The 2023 FIM Speedway Grand Prix line-up has been finalised with 14 of this year’s stars returning and a reserve revolution as substitute stars from seven different nations are nominated.
Great Britain’s triple world champion Tai Woffinden and 2017 Speedway GP world champion Jason Doyle return for 2023 after being selected by the SGP Commission.
They are joined by Polish former world No.2 Patryk Dudek, Denmark’s two-time European champion Mikkel Michelsen, Slovakia’s former European champion Martin Vaculik and double Danish champion Anders Thomsen.
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The top six riders in the 2022 Speedway GP series all gain automatic qualification. Poland’s Bartosz Zmarzlik led the list of qualifiers after winning his third SGP world title in four years. He is joined by two-time Speedway GP silver medallist Leon Madsen of Denmark and third-placed Maciej Janowski of Poland, who won his first-ever SGP World Championship medal at the For Nature Solutions FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun on Saturday.
The automatic qualifiers are completed by fourth-placed Fredrik Lindgren of Sweden and Great Britain duo Robert Lambert and Dan Bewley.
Lindgren continues to defy his fight with long Covid to remain one of the sport’s top riders, while Lambert and Bewley reached the top six for the very first time, taking fifth and sixth place respectively in a year Bewley won back-to-back Speedway GP rounds in Cardiff and Wroclaw and Lambert reached his first-ever SGP podiums, finishing second in Vojens and third in Wroclaw.
The 15-rider line-up also features Sweden’s Kim Nilsson, who won the FIM GP Challenge in Glasgow on August 20, and he’s joined by third-placed Jack Holder of Australia and fourth-placed Aussie champion Max Fricke.
Despite just missing out on the top three in the qualifying rounds when he lost an FIM GP Challenge run-off to Holder, Fricke is promoted into the 2023 Speedway GP line-up automatically after runner-up Bewley qualified by finishing sixth in this year’s Speedway GP World Championship.
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As part of their joint vision to raise the visibility of Speedway GP around the world and bring more nations on to the sport’s biggest stage, the FIM and SGP global promoter Discovery Sports Events have offered all seven series substitute positions to riders from nations without a representative in the main 15-rider line-up.
Following his surge to the For Nature Solutions FIM Torun Speedway GP semi-finals on Saturday, Latvia’s Andzejs Lebedevs is handed the first reserve spot for 2023, and he will be the first rider called up if one of the 15 regular stars are forced out of a round due to injury, illness or other reasons.
Next on the list is Czech shooting star Jan Kvech after he won silver medals in both the SGP2 FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship and the SON2 FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship in a sensational season.
Germany’s Kai Huckenbeck is the third substitute, with American prospect Luke Becker the fourth man on the list. Both regularly pile up the points for their country in the FIM Speedway of Nations.
French former World Long Track champion Dimitri Berge is the fifth reserve, with Finnish sensation Timi Salonen No.6 after helping Finland reach their first world team final of the 21st century at the FIM SON. Ukrainian rising star Marko Levishyn named as the seventh reserve, having famously beat Zmarzlik in an epic race in FIM SON Semi-Final 1 at Vojens in July.
Highlights: Zmarzlik wins 2022 SGP championship with victory in Sweden
2023 Speedway GP line-up
1. Bartosz Zmarzlik (Poland)
2. Leon Madsen (Denmark)
3. Maciej Janowski (Poland)
4. Fredrik Lindgren (Sweden)
5. Robert Lambert (Great Britain)
6. Dan Bewley (Great Britain)
7. Patryk Dudek (Poland)
8. Tai Woffinden (Great Britain)
9. Martin Vaculik (Slovakia)
10. Jason Doyle (Australia)
11. Mikkel Michelsen (Denmark)
12. Jack Holder (Australia)
13. Max Fricke (Australia)
14. Anders Thomsen (Denmark)
15. Kim Nilsson (Sweden)
1. Andzejs Lebedevs (Latvia)
2. Jan Kvech (Czech Republic)
3. Kai Huckenbeck (Germany)
4. Luke Becker (USA)
5. Dimitri Berge (France)
6. Timi Salonen (Finland)
7. Marko Levishyn (Ukraine)
Top 5 - Watch the best overtakes from the dramatic Speedway GP in Torun
‘Hopefully I can push harder for the title’ – Madsen already looking to 2023
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