The double Danish champion Anders Thomsen is highly motivated when he enters the prestigious stage of speedway sports this weekend. Marketa Stadium in Prague forms the framework for this year's World Cup opening with two sections on Friday and Saturday. Denmark also has the 2019 silver winner Leon Madsen to start.
By Ib Søby
In reality, the SES - Sønderjylland Elite Speedway driver is driving his 4th WC Grand Prix, Friday night in the Prague suburb of Brevnov. Anders Thomsen had a wildcard back in 2015 at the Danish Grand Prix at Casa Arena in Horsens.
Back then, it became five points.
Last year, Thomsen got two chances - again on wildcard - when in a corona-affected season, two divisions were run on his Polish home field in Gorzow. It turned into 10 points and a single heat victory, which in a way was approved.
- During the winter months, I have analyzed the two races in Gorzow, while I have been able to enjoy the status of a regular World Cup driver this season. I have competed with everyone in the field many times, but I also know that in the context of the World Cup it is important to find 10 % extra. That's what I'm going to find out at Marketa Stadium, 10 % more, says Anders Thomsen from the hotel in Prague, where he arrived on Thursday morning.
On Wednesday night, Anders Thomsen was flying on his new Grand Prix machines when SES beat GSK Grindsted 39-45 in Grindsted. Thomsen runs on engines developed by the manufacturer Flemming Graversen from Varde.
Thomsen's knowledge of the large and wide track in Prague is not the greatest.
- I have driven here once a few years ago, but it reminds me of the big Polish tracks, so it's nice enough for me. We have a short training session on Friday morning, and then we just have to see how the course behaves, because there has been a lot of rain over Prague the last 24 hours, says Anders Thomsen, who has the semifinal as a dream goal.
Big favorites Zmarzlik
Both bookmakers and observers in the international speedway milieu, have no doubt that the reigning double world champion, Polish Bartosz Zmarzlik, is - by far - the best bid for this year's World Championship title.
If that happens, Bartosz Zmarzlik is in line with New Zealand legend Ivan Mauger there, who is the only one to have won three World Cup titles in a row. It was back in 1968, 1969 and 1970.
Not long ago, Zmarzlik also became Polish champion for the first time.
- Yes Bartosz Zmarzlik seems to be from another planet, but I also want to keep a close eye on Maciej Janowski, Artem Laguta and Tai Woffinden, says Anders Thomsen, who is a daily teammate with the world champion in Gorzow.
Last year, Zmarzlik won both divisions in Prague, just ahead of British Tai Woffinden.
Read more: speedwaygp.com
In my eyes, this year's World Cup field can be divided into three groups.
The medal candidates:
Can win World Cup races:
Have nothing to lose:
Jan Kvech - wild card in Prague