Italy’s Daniele Tessari could not have experienced a worse night at the second semi-final of the Speedway of Nations 2022.
With his side already coming into the event as outsiders as well as having suffered the disappointment of losing team member Nicolas Covatti through injury, all eyes were on Tessari and team-mate Paco Castagna to put in a respectable display, even if they weren't expected to reach the final.
However, things got off the worst possible start as the 37-year-old Tessari was excluded from the Italians’ first heat following a move that caused Norway’s Lasse Fredriksen to come off his bike on the final corner of the first lap.
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“Tessari there, wiping out Fredriksen,” said Kelvin Tatum on commentary. “And I fear that Tessari may well be excluded for that move.
“It was a bit ruthless!”
The Italian then failed to even make it off the start line in his next ride in Heat 6, jumping the gun to touch the starting tapes before they were lifted.
“Oooh, disaster once again, he’s in the tapes,” proclaimed Tatum.
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“Not having a good start,” added Chris Louis on co-comms.
"We spoke to Paco, and he said he [Tessari] was nervous and it's proving to be so. He was obviously desperate to get away."
'Disaster once again' - Tessari excluded again after false start
Tessari finally completed a race in Heat 10, albeit finishing fourth and collecting no points, but Heat 12 against Great Britain brought more drama.
As team-mate Castagna and the British riders Tai Woffinden and Dan Bewley sat waiting on the start line, Tessari required maintenance to his bike.
“30 seconds, straight to the start, mate,” shouted one of the pit crew urgently hurrying him to his position.
'He's cutting it a touch fine' - Tessari almost misses start of Heat 12 of SON semi
Thankfully he was able to make it to the tapes with 9 seconds remaining on the referee's clock.
Once again however, he finished in last place, as he did in his remaining two heats, ending the evening without troubling the scoreboard.
Castagna however, did fair better for the Italians, winning the restarted third heat and Heat 10, and ultimately scoring every single one of his side’s 17 points on the night.
Italy predictably finished in last place on the standings.
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Stream the 2022 Speedway of Nations live and ad-free on discovery+ with live race action also on Eurosport 2.
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