Bartosz Smektała made a great debut in the TAURON SEC cycle. In the first round of this year's struggles in Guestrow Polak he took third place and turned out to be the best of white and red. Now he talks in detail about these professions and talks about the importance of the European Championship starts for his career development.
Debut in such a cycle is a sense of prestige or additional stress?
Every competition involves some kind of stress, but I drive on the speedway to start them. This also applies to the most prestigious events, and TAURON SEC is one of them.
With what attitude did you go to Guestrow?
I definitely wanted to win, despite the fact that I competed in the European Championship for the first time. To drive at a high level you have to want to win. If I went there just to try my hand, I think that this result would be worse.
You finally finished third. It was the debut of dreams, if you wanted to win, did you feel a slight hunger?
I'm happy. I stood on the podium, and besides, I lose only three points to the leader of the general classification. Now with a good attitude I can go to Toruń.
How do you think where the good score from Guestrow came from?
I was prepared for these professions. I had good equipment, I wanted to go well and show my best side. I fought for victory all the time.
Two triples for the opening of the tournament gave you confidence?
I think it's a bit like that, because then I went to the outer fields, and the competitors started much harder there. I also had a delicate point reduction. Fortunately, I started the competition with internal fields and thanks to that I could check the motorcycle. I did not have to look too much in the settings because I knew it was fast. It was enough to just make minor adjustments.
So after two 1s in two successive runs did not enter into a delicate concern?
No, absolutely. There was no concern, because the other competitors did not perform well too well from the external starting fields. It was difficult to get there from the good path that was at the curb. However, I kept calm. I was ready that if I move to the outer fields, it will be a bit harder for me.
It means that everything went smoothly in Guestrow and without problems?
Not completely. It was necessary to be careful on this track, because ruts were making at the curb. At the same time, this inner path was the best, because there the motorbike best dispersed. It could have been a bit more difficult part of the competition, but otherwise everything was under control.
Do you like the circuit in Guestrow?
Yes, this is a very nice track. If it is properly prepared, you can definitely watch good racing on it. I think that during our competition it was not too bad either, but by the ruts at the curb, there were fewer of those sloppings. In addition, the inner part of this track was by far the fastest. If the outside one also started to "walk", I think the show would be even better. It does not change the fact that this oval fits me.
Now you are waiting for the competition on the Motoaren in Torun. Many players like to race there, and how is it with you?
My ride on this track has never been one of the best, but I think it's the right moment to improve. I will have at least five races, so I will do my best. This year I achieved the best result on Motoarena in the history of my league appearances on this track. This is definitely a valuable forecast, but I remind you that every day is different. In addition, this match was at the beginning of the season, when completely different weather conditions prevailed.
How do you rate the climate of the TAURON SEC cycle? You can compare it with, for example, the Grand Prix tournament.
Everything is at a very high level. This applies to the Grand Prix, the European Championships and the Junior World Championships. Wherever we are racing for some titles, there is always a nice envelope.
Have you been surprised that the organizers of TAURON SEC have given you a permanent wild card for this year's cycle?
A bit like this, especially after the SEC Challenge in Nagyhalasz, where my leg got stuck and I scored few points. On the other hand, I went on a very good competition in the qualifying round in Poznan. After the main round I had a set of points, and in the final I got in second place. I showed myself well, so maybe it decided.
The last season among the juniors is a good time to debut in the competition with seniors on the international arena?
I think it is a very good move for my career development. I can race with seniors and slowly get ready for the next season when I will not be a junior anymore.
Do not you feel too much load this season? You are racing in Poland, Sweden, and you have the Junior World Championships and European Championships.
Last year I traveled practically the same. I did not just have the European Championships, but these are four additional tournaments in the calendar, so there is no point in overdoing this burden. I think some players are more busy than me. If you want to drive at a high level, you have to start as much as possible. Nobody is forcing me, but I just want to do it.
Did the good score in Guestrow spur your appetites for success in this year's TAURON SEC cycle?
Of course, yes, but this appetite is very large all the time. I had it before the Guestrow competition. I am mobilized and I am going to race for the best results.