||Last Updated: Jun 4th, 2015 - 10:30:53
Team Great Britain skipper Tai Woffinden and Polish captain Jaroslaw Hampel are backing their countries’ young guns to fire in the 2015 Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup.
One of the most hotly-contested weeks on the world speedway calendar gets underway on Saturday, June 6, when Poland host Sweden, Russia and the Czech Republic in Event 1 at Gniezno.
The action then switches to Great Britain, as Woffy’s Lions come up against Australia, Latvia and the USA at the Adrian Flux Arena, King’s Lynn on Monday, June 8.
The winners of both events line up alongside hosts and holders Denmark in the Monster Energy SWC Final at Vojens on June 13, with the second and third-placed sides battling it out for the one remaining Final spot in the Race Off – also at Vojens – on June 11.
Team GB boss Alun Rossiter has taken the chance to hand 17-year-old sensation Robert Lambert his Monster Energy SWC debut at King’s Lynn, while Polish team manager Marek Cieslak gives Bartosz Zmarzlik and Przemyslaw Pawlicki their international big break on Saturday.
Lambert is making huge waves in the British Elite League with King’s Lynn this year, while 20-year-old Zmarzlik became the youngest FIM Speedway Grand Prix winner in Gorzow last August. Pawlicki is also enjoying a super season with Polish Ekstraliga leaders Leszno.
Woffinden has been impressed by what he has seen from Lambert and is certain the biggest meeting of his life won’t faze the hometown hero on Monday, as he comes up against the likes of the USA’s reigning world champion Greg Hancock (USA), plus Australia’s 2012 world champ Chris Holder, and his SGP rivals Troy Batchelor and Jason Doyle.
Former world champion Woffinden said: “I’m right behind the selection of Bomber (Chris Harris) and Danny (King) – I think Rosco has got that right. Robert Lambert will be fine, too. He’s got a lot of speed. I saw that in a meeting I did in Poland earlier this season.
“It will be great to get the boys together and hopefully we can go straight through to the final, but it will be tough.
“King’s Lynn will be great to ride I’m sure. Buster Chapman (stadium owner and track curator) always does a great job there and it’s probably the second best track in England behind Wolverhampton.
“All the boys will be up for it. We’ll give it everything and see where it gets us, but I’m really pumped.
“We have tough opposition in the Australian boys, USA and Latvia but I’m sure it will be a good meeting and there is no reason why we can’t go out there and get a result.”
Woffinden admits he is a fan of the week-long tournament. “I know the fans like it and so do the riders,” he said. “I always enjoy the Monster Energy SWC because it’s a great week on the speedway calendar.”
Record six-time SWC winner Hampel, 33, is now the elder statesman of the Polish side, but he’s confident Zmarzlik and Pawlicki will deliver on their debuts, along with 2013 Monster Energy SWC winner and SGP star Maciej Janowski.
He said: “With young riders, they always try to prove something special. It’s good. They have a lot of ambition. We have a lot of good riders in Poland. Everyone wants to race well and improve. If we have this ambition, we can do a lot.”
For ticket information, visit www.monsterenergyswc.com. Tickets for Events 1 and 2 are available from Gniezno and King’s Lynn on the day.
MONSTER ENERGY SWC STARTING LINE UPS:
EVENT 1 – GNIEZNO, POLAND – JUNE 6
POLAND (red) – 1 Jaroslaw Hampel (captain), 2 Przemyslaw Pawlicki, 3 Maciej Janowski, 4 Bartosz Zmarzlik. Team Manager: Marek Cieslak.
SWEDEN (blue) – 1 Antonio Lindback, 2 Andreas Jonsson (captain), 3 Linus Sundstrom, 4 Peter Ljung. Team Manager: Morgan Andersson.
CZECH REPUBLIC (white) – 1 Vaclav Milik (captain), 2 Eduard Krcmar, 3 Tomas Suchanek, 4 Matej Kus. Team Manager: Milan Spinka.
RUSSIA (yellow) – 1 Andrei Kudriashov, 2 Artem Laguta, 3 Emil Sayfutdinov (captain), 4 Vitaly Belousov. Team Manager: Andrei Savin.
EVENT 2 – KING’S LYNN, GREAT BRITAIN – JUNE 8
GREAT BRITAIN (red) – 1 Chris Harris, 2 Danny King, 3 Tai Woffinden (captain), 4 Robert Lambert. Team Manager: Alun Rossiter.
UNITED STATES (blue) – 1 Greg Hancock (captain), 2 Gino Manzares, 3 Ryan Fisher, 4 Max Ruml. Team Manager: Billy Hamill.
AUSTRALIA (white) – 1 Chris Holder (captain), 2 Nick Morris, 3 Troy Batchelor, 4 Jason Doyle. Team Manager: Mark Lemon.
LATVIA (yellow) – 1 Maksims Bogdanovs, 2 Andzejs Lebedevs, 3 Kasts Puodzuks, 4 Jevgenijs Kostigovs. Team Manager: Vladimirs Ribnikovs.
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