy and Lambert – limiting them to a 4-2.

Then Australian inflicted a huge blow as Jason Doyle and Max Fricke raced to a 5-1 over the Lions that they hoped would earn them Finals qualification.

But in one of the shock moments of the tournament, Finnish star Tero Aarnio produced one of the rides of his life to keep Fricke and Doyle behind him in heat 19, with Timo Lahti holding the Aussies up too in the early stages before being passed.

This 3-3 meant three points for GB against the Swedes would see them overhaul Australia. Woffy and Lambert delivered. Woffinden got the better of Lindgren, while Lambert beat Lindback and the Lions were safely through.

It meant Australia faced a final knock-out race to seal their spot in Wroclaw. France tied with Finland for fifth place but beat them on countback, earning the right to tackle the Czech Republic in the first knock-out race.

The French appeared on course for an Aussie showdown as David Bellego and Dimitri Berge held the minor places, only for the latter to suffer a bike failure, allowing Czech duo Vaclav Milik and Josef Franc to stay in the hunt.

But despite Milik winning the final knock-out, second and third for Fricke and Doyle was enough to send them to Poland and keep them in the title hunt.


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Kenneth Bjerre insists he is ready to race for his country in the Monster Energy SON, despite sitting out this year’s national squad.

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SGP second reserve Max Fricke insists his time will come on the FIM Speedway Grand Prix stage as he eyes a World Championship spot.

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Martin Vaculik admitted “I really hope one day I can be the best rider in the world” as he steps up his preparations for SGP 2019.

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Aussie ace Jason Doyle says he’s “going for the top-eight, stay-safe approach” as he sets his goals for SGP 2019.

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Emil Sayfutdinov insists his Polish and Russian league dates are enough to keep him sharp for the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series.

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Polish racer Patryk Dudek hopes to help make Dackarna’s Swedish Elitserien title dream come true in 2019.

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SGP ICONS | HANS NIELSEN looks back at the icons who have made their mark on the SGP stage. Today, we feature the first-ever SGP champ Hans Nielsen.

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Australian Championship runner-up Rohan Tungate says “anything is possible” as he gets set for a shot at the SGP qualifiers this year.