Danish speedway had a terrific start to this year's World Cup series 14 days ago in Warsaw. Both Niels Kr. Iversen and Leon Madsen reached the final and Madsen created a sensational victory. Saturday night, the next grand prix awaits in the beautiful mountain town of Krsko.
By Ib Søby
Musicians, film directors and theater producers know all about the concept.
The hard dry.
Being able to follow up on a premiere success, the first movie or the first music album. Of course, this rule also applies in the world of sports. Therefore, it will be exciting to follow the detroned Danish champion, Niels Kr. Iversen, and Leon Madsen in Saturday's second World Cup at Matija Gubka Stadium in Krsko.
No one is demanding a new Danish victory on the 378 meter long track, where Nicki Pedersen, but also Peter Kildemand, in particular have tried to stand at the top of the podium and bathe in champagne. Nicki won here in 2006, and repeated the victory the following year. Together evening, securing his second World Cup title. In 2016, it was Kildemand who made sure that the Slovenian organizers had to find the CD with the Danish national tune.
Of course, Niels Kr. and Leon would like to win on Saturday. But, given the difficult turmoil, I'm personally more interested in whether they can keep level and score double-digit points. That they can stay ahead of the standings before the World Cup adventure continues in Prague in 14 days.
Reigning world champion Tai Woffinden and 2017 champion Jason Doyle both had a tough night in Warsaw and one should expect them to come storming from the first moment on Saturday. They really have something to pick up, and the British bookmakers also have the Woffinden as a favorite with Polish Bartosz Zmarzlik, closely followed by Swedish Frederik Lindgren and Leon Madsen.
But the raw guys, like home hero Matej Zagar and Slovakian Martin Vaculik, usually do well in Krsko as well. From Poland comes last year's Krsko winner and immediate World Cup winner Patryk Dudek, just as the elegant Maciej Janowski is aware of the injury that prevented him from lining up in Warsaw.
American legend Greg Hancock remains at home in his Swedish office to assist his wife Jennie's serious course of illness. Again it is the British Robert Lambert who steps in.
There are time runs on Friday nights between 19 and 20. The best times give first choice for the starting positions, and traditionally starting numbers 1, 5, 9 and 13 are equivalent to two red helmets. In Krsko, starting gate 1 (red) is clearly the best statistic. There have been 305 World Cup heats at Matija Gubka Stadium, and 137 of them have won red helmets. It is approx. 45%. Last year, 11 heats out of 23 were won with red helmet.
Tonight's wildcard is given to 25-year-old Matic Ivacic, who also runs for the Slovenian national team. He was born in the town of Brezice, located a few kilometers from Krsko.
Judge is British Craig Ackroyd
1 Patryk Dudek, Poland 16
2 Frederik Lindgren, Sweden 15
3 Niels Kr. Iversen, Denmark 14
4 Leon Madsen, Denmark 13
5 Bartosz Zmarzlik, Poland 10
6 Antonio Lindbäck, Sweden 10
7 Bartosz Smektala, Poland 10 - wildcard in Warsaw
8 Robert Lambert, England 8 - reserve for Greg Hancock
9 Matej Zagar, Slovenia 7
10 Martin Vaculik, Slovakia 7
11 Tai Woffinden 6
12 Emil Saytfudinov 6
13 Jason Doyle 5
14 Artem Laguta 5
15 Janus Kolodziej 4
16 Max Fricke 3 reserve for Maciej Janowski