Speedway - Sayfutdinov extends Euro lead as Laguta brothers put on a show

Emil Sayfutdinov won the second round of the Speedway European Championship with victory in the final, extending his lead over series rivals Tai Woffinden and Nicki Pedersen in the process, albeit by a solitary point. Grigory Laguta scored the highest amount of points on the night to resurrect his European campaign on a warm night in Russia.

Broken ribs and collarbone victim Sebastian Ulamek missed the event after a horrible accident on Friday whilst riding for Lakeside in Britain. He was replaced by Vitaly Belousov, initially the first reserve.

Kasts Puodzuks was another requiring treatment early on as he hit the floor in heat one, sustaining suspected broken fingers. Ales Dryml’s night of torment began as he then hit the tapes, allowing Oleg Beschatsnov to get his first points at this level. The race was won eventually by Martin Vaculik, ahead of Belousov and Beschatsnov. The next race needed only one staging, as Fredrik Lindgren got his night off to a perfect start with 3 points, ahead of Hans Andersen, who just held off Pedersen and Janowski. Heat 3 took three attempts, as with heat 1. Karpov made two fantastic, but unsatisfactory, starts and the one that counted saw him crowded out by the three Russians Sayfutdinov, Artem Laguta and Roman Povazhny. Grigory then bettered Artem with victory over Pavlic, Woffinden and the inconsistent Gollob.

Grigory kept up his impressive form with second behind Andersen in heat 5, beating Povazhny and Iwanov, yet another replacement. Artem emulated his more experienced brother with a dominant performance in heat 6, passing Pedersen in fine style whilst Vaculik took a point and Mr Inconsistent himself Gollob failed to score. Lindgren was a man in no such trouble thus far with another victory ahead of Pavlic, as the replacement Belousov bettered Karpov, who was penalised for a third time for an unsatisfactory start. In the clash of the titans, Woffinden dominated ahead of the slow Sayfutdinov, with the Russian holding out for second in heat 8.

‘Woffy’ then built on this with an equally superb victory in heat 9 over Pedersen, whilst in heat 10 Vaculik claimed victory over Sayfutdinov and Andersen, with Pavlic trailing. Gollob then flicked his on switch and produced a classy ride to finally get off the mark as passing stayed at a premium throughout the evening. Grigory then kept his charge going with another win, doing battle with brother Artem to show that the Laguta boys meant business as ‘Fast Freddy’ Lindgren started to falter.

Gollob remained in his newly discovered form with another imperious win in heat 13, beating the home favourite Sayfutdinov in the process, whilst Grigory Laguta booked his place in at worst the final 6 as he turned on the style in heat 14. Woffinden then beat his brother Artem with a fine move after good initial work from Artem Laguta. Andersen kept his slim last 6 hopes alive by beating Belousov to the final point. Pedersen then made his case for the semi final with a less than comfortable victory in heat 16 ahead of Croatia’s Pavlic.

Artem booked his semi final place by taking another victory in heat 17, as Pavlic ran out of steam in his bid to make the semis. Vaculik then threw himself a lifeline by moving on to 10 points with Woffinden in second. Grigory went straight to the final, knocking out brother Artem Laguta in the process ahead of Pedersen, who went through to the semi’s in heat 19. Sayfutdinov’s third meant he was less than safe, provided Andersen won heat 20.

That race would more be remembered for a truly horrific crash involving Ales Dryml and Andrey Karpov, in which Karpov struck Dryml’s head as the Czech fell in front of him. Karpov careered into the fence, damaging his foot, whilst Dryml inexplicably walked away into a waiting ambulance. The race was won by Gollob, with Andersen taking second. Sayfutdinov was through by the skin of his teeth.

The semi final was contested by Pedersen, Sayfutdinov, Vaculik and wildcard Artem Laguta. Pedersen’s magnificent first corner saw him hit the front after Sayfutdinov’s good start, and the result never looked in doubt as Vaculik and Laguta failed to make any real impact. The final meant yet another brilliant start from Sayfutdinov, and this time there was no Pedersen charge and the Russian pulled clear as Grigory Laguta and Woffinden were beaten at turn one. Pedersen settled for a decent second whilst the two men who looked the most likely to win the meeting finished third and fourth respectively, with Woffinden failing to score. The night saw Sayfutdinov slowly edge further away from his rivals when it looked like for most of the night he would be clawed back by Woffinden and Pedersen. The next round of the Speedway European Championships is in Gorican, Croatia in 5 weeks time.

 

 

Position

 

Rider

 

Nation

 

Points

 

1

 

Emil Sayfutdinov

 

Russia

 

27

 

2

 

Nicki Pedersen

 

Denmark

 

24

 

3

 

Tai Woffinden

 

Great Britain

 

23

 

4

 

Tomasz Gollob

 

Poland

 

22

 

5=

 

Grigory Laguta

 

Russia

 

19

 

5=

 

Martin Vaculik

 

Slovakia

 

19

 

7

 

Maciej Janowski

 

Poland

 

17

 

8

 

Hans Andersen

 

Denmark

 

16

 

9

 

Fredrik Lindgren

 

Sweden

 

14

 

10

 

Artem Laguta (Round 2 Wildcard)

 

Russia

 

12

 

11

 

Jurica Pavlic

 

Croatia

 

11

 

12

 

Kasts Puodzuks

 

Latvia

 

10

 

13

 

Roman Povazhny

 

Russia

 

9

 

14=

 

Ales Dryml

 

Czech Republic

 

6

 

14=

 

Sebastian Ulamek

 

Poland

 

6

 

14=

 

Andrey Karpov

 

Ukraine

 

6

 

17

 

Krystian Pisceszek (Round 1 Wildcard)

 

Poland

 

5

 

18

 

Vitaly Belousov (Round 2 Reserve)

 

Russia

 

3

 

19

 

Oleg Beschatsnov (Round 2 Reserve)

 

Russia

 

2

 

20

 

Danil Iwanov (Round 2 Reserve)

 

Russia

 

1

 

 

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