ALL 10 FIM SPEEDWAY VENUES RETURN FOR 2023

The 2023 FIM Speedway calendar has been confirmed as venues across eight different countries host FIM Speedway World Championships action and the sport celebrates its 100th season. A century on from the first speedway event in 1923, the sport’s current generation of stars will mark a huge anniversary season with another epic year of 500cc, no-brakes, wheel-to-wheel racing on the sport’s most famous stages. Nine of the 2022 venues take their place on the Speedway GP calendar, while Wroclaw’s legendary Olympic Stadium makes history once again, when it stages the much-anticipated return of the FIM Speedway World Cup from July 25-29, 2023. It’s the first time the competition has been taken place since 2017 and the first time all four events have taken place in one city as part of new global promoter Discovery Sports Events’ vision to restore the popular tournament and create the ultimate festival of team racing – staged every three seasons. Subject to final agreement with the local organiser, Latvian capital Riga is set to host the nation’s first SGP event since 2017 on Saturday, August 12. As part of a huge double-header of action at the city’s motorsport haven Bikernieki, Latvia’s talented under-21 team bids for FIM Speedway of Nations – SON2 gold on Friday, August 11, when the sport’s top seven under-21 sides race for the FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship. The SGP season opens with the FIM Speedway GP of Croatia – Donji Kraljevec once again on April 29 – 12 months after Speedway Stadion Milenium made an unforgettable return to the calendar following a 10-year absence with the first event of the DSE era. Warsaw’s iconic PGE Narodowy hosts the FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Warsaw on May 13, where over 50,000 passionate fans saw the sport’s top riders go wheel to wheel earlier this year. Prague’s Marketa Stadium is back with another double-header of action in 2023, as it hosts its record-breaking 29th FIM Speedway GP of Czech Republic – Prague on Saturday, June 3. Fans can enjoy two nights of racing in the picturesque Czech capital with the FIM SGP2 of Czech Republic also taking place on Friday, June 2 as the 2023 FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship gets underway. Just seven days after the Prague events, the FIM Speedway GP of Germany – Teterow brings thousands of fans to the historic Bergring Arena on June 10. The action then switches to the Edward Jancarz Stadium for the FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Gorzow on Saturday, June 24, with fans in Gorzow also set to enjoy a double-header of racing as the venue hosts the FIM SGP2 of Poland on Friday, June 23. Sweden’s biggest weekend of racing is next as the FIM Speedway GP of Sweden – Malilla returns to the Skrotfrag Arena on Saturday, July 15. But that’s not all, as the sport’s brightest under-16 stars also take to the Swedish forest track on Friday, July 14 for the FIM SGP3 Final – the FIM Speedway Youth World Championship contested on 250cc machines, which delivered one of the meetings of the season in Wroclaw last summer. The focus then switches to team racing as the FIM Speedway World Cup roars back on to the calendar in Wroclaw from July 25-29, when hosts Poland defend the Ove Fundin Trophy, which they won in Leszno in 2017. The two Semi-Finals take place on Tuesday, July 25 and Wednesday, July 26, with the winners joining Poland in the FIM SWC Final on Saturday, July 29. The second and third-placed nations in each semi contest the FIM SWC Race Off on Friday, July 28 with the winners completing the Final four. The first-ever FIM Speedway GP of Latvia – Riga is due to take place on Saturday, August 12 – just 24 hours after the SON2 event at Bikernieki on Friday, August 11. The event comes six years after Daugavpils’ Lokomotiv Stadium last hosted a Latvian round in 2017. Britain’s best arena motorsport event is back on Saturday, September 2, as the FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff comes to the iconic Principality Stadium, which hosted its 20th Speedway GP event in 2022. Racing then switches to the legendary Vojens Speedway Center for the FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens on Saturday, September 16. And fans will also see the 2023 FIM Speedway Under-21 world champion crowned as the title-deciding FIM SGP2 of Denmark wraps up the race for junior speedway’s biggest prize on Friday, September 15. The season ends in style with the always-exciting FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun on September 30, where the 2023 Speedway GP world champion will lift the trophy at a packed Marian Rose Motoarena. François Ribeiro, head of Discovery Sports Events, looks forward to building on a strong first season for the group as FIM Speedway global promoter, while continuing efforts to expand the calendar beyond Europe. He said: “We are delighted to welcome back all 10 of our FIM Speedway venues for speedway’s centenary season in 2023 – an occasion we will celebrate in style both on and off the track. “We extend a special welcome to our new partners in Riga, as they look set to join the Speedway GP series, subject to final agreement. “I would like to thank all of the local organisers we worked with in 2022 as they teamed up with us to elevate the FIM Speedway experience on and off the track for riders, fans and television viewers. We look forward to joining forces with all of our stakeholders for another exciting season in 2023. “Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach an agreement to bring the Speedway GP series back to Australia for 2023. But I can assure everyone that work continues behind the scenes to take the world’s best riders back to one of speedway’s biggest nations. “Bringing the Speedway GP series to Australia remains a key objective and, when it happens, we are determined to deliver an unforgettable event that is well worth the wait for our passionate fans Down Under and one that can be sustained for many years to come.” Visit FIMSpeedway.com and follow the @SpeedwayGP social media accounts throughout the off-season for all the top FIM Speedway news, plus more information on ticket sales.   2023 FIM SPEEDWAY GRAND PRIX CALENDAR April 29 – FIM Speedway GP of Croatia – Donji Kraljevec May 13 – FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Warsaw June 3 - FIM Speedway GP of Czech Republic – Prague June 10 - FIM Speedway GP of Germany – Teterow June 24 - FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Gorzow July 15 - FIM Speedway GP of Sweden – Malilla August 12 - FIM Speedway GP of Latvia – Riga* September 2 - FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff September 16 - FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens September 30 - FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun   2023 FIM SPEEDWAY WORLD CUP CALENDAR (all events to be staged at Wroclaw’s Olympic Stadium in Poland) Tuesday, July 25 – FIM Speedway World Cup Semi-Final 1 Wednesday, July 26 – FIM Speedway World Cup Semi-Final 2 Friday, July 28 – FIM Speedway World Cup Race Off Saturday, July 29 – FIM Speedway World Cup Final   2023 SGP2 FIM SPEEDWAY UNDER-21 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR Friday, June 2 – FIM SGP2 of Czech Republic – Prague Friday, June 23 – FIM SGP2 of Poland – Gorzow Friday, September 15 – FIM SGP2 of Denmark – Vojens   2023 SON2 FIM TEAM SPEEDWAY UNDER-21 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Friday, August 11 – FIM Speedway of Nations - SON2 – Riga, Latvia*   2023 SGP3 FIM SPEEDWAY YOUTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Friday, July 14 – FIM SGP3 Final – Malilla   * Events subject to final promoter agreement

