EMIL: ENJOYMENT BEFORE EXPECTATION
Russian racer Emil Sayfutdinov says reducing the pressure and increasing his enjoyment of the sport will help him realise his title dream.
05 / 02 / 2019, 11:52
Russian racer Emil Sayfutdinov believes reducing the pressure and increasing his enjoyment of the sport will help him realise his FIM Speedway Grand Prix world title dream.
The Salavat-born star finished eighth in last year’s World Championship, producing a strong final round at the Torun SGP to secure the last automatic qualification place.
But Sayfutdinov’s ambitions are higher than that. He finished third in his debut season in 2009, winning three SGP rounds along the way. He was well and truly in the hunt to win the 2013 series until injury stopped him in his tracks, allowing Tai Woffinden to triumph.
I just want to start the season without pressure and try to enjoy it. My goal was to be world champion last year and I put pressure on myself. I feel I can do it, but that’s not how it works.
He hasn’t reached those heights since returning to the World Championship after a three-year break in 2017.
After winning the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations world title with his country in Wroclaw last summer, he would love to land the sport’s individual crown. But he knows he won’t do it by putting too much pressure on his shoulders.
He said: “My goal was always to be world champion. I want to try again and we will see what happens. At the end of the 2018 season, I did a lot of testing with the engines and hopefully it will be good.
“I just want to start the season without pressure and try to enjoy it. My goal was to be world champion last year and I put pressure on myself. I feel I can do it, but that’s not how it works.
“I need everything around me to be prepared. I need to be lucky and the bike needs to go well. It’s two years since I came back to the Grand Prix and it’s difficult. But I know a lot of the wrong stuff I have done, so hopefully I can fix that for this new season. Then I will be prepared 100 percent.”
Sayfutdinov hopes some end-of-season testing will bear fruit as he searches for the speed to match his passing prowess.
He said: “I know how I can ride. I need to change something to be a little bit better and feel I have that speed and can make a pass even if I lose the start.
“I’m working with tuners Peter Johns and Ashley Holloway on the engines. I was working with Jan Andersson, but he has retired now. I’m staying with Ashley and Peter.
“I tested after the last season – after the GP in Torun. I did around five hours I think and we know a lot more than we did during the season.
“During the season, we had a lot of stress and wanted it to be better. Now I think we know more and we will see what happens. Hopefully it will be good.”
Sayfutdinov is set to get back on a bike in the coming days as he warms up for the new season.
He said: “I have a plan and soon I will go to Spain for motocross. The weather is better than in Poland. There is sunshine and track conditions for motocross are very good. It’s great for the sportsman to go there – you can cycle a lot too because there are mountains. You have everything for preparing your condition for the season.”