Russia

2018 FIM Speedway of Nations 

Riders: Artem Laguta, Emil Sayfutdinov, Gleb Chugunov
Team manager: Andrei Savin

RUSSIA SPEEDWAY INTO HISTORY BOOKS

Track racing history was made in June when the first ever FIM Speedway of Nations took place at three famous venues around Europe, as fifteen countries lined-up in the ultimate test of team riding. Germany, Denmark, Russia, Latvia, USA, Slovenia and the Ukraine competed in ‘Race Off 1’ in Teterow, Germany, with Manchester’s National Speedway Stadium staging ‘Race Off 2’ as Great Britain welcomed Australia, Sweden, Czech Republic, France, Italy and Finland. Three teams from each ‘Race Off’ would head to the Finals in Wroclaw to take on host nation Poland in a gold medal showdown at the Olympic Stadium.

With Germany, Russia and Denmark progressing from Teterow and Australia, Sweden and Great Britain making it through from Manchester, Poland boss Marek Cieslak picked a strong line-up of hometown hero Maciej Janowski and world number two Patryk Dudek to take them on in an epic final. However, it was the Lions who took the early advantage on the opening night, with Tai Woffinden blazing to an incredible 18-point maximum on his home track, while British Under-21 champion Robert Lambert’s terrific trapping earned him seven. With Poland in a disappointing sixth place and 10 points adrift, it was Russia that posed the biggest threat to the Brits going into the Grand Final, with Artem Laguta having top-scored on 17 to keep them within two points of the leaders.

Laguta was given strong back-up from team-mate Emil Sayfutdinov in the Grand Final, as the pair saw off Woffinden and Lambert respectively to make history with Russia’s first senior world title of any kind on the shale – individual or team. Meanwhile a resurgent Janowski and Dudek took the bronze medal for Poland.

Poland

2016 Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Winners

Poland

POLAND BACK IN CHARGE

Poland took the senior team world championship and the Ove Fundin trophy in an enthralling World Final at Manchester’s new National Speedway Stadium in July. For their Team Manager Marek Cieslak it was a record sixth World Cup win in the ten years that he has served as National Coach but it was by no means as easy as the final score would suggest.

Poland had qualified for the Final by winning the first round in Vojens and might have been relieved that holders Denmark were themselves eliminated in the Race Off meeting. Nevertheless, it was a brave and some would say ruthless decision of Cieslak to replace Grand Prix star and Polish captain Maciej Janowski with experienced Krzysztof Kasprzak in his team for Manchester.

As expected Australia, Sweden and Great Britain proved to be no meagre opponents and it was the Swedes who raced into an early lead scoring ten out of a possible twelve over the first four heats in their quest to retain the title they won in 2015. Poland were not deterred by this and gradually clawed back the deficit as the Swedes suddenly found points hard to score. They also saw off a determined challenge from the home team during the later heats and, fittingly, it was Kasprzak’s second place in heat 19 which sealed victory.

That spirited performance from Great Britain earned them the Silver Medal ahead of the Swedes in what was an emotional night for the home team.  

It is an interesting statistic that each member of the Polish team, Kasprzak, Janowski, Piotr Pawlicki, Patrik Dudek and Bartosz Zmarzlik has been an Under 21 World Champion.

TEAM MANAGER

Marek Cieslak

RIDERS

Piotr Pawlicki
Bartosz Zmarzlik
Krzysztof Kasprzak
Krystian Pieszczek
Patrick Dudek

Greg Hancock

2016 FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Champion

Born on 3 June 1970, Whittier, California, USA

GREG KEEPS ON GRINNING

Almost two decades on from winning his first FIM Speedway World Championship back in 1997, Greg Hancock secured a remarkable fourth title in 2016 after injuries ruled Jason Doyle out of a final-round decider at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne in October. Whilst Doyle's misfortune at the penultimate round in Torun ruled out a dream finish to the season at his home Grand Prix, Hancock scripted a fairy tale of his own with another campaign of consistency, wrapping up the title in Australia with second overall behind event winner Niels-Kristian Iversen.

Reigning champion Tai Woffinden had to settle for a silver medal in 2016 after effectively surrendering the title with a poor performance in Torun, whilst the other big success story of the season was newcomer Bartosz Zmarzlik, who crowned his first Grand Prix series with a bronze medal.

Few could have predicted in 2011, when Hancock finally collected his second gold medal to become the oldest FIM Speedway World Champion in history, that he would do so on at least two further occasions. Now, at the age of 46, the man known as 'Grin' has a wider smile than ever.

Hancock has missed only one of the 202 Grands Prix since the Championship was relaunched in 1995.

He secured his first Speedway World Championship in Vojens, Denmark in 1997.

PALMARES

4 World Titles – 1997, 2011, 2014, 2016