FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship leader Artem Laguta insists he’s not focused on the competition as he moved within touching distance of the sport’s biggest prize in Torun.
Laguta topped the podium at eWinner Torun SGP of Poland R10 on Friday, beating Maciej Janowski, Tai Woffinden and Leon Madsen in the final to claim his fifth victory of SGP 2021 and his third in a row.
He now holds a nine-point advantage over nearest rival Bartosz Zmarzlik at the top of the standings going into Saturday’s final round of the season at the Marian Rose Motoarena.
If Laguta scores at least 12 championship points – by reaching the final or taking fifth place in the classification – he will become the first rider representing the Motorcycling Federation of Russia to be crowned world champion. Born in Bolshoy Kamen on the Sea of Japan coast, Laguta would also be the first Asian-born world champion.
With Zmarzlik exiting the meeting with 12 points in semi-final one, Laguta took maximum advantage, winning semi two, before topping the podium. But he insists seeing his biggest rival eliminated did not affect his approach.
The ice-cool Wroclaw and Vastervik racer said: “I am not focused on Bartosz at all. I want to focus on myself, do my job and score my points. I know that we battle together, but I am focused on myself and on winning my races. Tomorrow it is still the same – no pressure, only concentration.
“I am feeling so happy again. It was another great result. I was really focused on trying to get a good result. I was hoping to make it another win, and that happened, so that made me happy.”
Laguta was surrounded by a huge crowd of well-wishers in the Torun pits after his victory and was delighted with the reception he received.
“Some of them are my family – my wife and kids and also my mother-in-law came over from Russia. The rest were supporters,”Laguta continued.
“I am very happy and it’s great to have such nice people around. My mechanics and manager are all doing a great job. It’s always nice to see the smile on their faces.
“All I can say to everyone is keep your fingers crossed – I will try to have another good one tomorrow.”
Runner-up Janowski reached his first final in seven rounds, but he admits he did things the hard way after recording two wins, a second, a third and a fourth place in his heats.
“That was a good night. It was a little bit tough at the beginning, but we finished well and I am very happy with that. Tomorrow is a new day and I hope I can collect a few more points at the beginning so that I don’t have to be so nervous at the end,”Janowski said.
Janowski enjoyed his epic duel for second spot with Wroclaw team mate Woffinden in the final. Saying, “That was a good battle. We have raced together so many times. My bike was great today. My bike was great in the final. I got very good speed on the outside.
“I was looking to pass Tai on the outside, but then he closed the door and I changed my line. It was a good, clean race.”
It was a Wroclaw one-two-three tonight as all three riders on tonight’s podium have starred for the PGE Ekstraliga champions in 2021.
Woffinden was delighted to follow up last Sunday’s play-off final win at the Olympic Stadium with his second rostrum of the year.
“We won the league with Wroclaw and now we’re on the podium here. We have the Swedish finals with Dackarna next week.
“For sure it is going in the right direction. I am a little bit disappointed with the final. Gate one was a little bit too dry in that last one. I just spun from the start. But it’s all part of learning,”Woffinden said.
EWINNER TORUN SGP OF POLAND R10 SCORES:
1 Artem Laguta 20 Points
2 Maciej Janowski 18 Points
3 Tai Woffinden 16 Points
4 Leon Madsen 14 Points
5 Bartosz Zmarzlik 12 Points
6 Robert Lambert 11 Points
7 Emil Sayfutdinov 10 Points
8 Max Fricke 9 Points
9 Oliver Berntzon 8 Points
10 Pawel Przedpelski 7 Points
11 Krzysztof Kasprzak 6 Points
12 Anders Thomsen 5 Points
13 Jason Doyle 4 Points
14 Fredrik Lindgren 3 Points
15 Matej Zagar 2 Points
16 Martin Vaculik 1 Point
17 Krzysztof Lewandowski 0 Points
18 Karol Zupinski 0 Points
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
1 Artem Laguta 178 Points
2 Bartosz Zmarzlik 169 Points
3 Emil Sayfutdinov 131 Points
4 Fredrik Lindgren 122 Points
5 Maciej Janowski 113 Points
6 Tai Woffinden 112 Points
7 Leon Madsen 96 Points
8 Max Fricke 86 Points
9 Jason Doyle 78 Points
10 Robert Lambert 71 Points
11 Anders Thomsen 68 Points
12 Martin Vaculik 54 Points
13 Dominik Kubera 44 Points
14 Matej Zagar 43 Points
15 Oliver Berntzon 28 Points
16 Krzysztof Kasprzak 25 Points
17 Mikkel Michelsen 9 Points
18 Gleb Chugunov 8 Points
19 Jan Kvech 7 Points
20 Pawel Przedpelski 7 Points
21 Aleksandr Loktaev 6 Points
22 Vadim Tarasenko 4 Points
23 Pontus Aspgren 1 Point