Speedway

Artem Laguta Closes FIM Speedway Grand Prix Championship Gap With Second Win

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Artem Laguta Closes FIM Speedway Grand Prix Championship Gap
Artem Laguta celebrates with Bartosz Zmarzlik (L) and Dominik Kubera (R) after winning round six of the 2021 FIM SGP Championship in Poland.

Orlen Lublin FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland round six winner Artem Laguta was elated to overhaul Bartosz Zmarzlik to move within a point of the Pole as the SGP World Championship race hots up.

Laguta claimed his second SGP win of 2021, roaring past series leader Bartosz Zmarzlik to top the podium at Lublin’s Stadion Miejski on Saturday night.

The Wroclaw and Vastervik rider’s victory denied world champion Zmarzlik what would have been a record-equalling fourth straight SGP win as he was forced to settle for second. Wild card Dominik Kubera claimed a fantastic third spot to crown an incredible SGP debut weekend, which also saw him finish second at Friday night’s Orlen Lublin SGP of Poland round five.

But the night belonged to Laguta who moved on to 100 championship points – just one behind Zmarzlik, who has 101 ahead of the Swedish SGP in Malilla next Saturday.

Laguta’s victory underlined his status as the rider most likely to deny Zmarzlik what would be a historic third consecutive SGP world title this year, and the world No.7 was delighted to seal the win by passing the Pole.

“I am very happy about the win. I am so happy about the whole performance tonight, especially beating Bartek, the world champion, from behind. It’s not an easy thing to do, but I did it and this makes me very, very happy,” Laguta said.

“In the race, everything went so fast. Of course, I went out there to win. I saw the opportunity to overtake and I did it. That’s the way it is and I used every centimeter of the track.

“I want to say thank you to my team, my sponsors, my wife, and my family. I will see you at the next meeting,” he concluded.

Zmarzlik admits minor mistakes cost him in his showdown with Laguta, but he was content with second place, a fourth straight final and an astonishing haul of 78 points from a possible 80 in the last four rounds.

“I am very happy because it’s the second day and my second podium here in Lublin. Today it was second place, but I feel very good,” Zmarzlik said.

“I was in the final again and, for me, this is very important. I’m very happy with the rounds in Lublin.

“I made a little riding mistake and a mistake with my setup in the final. But I am now looking to the future and I’ll see you all at the next round.”

Third-placed Kubera underlined his incredible potential in the sport by reaching two podiums in his first two SGP appearances.

The ecstatic Lublin rider said: “This is amazing – it was an amazing weekend for me. I feel really good on the Lublin track. I have a very fast bike and thank you to my guys, my team – they worked perfectly. We were changing things all the time and it always went better.

“I am really happy with this weekend. Last night I couldn’t sleep. I don’t know how I will sleep tonight! I would like to try racing with the best riders in the world again.”

The meeting was marred by a crash for Slovak star Martin Vaculik, who broke his collarbone in four places in an awkward first-turn fall in heat 12. We wish Martin a very speedy recovery.

ORLEN LUBLIN SGP OF POLAND R6 SCORES:
1 Artem Laguta 20 Points
2 Bartosz Zmarzlik 18 Points
3 Dominik Kubera 16 Points
4 Fredrik Lindgren 14 Points
5 Emil Sayfutdinov 12 Points
6 Max Fricke 11 Points
7 Tai Woffinden 10 Points
8 Anders Thomsen 9 Points
9 Robert Lambert 8 Points
10 Jason Doyle 7 Points
11 Martin Vaculik 6 Points
12 Leon Madsen 5 Points
13 Krzysztof Kasprzak 4 Points
14 Matej Zagar 3 Points
15 Maciej Janowski 2 Points
16 Oliver Berntzon 1 Points
17 Mateusz Swidnicki 0 Points
18 Wiktor Lampart 0 Points

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
1 Bartosz Zmarzlik 101 Points
2 Artem Laguta 100 Points
3 Fredrik Lindgren 80 Points
4 Emil Sayfutdinov 79 Points
5 Maciej Janowski 72 Points
6 Tai Woffinden 65 Points
7 Leon Madsen 59 Points
8 Max Fricke 52 Points
9 Jason Doyle 47 Points
10 Martin Vaculik 45 Points
11 Robert Lambert 41 Points
12 Anders Thomsen 35 Points
13 Dominik Kubera 34 Points
14 Matej Zagar 27 Points
15 Krzysztof Kasprzak 14 Points
16 Oliver Berntzon 10 Points
17 Gleb Chugunov 8 Points
18 Jan Kvech 7 Points

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