Australia Into FIM Speedway World Cup Final After Race Off Win


Australian Speedway rider Jaimon Lidsey
Aussie shooting star Jaimon Lidsey races to victory. PHOTO: Taylor Lanning

Australian team manager Mark Lemon insists their Semi-Final heartbreak proved a blessing in disguise as they cruised into the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Final on Saturday night.

The Roos romped to victory in Friday’s Race Off at Wroclaw’s Olympic Stadium in Poland, topping the score chart on 54 points to seal the last place in Saturday’s Final showdown with an incredible four heats to spare.

They now take on hosts and reigning champions Poland, Semi-Final 1 winners Great Britain and Semi-Final 2 victors Denmark over what’s set to be an epic 20 heats, televised live on the Eurosport network across 53 countries in Europe and 12 countries in Asia, as well by other broadcast partners.

Sweden took second place in the Race Off on 35, with France third on 20, meaning they will be ranked sixth overall in their first-ever Monster Energy FIM SWC. Czech Republic took fourth spot in the Race Off on 11.

Australia exploded out of the traps, winning all seven of their opening races before Sweden’s Antonio Lindback halted their winning run in heat eight.

Triple Aussie champion Max Fricke led the scoring on 14 points from five rides, with both Jason Doyle and Jaimon Lidsey tallying 12 apiece, while Jack Holder notched nine and No.5 reserve Chris Holder made a strong first appearance in the 2023 Monster Energy FIM SWC, scoring seven from three races.

Lemon was elated with his side’s dominance as they bounced back in style after Denmark pipped them to Final qualification by a point in Semi-Final 2 on Wednesday.

“The performance was exceptional, but it’s only half the job done,” Lemon said. “Coming into the Race Off from the Semi-Final after losing by a point hurt a little bit on the day. But in the long term, it has done us a massive favour. It has given us more track time and got a bit more use out of the race suits! It gives us a better feel for the environment.

“We debriefed straight after the meeting on Wednesday and said we would go again. I think the boys learned from Wednesday. They showed they meant business and delivered on the track. The performance was really, really impressive.

“We are in the Final, which is what we came here for. The mission remains and the reality is these guys are more than capable. Tonight, that was a really dominant performance. “You can’t say the other teams didn’t push us. There were some pretty hard battles out there and they were fast and furious. But these guys really worked well together.”

Australian Speedway rider Jack Holder
Aussie ace Jack Holder in the thick of the action. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

Speedway GP medal contender Jack Holder has enjoyed sharing the Monster Energy FIM SWC pits with older brother Chris this week as the 2012 Speedway GP world champion entered the tournament with a strong showing on Friday.

“It’s a great feeling,” Holder said. “There are not many brothers who can both say they race for their country, and I am glad he is here.

“As a team, we couldn’t have asked for much better really. There was more pressure on us tonight than the other night. It was a do-or-die situation. All the boys were firing.

“I pretty much had the same setup as I had the other night, but Doyley and Max changed everything, and it worked. Jaimon was good and Chris was good. We will get a good sleep and come out firing again tomorrow.”

Chris Holder is a three-time FIM SWC silver medallist, just missing out on the Ove Fundin Trophy with the Roos in 2009, 2011 and 2012. He heads into the Final determined to upgrade to gold after watching Jack land the FIM Speedway of Nations world title in Vojens last summer.

He said: “That’s what I am here for. I am only here for gold. We have had some really good runs in this competition – years ago now, and it is crazy to think how long ago. We’ve been pipped at the post.

“We just needed to get through today and now it’s all on tomorrow. We just have to come out and do what we did tonight and put the others under the pump a bit. We are as strong as any team.

“We will just keep it going. Nothing is won until tomorrow. We need to come out, do the same job, but it helps when all the boys are on form. Today was really good for Doyley and Max to get up to speed and they are looking really good.

“If we are going to win gold, we need to do what we did tonight. We were a strong team throughout and when we are all on, we should put on that kind of display. It was good. Confidence is high for everybody, and that’s one part done, but it’s all on tomorrow.”

Lining up as Australia’s No.5 reserve, Chris did not race at all in Semi-Final 2 and only entered the meeting in heat 11 of 20. Having not raced for his country in a tournament since 2019, he admits there were a few nerves.

He said: “It felt like it was my first World Cup! I felt like the coach had just called me into the team. I was more nervous.

“The boys were flying when I came in, and I was thinking, ‘Don’t be the one to run a last!’ It worked out pretty well. It’s tricky coming in anytime during the meeting, but it worked out well.”

Poland enter the Monster Energy FIM SWC on Saturday, having been seeded straight through to the Final as host nation.

Australian Speedway rider Chris Holder
Chris Holder on the charge in the Monster Energy FIM SWC. PHOTO: Jarek Pabijan

They name a star-studded team captained by triple Speedway GP world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik. He is joined by Wroclaw hometown hero Maciej Janowski, former world No.2 Patryk Dudek, Dominik Kubera and Janusz Kolodziej.

The Aussies join Great Britain and Denmark in keeping faith with the same five riders for the Monster Energy FIM SWC Final.

The Brits shuffle their riding order, with Tuesday’s Semi-Final 1 top scorer Dan Bewley switched to the roving No.5 role, meaning team managers Oliver Allen and Simon Stead could call him into action at any time, handing him up to five rides plus a tactical substitute appearance if the Lions fall six or more points behind the leading nation.

The Danes also name one of their strongest Semi-Final performers at No.5, with Anders Thomsen offering rider-manager Nicki Pedersen a very useful option.


1 Jack Holder 9,
2 Jason Doyle 12,
3 Max Fricke 14,
4 Jaimon Lidsey 12,
5 Chris Holder 7

2 SWEDEN 35:
1 Oliver Berntzon 3,
2 Jacob Thorssell 6,
3 Antonio Lindback 12,
4 Kim Nilsson 3,
5 Fredrik Lindgren 11

3 FRANCE 20:
1 David Bellego 7,
2 Steven Goret 0,
3 Mathieu Tresarrieu 3,
4 Mathias Tresarrieu 0,
5 Dimitri Berge 10

1 Hynek Stichauer 0,
2 Jan Kvech 3,
3 Petr Chlupac 1,
4 Daniel Klima 0,
5 Vaclav Milik


1 Leon Madsen
2 Rasmus Jensen
3 Mikkel Michelsen ©
4 Nicki Pedersen
5 Anders Thomsen
Team Manager: Nicki Pedersen

1 Bartosz Zmarzlik ©
2 Patryk Dudek
3 Maciej Janowski
4 Dominik Kubera
5 Janusz Kolodziej
Team Manager: Rafal Dobrucki

1 Tom Brennan
2 Robert Lambert
3 Tai Woffinden ©
4 Adam Ellis
5 Dan Bewley
Team Managers: Oliver Allen and Simon Stead

1 Max Fricke
2 Jack Holder
3 Jason Doyle ©
4 Jaimon Lidsey
5 Chris Holder
Team Manager: Mark Lemon

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