Double world champion Tai Woffinden insisted “there’s a lot more to come from me” after racing to his second win in three years at Warsaw’s sold-out PGE Narodowy on Saturday.
The Great Britain racer topped the BOLL Warsaw FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland podium ahead of home hero Maciej Janowski and last year’s winner Fredrik Lindgren, with Artem Laguta finishing fourth on his first SGP appearance since 2011.
Woffy cruised through the heats with 10 points, before chasing Laguta all the way in semi-final two, with the Russian just coming out on top.
Despite having third choice of gates for the final, Woffinden got the best of an epic battle with Janowski in front of 55,000 passionate fans to add to his 2016 Warsaw triumph.
The Scunthorpe-born star admits he is still working towards his best form, so he was elated to come out on top in the opening FIM Speedway World Championship round of 2018.
He said: “Everything went really well and, to be honest, I don’t feel really comfortable on the bike at the moment. It’s the start of the season and we have only done one meeting in Sweden.
“For me to win a Grand Prix and not feel like I’m 100 percent means it’s going to be an exciting season. There’s a lot more to come from me.
“I’m feeling really good. I needed this. Thanks to Maciej for a good race and thanks to the Polish fans. We put on a good show for the fans and what more can you ask for?”
Woffinden left Warsaw with 15 points – putting him one behind series leader Lindgren, who has 16. With nine rounds to race, the Brit isn’t looking too far ahead as he bids to become Britain’s first ever triple world champion.
He said: “It’s always good to score points, and to win the GP is a nice little bonus. The main focus is trying to win the championship. I want to score points and take each round as it comes. But I’ll live in the moment and not look too far forward.”
Janowski was pleased to overcome some mechanical issues to finish as Warsaw runner-up for a second straight season.
He said: “That was a very tough night. We worked a lot with the bike. We had some problems with the clutch. But we tried to focus and in the end my bike worked really well.
“Maybe I needed to go a little wider in the final, but Tai was very quick and Freddie was quick. That was a good meeting.”
Lindgren has started the season in the form of his life, topping the PGE Ekstraliga averages in Poland. So he was delighted to bring his red-hot scoring on to the SGP stage and top the early standings.
He said: “Obviously when you’re in the final, you always want to win it, but I’m very proud of myself and how I rode all meeting through. I collected points in all my heats and I am very happy with my start to the season.”
There was bad news for triple world champion Nicki Pedersen, who withdrew from the meeting with concerns over the broken hand he suffered in Gorzow two weeks ago.
He crashed out of his fourth ride and was unable to take his final outing. The Dane is set to undergo X-rays on Sunday before making a decision on how long he will rest from racing.
Next up for the SGP stars is the ANLAS Czech SGP in Prague on May 26.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Fredrik Lindgren 16, 2 Tai Woffinden 15, 3 Maciej Janowski 13, 4 Artem Laguta 13, 5 Patryk Dudek 10, 6 Chris Holder 10, 7 Bartosz Zmarzlik 9, 8 Matej Zagar 9, 9 Emil Sayfutdinov 8, 10 Greg Hancock 8, 11 Krzysztof Kasprzak 7, 12 Jason Doyle 5, 13 Niels-Kristian Iversen 4, 14 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 3, 15 Nicki Pedersen 2, 16 Craig Cook 2, 17 Maksym Drabik 2, 18 Bartosz Smektala 2