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PEDERSEN JOINS RACE TO BECOME DANISH BOSS

Triple world champion Nicki Pedersen has launched a bid to replace Hans Nielsen as Danish team manager – and he has no plans to stop racing. Pedersen won four FIM Speedway World Cups with his country but has found himself out of the national side under Nielsen’s tenure following a fall-out between the Danish legends. Nielsen won FIM Speedway of Nations bronze medals in 2020 and 2021 and stepped down following this year’s Final in Vojens, where the Danes finished fourth. With the position of national coach now open for 2023, Pedersen has emerged as a candidate and feels there is no-one better for the job ahead of the FIM SWC's return in Wroclaw next summer. He told TV2: “Right now there are no other Danes better than me that you can take if you really want to get ahead in the sport and get Denmark to produce results again. There is no-one else who is better. I know how to set up the bikes and how to assemble a team. There is no one else who can do it better than me. The DMU also knows this well.” It is not unprecedented for a national team manager to continue their riding career with Mark Lemon remaining on the bike for three years after becoming Australian boss. Pedersen is currently recovering from a badly broken hip and pelvis suffered in June. But he sees no reason why he couldn’t do the Danish national job on top of his role as a rider. He said: “It could well be that a transition could be made, where I did both for a few more years and was also linked to the DMU. It could easily happen. “If you have the right conditions for what the national coach must be able to do and participate in, then you can easily agree the contract so that I become national coach now, while I myself continue to ride at the same time.” Pedersen and the DMU have had an up-and-down relationship at times, but the Odense-born ace believes they could work together. He said: “Now I feel more like you should never say never. I have a good working relationship with the DMU and we have a lot of respect for each other, even though we have had a few fights over the years. We've learned from the things we've been through, so I don't see it being a problem to work together.” The DMU’s head of sport Soren Andersen is open to the idea of Pedersen continuing his racing career and managing his country. He said: “I can see a setup where the national coach is an active rider. We will not exclude any applicants. We can adjust some tasks so that it fits the profile. It is about getting the most optimal solution in the long run. “Nicki Pedersen could be an interesting name on an equal footing with all sorts of others. We have a lot of talented candidates out there, and I am convinced that we will hire a talented national coach. “There is reasonable interest, and several people have approached us after we advertised the position. We can also hear that it is a job that is talked about in the speedway environment.”

