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MEET THE TEAMS | RUSSIA

SpeedwayOfNations.com profiles this weekend’s Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Finals contenders. We complete the series with Russia.

18 / 07 / 2019, 13:00

SpeedwayOfNations.com profiles this weekend’s Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Finals contenders, and we complete the series with the defending champs – Russia.

History was made in Wroclaw on June 9, 2018 when Russian racers Artem Laguta and Emil Sayfutdinov claimed second and third place behind Great Britain hero Tai Woffinden to break Lions’ hearts and win the first ever Monster Energy SON tournament.

More significantly for Russia, it was their first senior speedway world title of any kind, and the world champions are out to make it back-to-back wins in front of their home fans in Togliatti this Saturday and Sunday.

They name an unchanged side from 2018, with Sayfutdinov and Laguta leading the charge and under-21 shooting star Gleb Chugunov offering a very capable back-up option.

Sayfutdinov doesn’t only head home as a Monster Energy SON champion, he’s the current World Championship leader after winning the Norrbil Swedish FIM Speedway Grand Prix in Hallstavik on July 6.

It was his first SGP triumph since 2013 and it underlined the double World Under-21 and European champion’s desire to take himself and his country to new heights this year.

Laguta returned to the SGP stage in 2018 after a seven-year absence, but quickly made his presence felt. He finished sixth in the World Championship, ahead of eighth-placed Sayfutdinov, mainly thanks to a huge 20-point haul at the season-closing Torun SGP.

Despite finding himself 10th in the standings after four rounds this year, Laguta is just three points off the top eight and has plenty of time to mount a charge for qualification.

While Sayfutdinov and Laguta are leading the way for their country, Chugunov has also snatched his share of the limelight this year.

He leads the FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship after winning the opening round of the series in Lublin on June 22. He’s also showing promise in his meetings for PGE Ekstraliga club Wroclaw and Swedish champions Smederna.

Born in Sayfutdinov’s home city Salavat, Chugunov races his Russian league home matches in Togliatti and will be keen to put his experience to great use this weekend.

With a passionate home crowd roaring them on, could Russia make it two in a row at the Anatoly Stepanov Stadium?

 

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