FRICKE: CARDIFF VIDEOS INSPIRED RACING DREAM

Australian champion Max Fricke revealed watching FIM Speedway Grand Prix action from Cardiff on video tempted him to take up the sport as he prepares for his Principality Stadium debut on August 13. The FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff is back to celebrate its 20th visit to the Welsh capital in 2022 as it returns following a two-year break, with the FIM SGP2 of Great Britain taking place on Sunday, August 14 at 1pm, featuring the world’s top under-21 stars. Fricke has watched the action at Principality Stadium from the stands, but this will be his first time on the track at Wales’ national stadium. The Victorian ace admits racing in Cardiff isn’t just a dream come true – it’s one of the reasons he became a speedway rider. He said: “I have been there as a spectator, but I have never raced there, so I am super excited about that. “Cardiff is one of the GPs that originally introduced me to speedway. I watched the GPs at home – a friend of mine got me into speedway and showed me some GPs on video. “That was what I used to watch – it wasn’t so much the speedway meetings in Australia. I used to get videos of the GPs and put them on. Cardiff was always the biggest one on the calendar, so I am pretty excited to go there and have my first experience on the track. Hopefully I will do well.” Fricke is also pleased to see the Speedway GP series return to a more familiar calendar after the 2020 season was restricted to Poland and the Czech Republic due to the pandemic. A number of events were also cancelled and moved in 2021, with five countries staging 11 rounds – six of which were in Poland. The Belle Vue star is pleased to be racing in more countries with a bigger range of race tracks, and at iconic arenas like Principality Stadium and PGE Narodowy in Warsaw. He said: “We are back to more of a normal system this year with a few bigger stadiums and more races in different countries. That will suit me a little bit more maybe.” While Fricke can’t wait to get the 2022 Speedway GP tour started, he has been enjoying an off-season at his Andorran base – set in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. “I had a nice, quiet winter,” he said. “I went to Andorra and did my pre-season training and got ready for the season. That was a nice time and it was nice to have a bit of routine and stay in one place for a while. It gave me a good base to get ready for the season. “I was toying with the idea of going back to Australia for a little bit. But I had already put my preparations in place to go to Andorra and do everything there. “I have my gym I go to every day and it’s perfect to be able to head out on a push bike in the afternoons or go for a run in the mountains. In between times, I can also go skiing or head out on my trials bike – stuff like that, which is really good fun. I am super lucky to be able to do that in Andorra and have that right on my doorstep.” Tickets for the FIM British Speedway GP in Cardiff are available online now – with prices including entry to both Saturday’s Speedway GP and Sunday’s SGP2 events. With prices set to increase on Friday, book here now and save: https://fimspeedwaygpofcardiff.seetickets.com/

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A NEW ERA OF SPEEDWAY GP IN POLAND

