The opening night of the first race of the FIM Speedway Grand Prix in Gorican lived up to all expectations according to Kelvin Tatum.
An eventful night of racing saw Bartosz Zmarzlik overcome 15 other riders to storm to victory in the final, ahead of Maciej Janowski second and Mikkel Michelsen making up the podium in third. Anders Thomsen finished fourth.
Reflecting on the evening, former British Speedway champion Tatum who was on commentary for discovery+, said the Grand Prix was a success.
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“Overall, I thought it was a fabulous night of Speedway,” he told Scott Nicholls. “It burst into life and the racing just got better and better the longer the evening went on so a great opening round.”
Two-time former SGP champion Zmarzlik set the tone for the day by posting the fastest time in qualifying and won three of his heats, as well as the semi-final before triumphing in the final.
The Polish rider missed out on the 2021 title by just three points after finishing behind Artem Laguta, but with the Russian suspended this year due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Zmarzlik has a chance at a third crown.
“I think he came in as a favourite, with the Russians being suspended,” added Tatum. “There's no question that the form of Zmarzlik last year, ordinarily probably would have won him the world championship last season.”

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Zmarzlik beat Janowski into second place but the Polish rider impressed on the night, leading the standings going into the semis.
The 30-year-old has been backed as one of the frontrunners this season but after great starts in 2020 and 2021, fell away in the middle part of both campaigns to see his championship dreams suffer.
Tatum hopes that talk of any supposed ‘curse’ doesn’t impact Janowski’s chances this time around, and praised the riding of third place Mickelson.
"Well let's hope not because we need competition,” he said. “We need to keep Bartosz Zmarzlik very honest don't we?
"We want to see him really work for his wins and for Janowski’s sake, it's such a topic of conversation it must play on his mind.
“So I do hope that he is able to maintain a consistent high standard, but on the evidence of tonight we've seen once again what a great rider he is.
“Super effort from Mickelson. First final, made third place, good effort.”
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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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