At Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, Mateusz Cierniak, a Polish racer, surged to victory in the FIM SGP2 of Great Britain, winning himself the title of FIM Speedway Under-21 World Champion.
After winning the first four races of the 20th anniversary Speedway GP weekend in Cardiff, the Lublin star looped his bike at the starting line and finished last.
Still, Cierniak’s four race victories were enough to give him the round victory on countback when the FIM Jury decided to call a stop to racing after 20 heats owing to concerns about track conditions.
After winning the FIM SGP2 of Czech Republic on May 27, Cierniak currently has 20 championship points and has won two consecutive rounds.
With 12 points, he tied for first with Kevin Juhl Pedersen of Denmark, who took second. Benjamin Basso, another American, finished third after accumulating 11 race points, which tied him with Jan Kvech but gave him the bronze medal on countback.
Cierniak had a commanding lead of 12 points going into the season-ending FIM SGP2 of Poland race in Torun on September 30. The inaugural FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship to be held under new global organizer Discovery Sports Events would be his to claim with a semi-final finish at his home round.
The star from Tarnow was quite pleased with his performance in Cardiff, where he overcame difficult track conditions to preserve his hopes of a hat trick of SGP2 round victories alive. Perhaps I can make it three in a row,” he mused. As time goes forward, we will know more. There’s still a ways to go before we reach Torun. Right now, I need to get ready for the Polish League Playoffs and the Polish Championship round I have tomorrow in Krosno.
The day has been challenging. The course was challenging, so we had to pay close attention to our every move. The final product satisfied my expectations. I’m happy with the outcome; many thanks to those involved.
Runner-up Juhl Pedersen suffered a head injury in an accident and had to withdraw from the first SGP2 round in Prague. Consequently, he was elated to demonstrate his prowess on Cardiff’s world-famous stage, where he earned an enormous 18 points and so rose to fourth position, with a total of 22.
The day, he continued, “was much better. Because of a nasty fall and concussion in Prague, I was sidelined for a week from competition. In my opinion, today’s track was even more impressive than Prague’s.
Since Juhl Pedersen will no longer be eligible for the SGP2 competition in 2023, he plans to make the most of the next Torun race. Then he’s dead set on making it to the highest levels in Europe.
This is my last year as a young adult,” he said. I anticipate great success in the future. Currently, I am honing my skills in Poland’s Second Division with the hopes of making it to the top flight someday.
In their final race of the night, heat 20, Basso was taken down by Kvech. If the race had ended then, the Czech would have won the night, edging out Cierniak by 13 points. His disqualification and Basso’s victory in the rematch allowed the Dane to pass him and take third place.
I have no idea what he was thinking,” Basso said. “I just needed second to go to the semifinals, and I think I allowed him enough room to past me on the inside. To be honest, I have no idea why he removed my foot.
It’s been around a year since Basso first started racing in the UK, when he joined Poole last summer and contributed to the club’s success in the SGB Championship. Now that Peterborough and Glasgow are competitors in the SGB Premiership, he has relocated to Glasgow to play for them.
The Dane acknowledges that his time spent in the United Kingdom prepared him well for the difficult track in Cardiff. He answered, “Yes, it did, and I feel like I’m just just getting started. First complete season in the UK. Because the courses in the UK are so different from those in Denmark, I believe that my experience racing there has given me an edge tonight.
The FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Wroclaw is scheduled for August 27, while SGP3, the FIM Speedway Youth World Championship, will take place in the storied Olympic Stadium in the same city a day earlier, on August 26.
SGP2 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Mateusz Cierniak (40 points), 2 Jan Kvech (28 points), 3 Benjamin Basso (25 points), 4 Kevin Juhl Pedersen (22 points), 5 Petr Chlupac (20 points), 6 Wiktor Lampart (19 points), 7 Francis Gusts (18 points), 8 Jakub Miskowiak (18 points), 9 Jonas Knudsen (14 points), 10 Timi Salonen
Mateusz Cierniak (20 points), Kevin Juhl Pedersen (18 points), Benjamin Basso (16 points), Jan Kvech (14 points), Tom Brennan (12 points), Wiktor Lampart (11 points), Leon Flint (10) points, Norick Blodorn (9 points), Jakub Miskowiak (8 points), Gustav Grahn (7), Jason Edwards (6), Drew Kemp (5), Petr Chlupac (4), Jonas Knudsen (3)
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