GREG HANCOCK, TAI WOFFINDEN, ARTEM LAGUTA AND ANTONIO LINDBACK HANDED 2020 FIM SPEEDWAY GRAND PRIX WILD CARDS.
Former FIM Speedway Grand Prix world champions Greg Hancock and Tai Woffinden are back for 2020 after the SGP Commission confirmed next year’s four permanent wild cards.
Two men with seven world titles between them are joined by Russian racer Artem Laguta and Swedish star Antonio Lindback in receiving invites to compete in the SGP World Championship.
Hancock is set for an historic return to speedway in a year, which will see him become the first 50-year-old to compete in the SGP series, when he celebrates his half-century on June 3, 2020.
The four-time world champion is taking a break from the sport this year to support wife Jennie as she undergoes breast cancer treatment, but he has made no secret of his desire to continue battling it out with the world’s best.
Great Britain hero Woffinden, who became the nation’s first triple world champion last year, is back after a tough season, which saw him sidelined for two months with a broken TH4 vertebra sustained in a PGE Ekstraliga crash in Lublin on June 7.
Woffinden was 13th in this season’s standings – the first time he has finished outside the world’s top four since he rejoined the series in 2013.
Laguta claimed 11th place in the SGP series, but still ended 2019 a world champion after racing to Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations glory with Emil Sayfutdinov at Russian track Togliatti in July.
And Lindback returns to the SGP stage after finishing 12th this season. The Swedish international is a two-time FIM Speedway World Cup winner and has three SGP victories and two Swedish Championships to his name.
The top eight riders in this year’s SGP World Championship – Bartosz Zmarzlik, Leon Madsen, Emil Sayfutdinov, Fredrik Lindgren, Martin Vaculik, Maciej Janowski, Jason Doyle and Patryk Dudek – qualify automatically for SGP 2020.
The line-up is completed by the top three riders from the GP Challenge in Gorican, Croatia on August 24 – winner Matej Zagar, runner-up Niels-Kristian Iversen and third-placed Max Fricke.
The substitute riders for the 2020 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series will be confirmed soon.
2020 FIM SPEEDWAY GRAND PRIX RIDER LINE-UP (in FIM ranking order with rider numbers to be confirmed in due course):
Bartosz Zmarzlik (Poland)
Leon Madsen (Denmark)
Emil Sayfutdinov (Russia)
Fredrik Lindgren (Sweden)
Martin Vaculik (Slovakia)
Maciej Janowski (Poland)
Jason Doyle (Australia)
Patryk Dudek (Poland)
Matej Zagar (Slovenia)
Niels-Kristian Iversen (Denmark)
Artem Laguta (Russia)
Antonio Lindback (Sweden)
Tai Woffinden (Great Britain)
Max Fricke (Australia)
Greg Hancock (USA)