Australia are the victors of the 2022 Speedway of Nations after a stunning Grand Final heat against last year's champions Great Britain.
The Aussie duo of Max Fricke and Jack Holder had been strong all night but found themselves third after the 21 heats.
In a Grand Final Qualifier battle with second-place Sweden, Australia secured their spot in the final with a 6 – 3 win, but it didn’t come without controversy. On the last lap, Sweden’s Oliver Berntzon tangled with Fricke, and came off his bike.
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However, it was deemed that Berntzon was at fault and was excluded, albeit from last place. Come the Grand Final, despite having the weaker gate choice, Holder and Fricke flew out to claim a 7 – 2 win and becoming world champions for the first time under the Speedway of Nations format.
Jason Doyle was also part of the Australia team as first reserve but didn’t participate in any of the heats. Despite this, he was still elated for his team as the celebrations kicked off with the traditional Aussie shoey on the podium.
Great Britain topped the standings after 21 heats but ultimately couldn’t claim the win in the end. The display from Dan Bewley and Robert Lambert was nothing short of impressive after captain Tai Woffinden had to pull out due to a back injury sustained on Friday.
It was a close battle all night with Denmark, Czech Republic and Poland missing out on the top three by the slimmest of margins - just six points separated the top six at the end of the night.
The shock of the night was Poland, who came in to the event as pre-race favourites but just couldn’t get themselves in gear.
Bartosz Zmarzlik did claim 20 points by himself, but his singular performance couldn’t help his side make the top three and they finished sixth on the night.
Hosts Denmark could have easily been in the mix but Leon Madsen found himself excluded from his last heat, putting his team-mate Mikkel Michelsen in a disadvantage on his own.
Surprise package Finland found themselves in a tight spot after Timi Salonen came off his bike in his first heat and was unable to compete for the rest of the night.
"Yeah, it's just a crazy time," said team manager Mark Lemon afterwards. "You dream of these moments for these boys.
"It's all about these guys that ride week in week out and get the honour to represent their country. For me, it's an honour to be part of that. So it's just amazing.
"They finally lifted it. We've been so close for so many years, and we just kept persevering. But there's guys before then there'll be guys after, but I'm proud of these boys."
'You dream of these moments' - Australia react to Speedway of Nations victory
Initial standings after 21 heats
1 - Great Britain 32 pts
2 - Sweden 30 pts
3 - Australia 30 pts (Overall Winners)
4 - Denmark 28 pts
5 - Czech Republic 27 pts
6 - Poland 26 pts
7 - Finland 16 pts
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Stream the 2022 Speedway Grand Prix season live and ad-free on discovery+ with live race action also on Eurosport 2.
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