Maciej Janowski wins first FIM Speedway GP at Daugavpil
Polish champion Maciej Janowski charged to his first FIM Speedway Grand Prix triumph in Daugavpils tonight, and pledged to forget all about it!
The two-time FIM Speedway Under-21 world champion topped the Rietumu Bank Latvian SGP rostrum on 12 points when the meeting was curtailed due to heavy rain after heat 20.
Triple world champ Nicki Pedersen was second, pipping third-placed Troy Batchelor after they tied on 11 points with three wins and two third places apiece. This meant the Dane got the verdict, having won their head-to-head battle in race 16.
But Janowski was the clear winner – less than two weeks after being crowned Polish champion for the first time.
Despite his speedway CV getting more impressive by the week, the 23-year-old remains firmly grounded and focused on his next meeting, pledging to forget any celebrations until the winter.
The Wroclaw and Poole skipper said: “Of course this is a big success for me and my team. Winning a GP is something I have wanted and tried to do my whole career. I hope this is not the last GP I win. For sure this will make me put in more hard work.
“I’m happy I have this trophy. I was looking at it on the presentation and thinking ‘maybe one day.’ Today is the day and I’m very happy.
“I feel pretty normal, though. I’m really happy with my points, but this meeting has gone already. I want to prove I can stay in the top eight and start thinking about next season. I will celebrate, but after the season.
“This is the middle of the season. I’ll stay focused on the next few rounds, the Polish league and the British league. Now there is still so much to do.
“But I want to say thank you to all my fans, my team and my sponsors. I had big support before the meeting, so I thank everyone.”
No shortage of SGP experts tipped Janowski to win a round in his debut season and some have even suggested he has the class for a top-three finish. Janowski is glad to be rated so highly, but knows there is still work to do.
He said: “Of course I hear this, but I don’t want to think about it. Even if someone says I can do it, it does not make any difference to me. I have to score the points. I just focus on myself and that’s it.
“I’ll just try to have some good fun. Chris Holder told me never to think about the points, so I don’t want to think about them. I just want to have good fun.”
Janowski backed the FIM Jury’s decision to abandon the meeting without running the semi-finals and final as the rain got harder and harder.
He said: “The most important thing is safety and after we had the rain, it would have been difficult to control the bike. It wouldn’t have even been good fun for the fans. I’m glad we’re all safe and going home in one piece, ready for the next meeting.”
Runner-up Pedersen was more than happy with his sixth Latvian SGP top-four finish in Daugavpils. He is now just nine points adrift of World Championship leader Tai Woffinden in second place after cutting the deficit by three.
After managing nine points in Cardiff, he’s determined to keep building his form ahead of next Saturday’s Swedish SGP at Malilla – his Elitserien home track.
He said: “I wasn’t as happy as I wanted to be in Cardiff. I didn’t have the equipment how I wanted. But this track is a bit longer and I enjoyed it.
“The rain coming in was a little bit disappointing because I had the speed tonight, but that’s one of those things. I want to stay positive. I’m getting closer and this is the fifth time on the rostrum for me in Latvia. I’m taking all the positives and looking forward to coming to Malilla in less than a week.
“I just need to recharge the batteries again and spend some time with my kids and stuff like that. I’ll do a bit of running and exercise, maybe one practice and then get ready for Malilla. It’s one of those places I should know, though.”
Batchelor endured a nightmare Adrian Flux British SGP in Cardiff on July 4, crashing out of the meeting with back and shoulder injuries.
So he was elated to storm back into top form in Latvia tonight. “What a way to come back from Cardiff!” he said. “I went home in an ambulance and that wasn’t my night.
“Everything was going well in Cardiff before my crash. I feel I’m in the right place and it showed tonight. I had three good wins and some good speed. I tailed off a bit towards the end when the rain started coming. But it was a good GP.
“I’m probably going to spend tomorrow recovering. I’ll go home and have a few days’ rest. But everything is in the right place – we’ll just keep it there.”
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Tai Woffinden 63, 2 Nicki Pedersen 54, 3 Greg Hancock 49, 4 Niels-Kristian Iversen 43, 5 Chris Holder 41, 6 Matej Zagar 40, 7 Maciej Janowski 38, 8 Jason Doyle 37, 9 Michael Jepsen Jensen 34, 10 Andreas Jonsson 33, 11 Jaroslaw Hampel 31, 12 Troy Batchelor 28, 13 Chris Harris 27, 14 Tomas H Jonasson 23, 15 Krzysztof Kasprzak 21, 16 Peter Kildemand 20, 17 Craig Cook 7, 18 Tomasz Gollob 4, 19 Bartosz Zmarzlik 3, 20 Timo Lahti 3, 21 Kasts Puodzuks 3, 22 Vaclav Milik 2, 23 Piotr Pawlicki 1, 24 Robert Lambert 1.
RIETUMU BANK LATVIAN SGP SCORES: 1 Maciej Janowski 12, 2 Nicki Pedersen 11, 3 Troy Batchelor 11, 4 Chris Holder 10, 5 Greg Hancock 10, 6 Jason Doyle 8, 7 Tai Woffinden 8, 8 Peter Kildemand 8, 9 Niels-Kristian Iversen 8, 10 Michael Jepsen Jensen 7, 11 Tomas H Jonasson 7, 12 Andreas Jonsson 7, 13 Matej Zagar 6, 14 Chris Harris 4, 15 Kasts Puodzuks 3, 16 Krzysztof Kasprzak 0, 17 Andzejs Lebedevs DNR, 18 Jevgenijs Kostigovs DNR.