Polish icon Bartosz Zmarzlik was delighted to get the better of two Olympic Stadium heroes to claim a famous Betard Wroclaw FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland double this weekend.
Zmarzlik saw off SGP World Championship leader and local favourite Maciej Janowski in an epic duel to win round three on Friday night. And he repeated the feat with a breathtaking last-bend cutback to blaze under another Wroclaw star Artem Laguta and win round four on Saturday.
Having started the weekend sixth in the SGP World Championship on 23 points – 15 behind Janowski – he is now just three adrift of his fellow countryman in third place going into next weekend’s Orlen Lublin SGP of Poland double-header on Friday and Saturday.
Zmarzlik has 63 championship points, while Janowski and Laguta lead the way on 66 apiece. But the Gorzow man was elated to close the gap by claiming all 40 championship points on offer in Wroclaw with two incredible final wins.
“It really is the best feeling – two wins in two days. Yesterday it was close and today it was also close,” Zmarzlik said.
“The Wroclaw men are really strong here. I only come here sometimes – one or two times a year. But it doesn’t matter; sometimes I find good setups. I don’t always know what will work because we don’t get much practice.
“But I am very happy and I don’t know what more I can say; two wins and two times 20 points. It was really nice work from my whole team. I want to say thanks to my tuner Ryszard Kowalski and my boys. They did some very good work this weekend.”
Zmarzlik insists he won’t be celebrating his wondrous Wroclaw weekend for long with another 40 points up for grabs in Lublin in less than a week.
“I am happy because I won, but I am always focused on what is happening in front of me,” Zmarzlik added. “What’s important now is what I do tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday and then in the GP next weekend. I just want to produce more great racing for the fans and that’s it.”
Artem Laguta was gutted he couldn’t cling on for his second SGP win of 2021, having led until the last turn, only for Zmarzlik to pip him to the line.
Saturday’s runner-up, who was also third in Friday’s round three, said: “It was a great night – the whole weekend was great. In the final, I made a slight mistake and Bartek was able to use it. I was just a bit too wide coming out of the corner and I couldn’t slow him down.”
Third-placed Leon Madsen was pleased to reach his first final of SGP 2021, especially after topping the heat score chart on 14 race points on Friday, only to be excluded from the semi-final.
The Dane was glad his search for speed in recent weeks has paid off with 16 championship points. He said: “I feel it went pretty well tonight. I got the points I should have had yesterday, so I am very happy.
“I am finally on the podium again, so that is a very nice feeling. I have been longing for that. Finally I have the speed in my bike, which I have been missing all season I feel. Also my gating is improving. It was a hard night. We had to work hard – especially in the pits with the setup. Considering that, I am very happy to end up in the final and on the podium.”
BETARD WROCLAW SGP OF POLAND R4 SCORES:
1 Bartosz Zmarzlik 20 Points
2 Artem Laguta 18 Points
3 Leon Madsen 16 Points
4 Tai Woffinden 14 Points
5 Emil Sayfutdinov 12 Points
6 Max Fricke 11 Points
7 Maciej Janowski 10 Points
8 Robert Lambert 9 Points
9 Fredrik Lindgren 8 Points
10 Jason Doyle 7 Points
11 Martin Vaculik 6 Points
12 Gleb Chugunov 5 Points
13 Anders Thomsen 4 Points
14 Oliver Berntzon 3 Points
15 Matej Zagar 2 Points
16 Krzysztof Kasprzak 1 Points
17 Bartlomiej Kowalski 0 Points
18 Tobiasz Musielak 0 Points
SGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
1 Maciej Janowski 66 Points
2 Artem Laguta 66 Points
3 Bartosz Zmarzlik 63 Points
4 Emil Sayfutdinov 58 Points
5 Fredrik Lindgren 50 Points
6 Tai Woffinden 44 Points
7 Leon Madsen 44 Points
8 Martin Vaculik 34 Points
9 Max Fricke 33 Points
10 Jason Doyle 28 Points
11 Robert Lambert 27 Points
12 Anders Thomsen 24 Points
13 Matej Zagar 17 Points
14 Oliver Berntzon 8 Points
15 Gleb Chugunov 8 Points
16 Krzysztof Kasprzak 7 Points
17 Jan Kvech 7 Points