Discovery Sports Events, the global FIM Speedway Grand Prix promoter, has announced its plans to broadcast the individual speedway world championships in Poland. All the events taking place in Poland will be broadcast on the nationwide, free-to-air channel TTV, and each round of the series will be available live and on demand on Eurosport in Player. The Eurosport TV channels will feature extensive highlights of Speedway GP as well as the SGP2 and SGP3 competitions. Access to the most important speedway events in the world has never been broader! All four Polish rounds of the world's biggest speedway event, FIM Speedway Grand Prix, will be live on the free-to-air TTV channel. Every moment of the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series will be live and on demand on Eurosport in Player, available for only 15 PLN per month. Speedway will be one of the pillars of the extensive Eurosport offer available in Player. There will also be reports from Speedway GP on the TVN Discovery Group channels - Eurosport, TVN, TVN24 and TVN Turbo as well as on the group's digital platforms.   Discovery Sports Events has brought together all of international speedway’s top competitions under a common brand for the first time in history. It combines SGP (FIM Speedway Grand Prix), SGP2 (FIM Speedway U21 World Championship) and SGP3 (FIM Speedway U16 World Championship). Additionally, the speedway calendar will include annual team events - SON (FIM Speedway of Nations) or SWC (FIM Speedway World Cup). All SGP, SGP2, SGP3 and SON rounds will be available live and on demand on Eurosport on Player.pl. Additionally, the four rounds of Speedway GP in Poland will be broadcast on the nationwide, free-to-air channel TTV. The SGP2 and SGP3 events will be broadcast on Eurosport's linear channels, and the FIM Speedway of Nations will be available on Eurosport in Player for 15 PLN per month. Dorota Żurkowska, Member of the Management Board of TVN Discovery Group, said: “From now on, speedway fans will be able to watch the most elite events in their beloved discipline, wherever and whenever they want, on a TV screen, computer, tablet or smartphone. “All Polish rounds will be televised on the free-to-air nationwide channel TTV, and the entire series will be broadcasted on Eurosport in Player. “We will show absolutely all SGP races, including those from lower-age categories, as well as additional streams, including shots from the paddock and much more. “Speedway becomes one of the pillars of the unparalleled offer of Eurosport in Player, which includes, among others, Grand Slam tennis, cycling, snooker, winter sports, handball European cups, motor and winter sports, as well as sports climbing. “Together with Discovery Sports Events, we want to promote speedway even more and reach new audiences, which is why we are also planning reports on other channels and platforms of TVN Discovery Group, including TVN, TVN24, TVN Turbo and Eurosport.” François Ribeiro, Head of Discovery Sports Events, said: “Poland has a rich and successful history in speedway, as well as one of the most passionate fan bases anywhere and we wanted to bring the 2022 season, the first under Discovery Sports Events, to as many fans as possible. “Securing this partnership with TTV supports our ambition to grow speedway by bringing it to the widest possible audience, maximising engagement and viewing opportunities across the many competitions we will be promoting. “We welcome the opportunity to work with TTV to ensure fans in Poland can enjoy free-to-air coverage throughout the 2022 season and we look forward to bringing an unprecedented four rounds to Poland this year.” The broadcasts will feature studios, giving the viewers an opportunity to learn the secrets of speedway and deepen their knowledge through in-depth opinions and analysis from experts, as well as backstage materials from the paddock and interviews with the riders. Speedway fans will also receive the latest information from the track on an ongoing basis thanks to the commentators and reporters working at all SGP stadiums. Speedway GP will be widely reported on TVN Discovery Group channels and platforms. Thanks to reports and news programs on TVN, TVN24 and TVN Turbo, viewers will always be up to date with everything that is happening in the SGP world. After each round, 40-minute highlights will be shown on Eurosport channels. Eurosport will also broadcast the SGP2 and SGP3 competitions. Speedway will also be very visible on the eurosport.pl website and on the social media channels of Eurosport and other TVN Discovery Group platforms. Eurosport in Player is an unparalleled offer for sports fans. The package that costs 15 PLN per month includes the linear Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 channels, as well as additional exclusive broadcasts, parallel live streams of the most important sporting events in the world, an extensive VOD collection and an extensive archive of sports content. Users also gain access to a huge library of the best movies and series, Player Original titles, entertainment, education, lifestyle, automotive, children's content and news.

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STARS COME OUT FOR BEN FUND BONANZA

A host British speedway stars race for the sport’s injured riders as the Ben Fund Bonanza takes place at Peterborough on Sunday afternoon (2pm). It is the first time the event has been staged since the first Covid-19 lockdowns in March 2020 and all proceeds from the meeting will support riders sidelined temporarily or permanently by racing injuries Former FIM Speedway Grand Prix star Scott Nicholls takes to the shale along with FIM Speedway of Nations world champion Tom Brennan, Ryan Douglas, Simon Lambert, Nick Morris, Ben Barker, Ulrich Ostergaard, Sam Masters, Josh Auty, Lewis Kerr, Danny King, Paul Starke, James Sergeant, Steve Worrall, Richard Lawson and Benjamin Basso. Peterborough racer Ulrich Ostergaard was unable to compete in Panthers’ SGB Premiership Grand Final triumph over Belle Vue due to a back injury. So he’s delighted to continue his comeback and play his part in raising vital cash for the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund. Ostergaard said: “It really is great to support such a great cause at the same time as getting some more racing under my belt. “It will be nice to get some laps back at Peterborough to help me get set for the new season, so I’m looking forward to a great day for a great cause.” The meeting will culminate in five riders battling it out in the final on the wide open Showground circuit. Ben Fund chairman Paul Ackroyd is excited by the prospect. “It has been two years since the last bonanza meeting and we wanted to do something a little bit different and thrilling for this year,” he said. “We are very grateful to all the riders for their cooperation in making our five-rider final happen, and we are sure it will make this year’s meeting one of the most exciting! “We’re very excited about the field we’ve put together. It’s been a tough couple of years without the Bonanza and we hope to see plenty of people.” For more details about the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund or to make a donation, visit: https://www.srbf.co.uk/donate

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SPEEDWAY GP QUIZ | WORLD CHAMPIONS WHO WON IN PRAGUE

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MAX MAN ZMARZLIK WINS CRITERION OF ACES

Double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik started his season in sensational style after winning the Criterion of Aces with a 15-point maximum in Bydgoszcz on Friday. The Gorzow icon produced a perfect five rides to see off a field featuring five of his FIM Speedway Grand Prix rivals. Former world No.2 Patryk Dudek raced to second spot with 13 points, while Mikkel Michelsen rounded off the rostrum by taking third place on 11. Danish star Kenneth Bjerre was fourth on 10, with ex-Polish champion Szymon Wozniak fifth with nine and 2017 world champion Jason Doyle bagging eight points alongside double Speedway GP silver medallist Jaroslaw Hampel. Great Britain hero Robert Lambert and Polish shooting star Dominik Kubera scored seven each, while Speedway GP newcomer Dan Bewley recorded five.

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