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FIM SPEEDWAY WORLD CUP SET FOR WROCLAW RELAUNCH IN 2023

The FIM Speedway World Cup will be re-launched at Wroclaw’s iconic Olympic Stadium next summer as the popular tournament returns to the venue where the first-ever FIM SWC Final was staged from July 25-29, 2023. As part of their 10-year vision as new FIM Speedway global promoter, Discovery Sports Events announced plans to revive the sport’s storied team event, which last took place in 2017. Eight-time winners and reigning champions Poland will be seeded through to the FIM SWC Final on Saturday, July 29 2023 as host nation. The Semi-Finals will be contested by the other six countries in this year’s FIM Speedway of Nations Final, as well as the teams finishing fourth in each Semi-Final. This year’s FIM SON hosts Denmark take their place in the FIM SWC Semi-Finals, along with Australia, Finland, Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic, Great Britain and France, on Tuesday, July 25 and Wednesday, July 26 2023 after earning qualification at this week’s FIM SON event in Vojens. The winner of each FIM SWC Semi-Final will join the Poles in the Final, with the second and third-placed nations contesting the always-epic FIM SWC Race Off on Friday, July 28. The winners of that event complete the Final four. The week will also feature an FIM SWC Fan Day on Thursday, July 27, with plenty of entertainment in the city. Next season’s seven-team FIM SON2 event - the FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship - will not be staged as part of FIM SWC week in Wroclaw. It will instead be run alongside a Speedway GP event, with the hosts yet to be confirmed. Wroclaw’s Olympic Stadium hosted the first-ever FIM Speedway Grand Prix round in 1995, as well as the inaugural FIM SWC Final in 2001 and the first FIM Speedway of Nations Final in 2018. François Ribeiro, head of Discovery Sports Events, is delighted to make more FIM Speedway history at one of the sport’s most famous venues. He said: “Wroclaw hosted the FIM SWC Final in 2001 and 2005 and has an incredible history in this famous competition. We know how much fans all over the world have missed the FIM SWC and there could not be a more fitting place to bring it back. “The Olympic Stadium has a long record of staging World Championship events and we know our local organisers in Wroclaw will work hard alongside our team to deliver an unforgettable week of racing as we crown our first FIM SWC world champions since 2017. “We were originally due to stage the event in Torun, and we came to terms that we would sign separate agreements with the city for both Speedway GP and the FIM SWC. The City of Torun has shown great support for the many Ukrainian refugees who have sought safety there since Ukraine was invaded by Russia. As a result, the city’s population has increased, also increasing the financial pressures on the city. Torun asked if we could help them by finding alternative venue for the FIM SWC. This will allow them to concentrate on hosting a fantastic Speedway GP event. “Wroclaw was not due to host a Speedway GP in 2023, and were delighted to organise the FIM SWC. They will be able to put all of their considerable resources and effort into making that event a great, large-scale event, welcoming fans from all over the world. “I would like to thank the City of Wrocław and Mayor Jacek Sutryk for his continued support for FIM Speedway events and his involvement in this project to bring the FIM SWC to Wroclaw.” Andrzej Rusko, president of host club WTS Sparta Wroclaw, looks forward to hosting a huge week of racing at the Olympic Stadium. He said: “It is a great honour to bring the FIM Speedway World Cup Final to our city for the third time - and host the first FIM SWC in its new and exciting format. “Wroclaw is a true speedway city and we cannot wait to welcome fans from all over Poland, Europe and around the world for what I am confident will be a fantastic event. “Poland has won the FIM SWC eight times and we know how much the competition is loved in our country. I am sure there will be a fantastic atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium stands as nine nations battle to become the first FIM SWC world champions in six years.” Fans will not have to wait until 2022 for FIM Speedway action in Wroclaw as the Olympic Stadium hosts the 2022 Betard FIM Speedway GP of Poland - Wroclaw on Saturday, August 27, as well as making more history by staging the first-ever FIM SGP3 event - the revamped FIM Speedway Youth World Championship - on Friday, August 26.

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JANOWSKI RELAXED IN MEDAL QUEST

Polish racer Maciej Janowski insists he is enjoying the journey as he bids to end his FIM Speedway Grand Prix medal search in 2022. The Wroclaw hero has finished fourth in the Speedway GP World Championship four times in the last five seasons and will be hopeful of making his rostrum debut this term. But asked about his medal chances, rider No.71 is keen to emphasise that he is keen to simply enjoy the ride in Speedway GP as he bids to add to his eight SGP wins so far. He said: “Many people ask me when? Why not this year? You've been so close. “The journey of what we are doing is great and I'm very excited to represent my country, my town and my club every year. “Of course, it will be better to be on the podium, but we have had a couple of good wins and seasons so far. I'm very happy to be where I am.” Another competition Janowski will be seeking to win in 2022 is the FIM Speedway of Nations in Esbjerg from July 27-30. The Poles have been forced to settle for silver in each of the last three seasons, with Great Britain duo Robert Lambert and Dan Bewley beating Bartosz Zmarzlik and Janowski 5-4 in the 2021 Grand Final in Manchester. Janowski ran out of room as he tried to join Zmarzlik at the front on the opening lap of Grand Final and crashed, allowing GB to triumph. But Magic insists he has already put that disappointment behind him. He said: “We won over two days in Manchester; we were top of the score chart. “But in the Grand Final, I made a mistake – or we made a mistake. The team was racing, we didn’t win and we made a mistake. That’s it. “There’s no point thinking about what’s behind us. We need to focus on what we can change and what we can do better.” While Janowski will hope to get a chance to win gold this summer, everyone in the sport is also excited for the return of the FIM Speedway World Cup in Torun in July 2023. Magic can’t wait to fight for his spot as one of the sport’s most popular tournaments returns for the first time since 2017. He said: “I think we all missed the World Cup. It is exciting and I will prepare to try and get into the team.”

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