Bartosz Zmarzlik is looking to become a triple world champion at the FIM Speedway GP of Sweden this Saturday night.
Malilla’s Skrotfrag Arena has held the FIM Speedway Grand Prix racing almost every year since 2005, and there’s no doubt that Speedway’s biggest stars will be on show.
Frans from all over the world camp at the stadium to get the best view of the racing and to enjoy the off-track music and entertainment.
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At last year’s Swedish SpeedwayGP, Polish star Zmarzlik was able to get the better of Artem Laguta for the win.
He is now looking to achieve his third world title in four years and another gold to his fine medal collection that he has since joining the series full-time in 2016.
All he has to do is outscore rival Leon Madsen and register a minimum of four championship points to win gold.
Zmarzlik currently has 128 championship points, while Madsen is on 108 and Dan Bewley is on 91.
Gold may be all but wrapped, but the fight to medal is tight, as Patryk Dudek and Robert Lambert are just behind Bewley with 90 and 86 points, respectively.
It isn’t just podium positions that are on the line, as the riders know that only the top six in the standings are guaranteed a spot for next year's 2023 Speedway GP.
Zmarzlik is already guaranteed a top-six finish, and Madsen only needs seven championship points to book his spot.
Oliver Berntzon may not have the most points on the board, but he’s certainly a fun wild card that fans will be excited to see.
He had a 2021 season to forget as a full-time Speedway GP rider, scoring 32 points from 11 rounds to finish 15th overall.
Since then, he's been able to bounce back, winning his first Swedish Championship in June, before delivering an incredible performance at the FIM Speedway of Nations in Vojens in July.
Speaking to Eurosport ahead of the event at the historic Skrotfrag Arena, Berntzon was clear on what he was looking to do in Manilla.
“It's hard to say, you know. No specific goal set out.
“But I just want to go there and race and race hard and prove not just to myself, but to everyone else as well, that I can be in the Grand Prix, and that last year wasn't a good reflection of my ability.
“Usually, there's a lot of people and a lot of Swedish flags in Malilla during the Grand Prix. So I hope it will be the same on Saturday.
“It's a good track. It's the National Speedway stadium in Sweden. They've had a Grand Prix for many, many years, and it's one of my favourite tracks as well. I've ridden there for three years. And yeah, I've had many good results in there. So hopefully, I can have another one on Saturday.”
Mikkel Michelsen suffered a massive blow in his bid to qualify, as the European champion, who is in ninth on 70 points, was forced out of the round due to a broken ankle.
He took to Instagram to share the news saying: “Since the crash in Torun, I’ve been battling the pain of a broken ankle. The medial malleolus is broken all the way through which is bad news but we already knew that Friday night.
“The good news is for the time being despite five meetings raced since, the bones are still stable and sitting in the right position which means no surgery needed.
“Unfortunately, the pain has become unbearable, and the doctor has submitted me to bed rest and light rehabilitation which means no Speedway GP in Manilla on Saturday.”
Whichever riders qualify will join the top three riders from the FIM GP Challenge in Glasgow on August 20, which was won by Sweden’s Kim Nilsson.
Bewley came in second and Australia’s Jack Holder placed third.
If Bewley secures a spot in the 2022 Speedway GP top six, his place from the FIM GP Challenge will pass to Aussie ace Max Fricke, who managed a fourth place finish in Glasgow.
The Speedway European Championship winner will also receive a place, along with five permanent wild cards chosen by the SGP Commission.
Regardless of the outcome of the race, fans will be treated to a fun time at the fanzone, with an autograph session from all of the Speedway GP riders, a live interview from Sweden’s six-time world champion and Discovery Sports Events’ FIM Speedway global ambassador Tony Rickardsson, and quizzes and games on the big screen.
The 2022 Speedway Grand Prix will be available live and ad-free on discovery+ with live race action also on Eurosport 2.
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