Polish star Maciej Janowski was elated to end his Prague struggles as he topped the Anlas Czech Republic FIM Speedway Grand Prix round-one podium on Friday evening.
Magic delivered a dream start to his season when he overhauled Emil Sayfutdinov at the start of lap three to win the final. Great Britain racer Tai Woffinden was third, while Sweden’s Fredrik Lindgren was fourth after hitting the tapes.
Despite Sayfutdinov cruising through to the final after topping the heat score chart on 12 race points, it was Janowski who got the verdict when it mattered most to top the World Championship.
It’s the first time he has qualified for a Prague final since his SGP debut season in 2015, when he finished third. Janowski had reached the semi-finals at Marketa Stadium three times in seven appearances going into Friday night, so he was delighted to triumph at the opening round of SGP 2021.
“For the last couple of years, I have been struggling on this track,” Janowski explained. “But today I felt great and my team was working great. The bike was so quick and I really enjoyed racing. I want to say thanks to my team. I love you guys.
“We found a good setup from the beginning and that was very fast. I used good lines on the track. I got good points and I rode very well. So I am very happy and that’s a great start to the Grand Prix series.”
The SGP stars return to Marketa Stadium on Saturday night for the second leg of the Anlas Czech Republic SGP double-header.
With such a quick turnaround, Janowski isn’t getting carried away after taking the lead in the SGP World Championship race.
“The season is long; we have 11 rounds. We need to be smart and fast like today. Tomorrow is a different day. We will try to focus on the same things as tonight and I hope tomorrow I can show the same speedway,” Janowski concluded.
Double European champion Emil Sayfutdinov was content with second spot as reached his first SGP podium since 2019.
“It was very good. I felt good from the start and I was happy around the track because I had good speed. I would like to say thanks to my team, who have been working very hard,” Sayfutdinov said.
Sayfutdinov is already focused on Saturday’s second round. He added: “That’s the next goal, so we will just concentrate on that. It is always a different day and a different track. Today I will try to relax, have a good sleep and then we will see.”
Tai Woffinden was pleased to pick up third place on the Marketa Stadium track where he won three SGP rounds on the bounce between 2013 and 2015.
“We salvaged a third, which was pretty good. I started the night okay with a second and a win. The next two races were really bad and we were just trying to find the setup. We were chasing it all night,” Woffinden said.
“I needed to win my last race to make the semi, which I did. I needed to finish first or second to get into the final, which I did. If Freddie hadn’t touched the tapes, I wouldn’t have been on the podium. We learned a lot today for tomorrow.”
Fans do not have to wait long for more SGP action as Anlas Czech Republic FIM Speedway Grand Prix round two – the second leg of this weekend’s double-header – takes place in Prague on Saturday.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
1 Maciej Janowski 20 Points
2 Emil Sayfutdinov 18 Points
3 Tai Woffinden 16 Points
4 Fredrik Lindgren 14 Points
5 Artem Laguta 12 Points
6 Bartosz Zmarzlik 11 Points
7 Leon Madsen 10 Points
8 Max Fricke 9 Points
9 Martin Vaculik 8 Points
10 Robert Lambert 7 Points
11 Matej Zagar 6 Points
12 Jason Doyle 5 Points
13 Jan Kvech 4 Points
14 Anders Thomsen 3 Points
15 Oliver Berntzon 2 Points
16 Krzysztof Kasprzak 1 Points