Russia edges Poles in Speedway World Cup opener
Russia is the first nation qualified for next weekend’s Monster Energy Speedway World Cup Final after they upset the fancied Polish team, Denmark and the USA in Poland.
Speedway Grand Prix regular, Emil Sayfutdinov captained the Russians to the win with 16 points – more than double any of his counterparts.
The single point he collected in an epic heat 20 proved the difference that qualified the Russians for the Final, beating Poland by a single point – 35-34.
One point further back was the solid Denmark team. The Poles and Danes will now square off against second and third in the next qualifier, whilst the Swedes – as SWC hosts – are automatically into the playoff.
Finishing fourth and now bowing out of the chase for the World Cup is the USA. Bringing together veteran current World Champion, Greg Hancock and former World Champ, Billy Hamill, the American dream wasn’t to be, scoring just 23 points. Hancock however equal top scored in the meeting – matching Sayfutdinov’s 16.
The Monster Energy Speedway World Cup continues on Tuesday morning Australian time when the Aussies have their qualifying round encounter against the British team, Germany and the Czech Republic in England.
FIM MONSTER ENERGY SWC EVENT 1 SCORES:
Russia 35: Emil Sayfutdinov 16, Artem Laguta 7, Roman Povazhny 6, Grigory Laguta 6.
Poland 34: Tomasz Gollob 12, Maciej Janowski 11, Piotr Protasiewicz 9, Grzegorz Walasek 2.
Denmark 33: Niels-Kristian Iversen 10, Michael Jepsen Jensen 8, Leon Madsen 8, Mikkel B Jensen 7.
United States of America 23: Greg Hancock 16, Ricky Wells 3, Billy Hamill 2, Ryan Fisher 2.