VACULIK CONQUERS GORZOW
Martin Vaculik stormed to Gorzow GP victory after defeating an almighty pack of Bartosz Zmarzlik, Tai Woffinden and Patryk Dudek in the final.
After all riders had taken two rides, Zmarzlik perched at the top of the standings with Artem Laguta and Matej Zagar, all scoring 6 point maximums. Szymon Wozniak secured four Grand Prix points to impress his home crowd and was on track for a provisonal semi-final spot. Current championship leader, Woffinden, only managed 3 points out of the possible 6 and failed to win a race. However, his bad luck didn't strike as hard as it did for injured Freddie Lindgren, who failed to score any points in his opening first two rides.
Heats 9-20 brought new race winners, harsh racing and caused a few handbags to swing. All three maximum riders dropped at least one point. Janowski and Dudek saw the Polish flags fly high after they took their first heat wins of the night and Lindgren still appeared to be struggling. But, one stand out heat of the Gorzow Grand Prix is Heat 16... Vaculik graced the fans and showed he could capitalise on a home track advantage, meanwhile, Janowski and Nicki Pedersen scrapped for second place to increase their chances of making it to the semi-finals. A controversial move was forced upon Janowski after he locked up before entering the straight, Pedersen squeezed past the Pole and shoved him into the fence. Janowski recovered with time to gesticulate while passing the line. He managed to take second ahead of Pedersen but the drama did not stop there; handbags swung as both riders entered the pits, yet, it was mostly the mechanics chucking their toys out of the pram as they fought against each other.
Semi-Final One saw three Poles, Zmarzlik, Dudek and Janowski, and just one Slovenian, Zagar, line up at the tapes. Zmarzlik looked hopeful for an impressive home victory and took Dudek with him through to the final.
Two World Champions (Hancock and Woffinden), one Speedway of Nations Champion (Laguta) and one former GP winner (Vaculik) all lined up for Semi-Final Two. Some may have argued that Vaculik seemed the most unlikely to reach the final out of the four, but he managed to prove them wrong. Vaculik scored all three points to make his way through to his second consecutive final, along with Woffinden. Whereas, Hancock and Laguta’s successful night went no further.
The Final reflected the drama from the rest of the meeting. In the first attempt to run the final, a false call by the referee saw the red lights come on - even though it was not an unsatisfactory start. The second time the tapes went up, a collision between Dudek and Zmarzlik caused the race to be stopped once again. You would of thought third time lucky? But unfortunately not. This time Dudek did jump the start and received a warning for his starting offence. Finally, the racing got underway and Vaculik stormed from the outside, yet ended up in second behind Zmarzlik. The rest of the pack never troubled Vaculik which meant he could swoop round the outside of the Polish favourite and cross the chequered flag first. Zmarzlik claimed second and Woffinden followed behind in third.
Woffinden’s lead shortens again to 16 points but this time it’s Zmarzlik reeling him in. Janowski also jumps ahead of Lindgren in the standings after he is struggling with injury woes.