SON 2018 | FINAL DAY 1 REVIEW
SpeedwayOfNations.com looks back at the best of the first-ever Monster Energy SON in 2018. Today, we feature Final Day 1 from Wroclaw.
25 / 01 / 2019, 11:11
SpeedwayOfNations.com looks back at the best of the first-ever Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations in 2018. Today, we feature the day one of the Finals in Wroclaw on June 8.
What a day it was for Great Britain! After years of hurt on the World Championship stage since their World Team Cup triumph at Bradford in 1989, Lions fans went to bed dreaming.
Tai Woffinden – making his return to the national team after a year out in 2017 – was always expected to star on his PGE Ekstraliga home track. But his 18-point, six-ride maximum transformed the Lions from also-rans into title contenders as they led the standings after Final Day 1.
He couldn’t have done it alone, though. GB’s under-21 star Robert Lambert spent much of the night alongside Woffy, determined to play his part.
The man who became British champion just days later clearly wasn’t only there to gain experience; he didn’t concede a single last place on his way to seven points as GB bagged heat advantages in every ride bar the one featuring Craig Cook.
The two major statements of intent came against Russia and Poland. First, Woffinden became the only rider to beat Artem Laguta on the night in heat 10, with Lambert seeing off Sayfutdinov for an impressive third.
And it got better for the Brits. Surely they couldn’t beat Poland in Poland? On this night, they could! Woffinden and Lambert sent Lions fans into dreamland when they stormed to an unforgettable 5-1 over Patryk Dudek and Maciej Janowski in race 12.
After years of dominating the FIM Speedway World Cup, Poland faced new threats from countries strengthened by the Monster Energy SON format.
Russia certainly flexed their muscles as 17 from Laguta and six from Sayfutdinov saw them end on 23 points – just two behind GB and firmly in the hunt for their first world title.
It wasn’t a bad night for Denmark in third. Michael Jepsen Jensen proved his class on the big stage with 12 points, while Kenneth Bjerre defied a three-rider pile-up with German duo Martin Smolinski and Kai Huckenbeck in heat two to score a solid eight.
The Danes finished on 20, Sweden 16 and Australia 15. If GB’s success was surprising, another big shock was a difficult day for the hosts as Poland managed just 15.
While local favourite Janowski notched nine, Dudek and reserve Maksym Drabik could manage only three each, leaving them a huge task on day two.
But the Poles have a talent for triumphing over adversity, and there were plenty of twists and turns left in the Monster Energy SON Final. Read our feature on day two in Wroclaw next Friday.