EMIL EYES DIRECT ROUTE TO SON GOLD
Russian star Emil Sayfutdinov chases Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations title treble in Lublin on Friday and Saturday.
15 / 10 / 2020, 17:18
Russian racer Emil Sayfutdinov is determined to take the direct route to Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations gold as he targets a world-title hat-trick in Lublin this weekend.
The 30-year-old joins forces with Artem Laguta and Evgenii Saidullin as the Russian team bids to win its third straight Monster Energy SON title when they take on hosts Poland, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain and the Czech Republic at the two-day Final on Friday and Saturday night.
Sayfutdinov captained his country to their first-ever senior speedway world title at the inaugural Monster Energy SON Final in Wroclaw in 2018, before retaining the trophy on home shale in Togliatti last summer.
We go again and we will try to fight for a third gold medal. Everything is possible and we will see. We go there with the opportunity to win.
The Russians have always been forced to reach the Grand Final the hard way by winning the final qualifier, featuring the second and third-placed sides after 42 heats. The top-scoring nation earns automatic qualification, avoiding this cutthroat battle.
After watching GB top the heat score chart in 2018 and Poland bag the most points over two days in 2019, Sayfutdinov is determined to take the short route into Saturday’s Grand Final.
He said: “We go again and we will try to fight for a third gold medal. Everything is possible and we will see. We go there with the opportunity to win.
“First of all, we need to concentrate on doing a good job on the first day. We need to have good points in every heat. It’s important for us to get to the Grand Final straight away on Saturday night.
“This meeting is a world championship and everyone wants to be world champion. I think it will be a hard meeting, whether we’re racing the Czech team or the British team; we will have to fight for good points. We need to concentrate, score our points and get to the Grand Final.”
Sayfutdinov finished eighth in this year’s FIM Speedway Grand Prix series, contested over five weeks from August 28 to October 3.
He was frustrated he couldn’t bring his early-season form into the World Championship, after topping this year’s PGE Ekstraliga average charts.
But he’s keen to get back to his best for the Monster Energy SON Final showdown, which also features the likes of world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik, Jason Doyle, Max Fricke, Leon Madsen, Anders Thomsen, Fredrik Lindgren, Oliver Berntzon and Robert Lambert.
Sayfutdinov said: “To be honest, I’ve had a hard season. Early on it was okay, but later on there were a lot of problems with the engines not working like before. It’s not exactly a problem with the engine, but sometimes the track and the weather changes and my setups didn’t work in the GP and some league meetings.
“We are still finding the key to having good speed and I hope that in Lublin it will be okay and I will enjoy it there.
“I want to say thank you very much to the fans for all their support this year. Keep your fingers crossed for Russia in the Speedway of Nations.
“We will try to win it again and hopefully it will help to grow the sport in Russia. We will see.”
Ahead of Saturday’s action, fans can catch episode five of Talking Dirt – Fuelled by Monster Energy from 17:00 UK / 18:00 CET on Speedway GP Facebook and YouTube, as Nigel Pearson, Kelvin Tatum and Kiri Bloore look ahead to the night’s action with guests including former world champions Greg Hancock and Tai Woffinden.
2020 MONSTER ENERGY FIM SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS FINAL STARTING LINE-UPS:
1. Emil Sayfutdinov ©
2. Artem Laguta
3. Evgenii Saidullin (U21)
Team Manager: Oleg Kurguskin
1. Bartosz Zmarzlik ©
2. Szymon Wozniak
3. Dominik Kubera (U21)
Team Manager: Marek Cieslak
1. Jason Doyle ©
2. Max Fricke
3. Jaimon Lidsey (U21)
Team Manager: Mark Lemon
1. Leon Madsen ©
2. Anders Thomsen
3. Marcus Birkemose (U21)
Team Manager: Hans Nielsen
1. Fredrik Lindgren ©
2. Oliver Berntzon
3. Alexander Woentin (U21)
Team Manager: Morgan Andersson
1. Robert Lambert ©
2. Drew Kemp
3. Daniel Bewley (U21)
Team Managers: Simon Stead and Oliver Allen
1. Vaclav Milik ©
2. Eduard Krcmar
3. Petr Chlupac (U21)
Team Manager: Filip Sitera