SGP2 QUALIFIERS | DANISH YOUNG GUN BREUM FIRES MAX AS CHAMPION CIERNIAK MAKES THE CUT
Danish racer Emil Breum powered into the 2023 SGP2 series with a 15-point maximum in today’s qualifying round at Slovenian track Krsko.
Breum, a track reserve at last year’s FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens, booked his place in the FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship series, which was rebranded as SGP2 in 2022 as part of global promoter Warner Bros. Discovery Sports’ vision to elevate the stars of tomorrow.
He was the only rider to defeat German talent Norick Blodorn, who also qualified in second on 14.
Reigning champion Mateusz Cierniak of Poland earned a shot at defending his SGP2 crown by finishing third in Krsko on 13, beaten only by Breum and Blodorn, while Sweden’s Gustav Grahn secured a return to the SGP2 series by finishing fourth on 11.
Danish youngster Bastian Borke just missed the qualification cut on 10 along with Slovenian prospect Anze Grmek. Czech racer Petr Chlupac missed out on a return to SGP2 on nine, while France’s Mathias Tressarieu and Britain’s Leon Flint exited on seven.
Australian star Keynan Rew, first reserve for the 2022 SGP2 series, will not have to wait for a call-up this year after winning his qualifier at Czech track Pardubice on 13 points.
Poland’s Bartlomiej Kowalski followed up an impressive performance at the Orlen FIM Warsaw Speedway GP last Saturday by qualifying in second place on 12 points.
Sweden’s Casper Henriksson and Denmark’s Nicolai Heiselberg claimed the final two qualification places on 11 points apiece, with Henriksson – a member of the 2022 series – winning a run-off for third.
Ukrainian rider Nazar Parnitskiy and Latvia’s Ernests Matjusonoks both fell just short on 10 points each, while Drew Kemp notched nine and his fellow British racer Dan Gilkes scored eight.
Danish shooting star Esben Hjerrild showed his class against a stellar field to win the Vojens qualifier on 13 points, beating Swedish racer Philip Hellstrom-Bangs in a run-off for first place.
Both men qualify for SGP2 along with Latvian racer Francis Gusts and Poland’s Damian Ratajczak. They survived an epic five-rider run-off after tying on 11 points with Norway’s Mathias Pollestad, Poland’s Kacper Pludra and Great Britain rider Anders Rowe.
In the four-heat run-off for the last two qualification places, Ratajczak beat Rowe and Pludra in the first race to book his spot in the final run-off, before Pollestad beat Gusts to join Ratajczak.
Pludra then won the elimination heat ahead of Gusts and Rowe, with the Brit knocked out of the qualification race.
A final run-off then took place between the remaining four riders and Gusts prevailed ahead of Ratajczak. They made the qualification cut, with Pollestad and Pludra denied.
But those riders who fell short still have one last chance to take their place in SGP2 as three permanent wild cards for the series are yet to be allocated by the SGP2 Commission, with the names to be revealed soon.
The series gets underway with the Prague FIM SGP2 of Czech Republic on Friday, June 2, before the FIM SGP2 of Poland – Gorzow takes place on Friday, June 23. The SGP2 champion will then be crowned at the FIM SGP2 of Denmark – Vojens on Friday, September 15.
SGP2 LINE-UP SO FAR (in no particular order): Emil Breum (Denmark), Norick Blodorn (Germany), Mateusz Cierniak (Poland), Gustav Grahn (Sweden), Keynan Rew (Australia), Bartlomiej Kowalski (Poland), Casper Henriksson (Sweden), Nicolai Heiselberg (Denmark), Esben Hjerrild (Denmark), Philip Hellstrom-Bangs (Sweden), Francis Gusts (Latvia), Damian Ratajczak (Poland).
KRSKO SCORES: 1. Emil Breum (Denmark) 15, 2. Norick Blodorn (Germany) 14, 3. Mateusz Cierniak (Poland) 13, 4. Gustav Grahn (Sweden) 11, 5. Bastian Borke (Denmark) 10, 6. Anze Grmek (Slovenia) 10, 7. Petr Chlupac (Czech Republic) 9, 8. Mathias Tresarrieu (France) 7, 9. Leon Flint (Great Britain) 7, 10. Maurice Brown (Australia) 6, 11. Jacob Hook (Australia) 5, 12. Richard Fuzesi (Hungary) 3, 13. Matteo Boncinelli (Italy) 3, 14. Mykhailo Tymoshchuk (Ukraine) 3, 15. Julian Kuny (Slovenia) 2, 16. Roman Kapustin (Ukraine) 1, 17. Patricia Erhart (Germany) 1.
PARDUBICE SCORES: 1. Keynan Rew (Australia) 13, 2. Bartlomiej Kowalski (Poland) 12, 3. Casper Henriksson (Sweden) 11+3, 4. Nicolai Heiselberg (Denmark) 11+2, 5. Nazar Parnitskiy (Ukraine) 10, 6. Ernests Matjusonoks (Latvia) 10, 7. Drew Kemp (Great Britain) 9, 8. Dan Gilkes (Great Britain) 8, 9. Daniel Klima (Czech Republic) 7, 10. Sebastian Kossler (Austria) 6, 11. Ricards Ansviesulis (Latvia) 6, 12. Erik Bachhuber (Germany) 5, 13. Jan Jenicek (Czech Republic) 4, 14. Tino Bouin (France) 3, 15. Matous Kamenik (Czech Republic) 3, 16. Bruno Belan (Czech Republic) 1, 17. Matej Fryza (Czech Republic) 1, 18. Maksym Sereda (Ukraine).
VOJENS SCORES: 1. Esben Hjerrild (Denmark) 13+3, 2. Philip Hellstrom-Bangs (Sweden) 13+2, 3. Francis Gusts (Latvia) 11, 4. Damian Ratajczak (Poland) 11, 5. Mathias Pollestad (Norway) 11, 6. Kacper Pludra (Poland) 11, 7. Anders Rowe (Great Britain) 11, 8. Jaroslav Vanicek (Czech Republic) 9, 9. Jesper Knudsen (Denmark) 8, 10. Ludvig Selvin (Sweden) 7, 11. Espen Sola (Norway) 5, 12. James Pearson (Australia) 4, 13. Alex Martin (USA) 2, 14. Marlon Hegener (Germany) 2, 15. Artjams Juhno (Latvia) 2, 16. Jonny Wynant (Germany) 0.