Patryk Dudek put in a stellar effort at the Polish SGP nipping 8-points off title gap

Patryk Dudek made the Polish SGP one to remember, not to mention ensuring the Melbourne finale would keep everyone on their toes, after storming to his first SGP victory and closing in on championship leader Doyle.

Dudek, who trailed championship leader Jason Doyle by 22 points prior to Saturday’s SGP, overcame a third in his opening ride to end the qualifying stage on 12 points.

He went on to make full use of his gate choice to beat Matej Zagar to the flag in semi-final one, before booking his spot on Torun’s top podium step with a win over Tai Woffinden, Bartosz Zmarzlik, and Matej Zagar in the final.

Dudek’s win means just 14 points separate him from Aussie Jason Doyle at the top of the standings, while Woffinden boosted his medal credentials by leapfrogging Maciej Janowski to move into third place.

Dudek, had been the only full-time SGP star without an SGP win prior to Torun.

Patryk Dudek

“It’s an amazing feeling. To win a GP in Poland in my first year of GP racing, I’m very proud and happy. Speedway is difficult. It’s a rollercoaster, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. I had a problem in my first heat but we made a change and then things went okay. That sums up speedway this year. When you have a lucky day this is what happens. I’m second in the standings. I won tonight. I hope the next meeting will be the same.”

Dudek takes top position on the podium at the Polish SGP round
Dudek takes top position on the podium at the Polish SGP round

Though Dudek put any celebrations for championship rival Doyle on hold, the 25-year-old said he’s too focused on the upcoming QBE Insurance Australian SGP to worry about the standings.

Second-placed Tai Woffinden overcame a sickness bug to bag his second podium finish of the season.

Tai Woffinden

“The job tonight was to claw points back. Overall it’s a good night. We now move on to Melbourne. GPs aren’t easy. Everyone is fast. It’s a pleasure when you can have tough races like we did tonight. The hardest thing is staying at that level year on year. From 2013 it’s been nothing short of amazing. I’m blessed to do something I love to support my family. Me and Faye are very excited with our little girl on the way. There’s nothing more I could ask for.”

A trophy from Saturday’s Nice Torun SGP may not be the only new addition to the Woffinden household by time the Australian round begins. Tai and his wife Faye are expecting a baby girl, and it may be delivered prior to the Melbourne showdown – something that would top another remarkable season for the Brit.

Third-placed Bartosz Zmarzlik meanwhile was pleased to bag another podium after making his fifth final out of the last six GPs.

Bartosz Zmarzlik

“I’m happy to be on the podium. It’s the same result as two weeks ago. But we are working for better results all the time.”

Track reserve Max Fricke was left dazed after a heavy fall in heat 15. The Aussie caught the back wheel of Martin Vaculik while entering turn three of lap one, subsequently going over the high side of his bike and landing heavily on his shoulder.

Though the youngster was keen to continue, Australian team manager Mark Lemon revealed he had been stood down from the meeting following the re-run – which he was excluded from.

Jason Doyle took home 10 points in seventh position.

The series moves on to its final round, the QBE Insurance Australian SGP in Melbourne on October 28 where either Doyle or Dudek will be crowned champion.

World Championship Standings
  1. Jason Doyle 142
  2. Patryk Dudek 128
  3. Tai Woffinden 115
  4. Maciej Janowski 113
  5. Emil Sayfutdinov 109
  6. Bartosz Zmarzlik 108
  7. Fredrik Lindgren 107
  8. Matej Zagar 97
  9. Martin Vaculik 90
  10. Chris Holder 82
  11. Piotr Pawlicki 79
  12. Antonio Lindback 73
  13. Peter Kildemand 54
  14. Greg Hancock 45
  15. Niels-Kristian Iverson 44
  16. Vaclav Milik 31
  17. Martin Smolinski 19
  18. Max Fricke 11
  19. Pawel Przedpelski 10
  20. Nicki Pedersen 8
  21. Michael Jepsen Jensen 8
  22. Maksims Bogdanovs 8
  23. Kenneth Bjerre 7
  24. Krzysztof Kasprzak 6
  25. Kai Huckenbeck 4
  26. Jacob Thorssell 4
  27. Przemyslaw Pawlicki 3
  28. Craig Cook 2
  29. Linus Sundstrom 2
  30. Kim Nilsson 2
  31. Josh Bates 2
  32. Nick Skorja 1
2017 NICE Torun SGP of Poland scores
  1. Patryk Dudek 18
  2. Tai Woffinden 15
  3. Bartosz Zmarzlik 14
  4. Matej Zagar 11
  5. Vaclav Milik 11
  6. Piotr Pawlicki 10
  7. Jason Doyle 10
  8. Pawel Przedpelski 10
  9. Peter Kildemand 8
  10. Emil Sayfutdinov 7
  11. Chris Holder 7
  12. Maciej Janowski 5
  13. Martin Vaculik 5
  14. Max Fricke 4
  15. Martin Smolinski 2
  16. Antonio Lindback 1
  17. Bartosz Smektala 0
    … Igor Kopec-Sobczynski DNR