Polish star Maciej Janowski admits a shower of shale in his opening race inspired him to Norrbil Swedish FIM Speedway Grand Prix glory in Hallstavik on Saturday night.
Magic suffered a last place in his first ride, but that proved a minor bump in the road as he then reeled off six sensational heat wins on his way to topping the podium ahead of runner-up Fredrik Lindgren, third-placed Bartosz Zmarzlik and World Championship leader Tai Woffinden in fourth.
Janowski produced a gating masterclass as he moved up to fourth in the standings. And he says being plastered in shale when he was left at the back in heat one focused his mind for the rest of the night.
He said: “The beginning of the meeting was very hard – zero points in the first heat – but we tried not to think about that. We knew our bikes were prepared very well for this meeting. Friday’s practice was very good. So I just focused on my riding and the starts, and we did it. So I’m happy! I’m very proud of my team.
“We made a few changes – the biggest change was I changed my goggles. In the first heat I got so much spray, so I focused even more on the start because I know how much time it took me to clean my suit for the next heat!”
Janowski was pictured joking with SGP rival and Wroclaw team mate Tai Woffinden ahead of the final. And he revealed both of them were keen to avoid jinxing each other for the all-important race.
Magic said: “He was laughing because in the Wroclaw team, we never shake hands before the last heat – it gives us bad luck.
“He’s on very good form right now – he’s scoring many points and not making many mistakes. But we will work even harder to get maybe more points at the next Grand Prix.”
Despite his victory, Janowski is still 18 adrift of Woffinden, who is 11 clear of nearest rival Lindgren in top spot.
With six rounds still to race, Magic has time to close the gap. But the former World Under-21 champion insists his sole focus is the next round – the Adrian Flux British SGP in Cardiff on July 21.
Janowski, who topped the podium in the Welsh capital last year, said: “There is still a long way to go, but I’m just trying to focus on the next meeting and getting more points. Every meeting is different, so I will try to prepare the best I can and hopefully my bikes will be good enough to race with the fastest riders in the world.”
Swedish star Lindgren was pleased to have regained top form so quickly after his pre-semi-final exit at the WD-40 Danish SGP last weekend as he powered to 15 points and second spot in his homeland.
He said: “I’m very happy with my performance today. My gating wasn’t really where it needed to be to be successful in the GP, but I made some really smart moves on the track – especially on the first laps.
“I’m happy to have bounced back after Horsens. It was very hard for me after Denmark. Picking myself up took a couple of days and I’m really happy to have performed this well after that – and especially in front of the Swedish fans.”
Third-placed Zmarzlik was glad to hit his SGP stride as he overhauled world champion Jason Doyle for eighth place in the championship.
He said: “I’m very happy because in the early rounds of the GP this season, I haven’t had luck. But it all came in Hallstavik. Maybe I wasn’t in the top two, but this is a good result and I am very happy because I was third.
“It was good fun on the track and we will see what happens next. I had a very good feeling today and thank you to my team. They did some very good work.”
Round five sees the SGP stars head to Cardiff for one of world speedway’s biggest events – the Adrian Flux British SGP on Saturday, July 21. Tickets are still available online. Visit: http://bit.ly/2HEWFQV.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Tai Woffinden 65, 2 Fredrik Lindgren 54, 3 Emil Sayfutdinov 48, 4 Maciej Janowski 47, 5 Greg Hancock 41, 6 Artem Laguta 41, 7 Patryk Dudek 36, 8 Bartosz Zmarzlik 36, 9 Jason Doyle 35, 10 Chris Holder 31, 11 Matej Zagar 28, 12 Nicki Pedersen 25, 13 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 14, 14 Craig Cook 9, 15 Niels-Kristian Iversen 9, 16 Krzysztof Kasprzak 7, 17 Andreas Jonsson 7, 18 Vaclav Milik 6, 19 Martin Vaculik 4, 20 Michael Jepsen Jensen 4, 21 Maksym Drabik 2, 22 Bartosz Smektala 2, 23 Mikkel Michelsen 1.
NORRBIL SWEDISH SGP SCORES: 1 Maciej Janowski 18, 2 Fredrik Lindgren 15, 3 Bartosz Zmarzlik 13, 4 Tai Woffinden 16, 5 Emil Sayfutdinov 14, 6 Greg Hancock 10, 7 Jason Doyle 9, 8 Artem Laguta 8, 9 Matej Zagar 7, 10 Andreas Jonsson 7, 11 Chris Holder 7, 12 Patryk Dudek 6, 13 Craig Cook 3, 14 Nicki Pedersen 3, 15 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 1, 16 Martin Vaculik 1, 17 Linus Sundstrom DNR, 18 Kim Nilsson DNR.