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  • Aussie ace Max Fricke admits he has realised “a childhood dream” after roaring to his first-ever FIM Speedway Grand Prix victory at FST Grupa Brokerska Torun SGP round seven on Friday.

    The Victorian racer topped the podium ahead of title-chasing trio Maciej Janowski, Tai Woffinden and series leader Bartosz Zmarzlik.

    Zmarzlik overcame a crash in heat five to reach the semi-finals. He now just needs to reach the final of the title-deciding round eight on Saturday night to become Poland’s first double world champion after registering 14 points, giving him an eight-point cushion over nearest rival Woffinden in second spot.

    But the night belonged to Fricke, who raced to 10 points in his heats, before delivering one of the rides on the season to pass Janowski and Fredrik Lindgren in semi-final one. He then made a world-class start in the final to leave three of the sport’s finest trailing and crown the greatest victory of his career so far.

    The Wroclaw racer says he realised a boyhood dream as he enjoyed the Australian national anthem atop the Torun podium.

    He said: “It’s unbelievable. I think it will take a while for it to sink in. I have been to Torun before and watched GPs. To win a GP has been a childhood dream for almost as long as I can remember – since I started racing.

    “To actually be here and get a Grand Prix win is great. I have had a tough start to this year, so to have a win is unbelievable.”

    Fricke nearly threw victory away when he lifted dramatically on the run to the line. He said: “I was doing everything I could to stay in front. I could hear Magic behind me. I just picked up a little too much right at the end. But I managed to bring it across the line.”

    He was delighted to lead a Wroclaw one-two-three on the rostrum. Fricke added: “It was great to be on the podium with Tai and Magic. They are both great friends and we obviously ride together in Wroclaw. It was a really cool podium and great to be up there with some good friends.”

    Fricke would love a repeat performance in Saturday’s final SGP round of 2020, but admits he will take things step by step.

    He said: “I just want to keep consistent. My plan is to make the semis and once you make the semis, anything can happen. I am just trying to keep that attitude and give it 110 percent in every race I go out in.”

    Fricke wasn’t the only Aussie star to claim a huge international victory tonight. His former Belle Vue team mate Jaimon Lidsey was crowned FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship winner at Czech track Pardubice.

    A delighted Fricke said: “It has been an unbelievable night. We were watching the results earlier and checking out how Jaimon was doing. We are really excited for him as well.

    “He has been coming along really well over the last couple of years and has done awesome this whole season in Poland. He definitely deserves it – good on him!”

    Runner-up Janowski was delighted to be back on the SGP rostrum for the third time this season.

    The fourth-placed star said: “It’s great to be on the podium, especially here in Torun. I am very excited. See you tomorrow!”

    Third-placed Woffinden raced to his third podium finish on the bounce. He said: “I am happy with tonight’s performance. It could have been better and I am still making silly mistakes. But it’s another podium and another trophy.”

    Ahead of Saturday’s FST Grupa Brokerska Torun SGP round eight, fans can catch episode four of Talking Dirt – Fuelled by Monster Energy – live on Speedway GP Facebook and YouTube from 17:00 UK / 18:00 CET.

    WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Bartosz Zmarzlik 113, 2 Tai Woffinden 105, 3 Fredrik Lindgren 103, 4 Maciej Janowski 89, 5 Leon Madsen 79, 6 Jason Doyle 76, 7 Martin Vaculik 73, 8 Emil Sayfutdinov 72, 9 Artem Laguta 68, 10 Max Fricke 60, 11 Matej Zagar 43, 12 Patryk Dudek 33, 13 Niels-Kristian Iversen 31, 14 Mikkel Michelsen 30, 15 Gleb Chugunov 16, 16 Antonio Lindback 14, 17 Anders Thomsen 10, 18 Jack Holder 5, 19 Vaclav Milik 1, 20 Eduard Krcmar 1.

    FST GRUPA BROKERSKA TORUN SGP R7 POINTS: 1 Max Fricke 20, 2 Maciej Janowski 18, 3 Tai Woffinden 16, 4 Bartosz Zmarzlik 14, 5 Emil Sayfutdinov 12, 6 Fredrik Lindgren 11, 7 Martin Vaculik 10, 8 Leon Madsen 9, 9 Artem Laguta 8, 10 Jason Doyle 7, 11 Matej Zagar 6, 12 Jack Holder 5, 13 Patryk Dudek 4, 14 Mikkel Michelsen 3, 15 Antonio Lindback 2, 16 Niels-Kristian Iversen 1, 17 Viktor Trofymov DNR, 18 Igor Kopec-Sobczynski DNR.
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