Vaclav Milik is a veteran of the Individual European Championships. He was participant of the SEC series in the years 2015-2021. The Czech experienced his best years in 2016 and 2017, when he won a silver and a bronze medal. As he mentioned himself, he would love to complement his collection with the most precious prize - the gold medal.
The information about the calendar of SEC 2022 has been announced recently. The hosts will be Rybnik, Güstrow, Łódź and Pardubice. How do you rate these choices? Do you know all these tracks well?
I know all these tracks, but Łódź is the place where I raced only once. It is a very cool, technical track, which I like. I'm not happy about the fact, that last year I didn't stay in the series, so I will have to fight to secure my start in the SEC again. I think the venues are chosen very well. It's nice that the last competition will take place in Pardubice. There will be a lot of fans at the stands. There are always a lot of fans coming to the stadium during these three days at the end of the season when speedway events are held in our city. It seems to me, like this time, it will be an even more important weekend than it has been so far. It's great that the SEC final will be held before the tournament of Zlatá Přilba. The riders who will take part in this competition will be able to stay until Sunday, which could also make Zlata Přilba more interesting.
You competed in the SEC series continuously since 2015. In 2016 you won silver and in the following season bronze. In the previous edition you took 10th place. After competing in the series for seven years in a row, you are known from being in the lineup. As you mentioned before, promotion to SEC series is on your “list of goals”.
I really regret that I didn't keep my place. I want to race this year, bur not only in the SEC. Furthermore, I hope that my level of racing will 'back on track'. I've had weaker seasons recently. Maybe I'm not talking about last year, because it was much better than the previous one. I'm working hard to get back to where I was.
SEC Challenge is scheduled for June 18th in Krško. Do you know that track? Have you competed there before?
I've been racing there many times. We're always going to Krško to take some laps before the season due to the weather. I have been there many times, but I wouldn't say that it is one of my favourite tracks. I remember, that I've done well there once and I think it was a city cup event. As I said before - if I can get back on the level I was, I think it doesn't matter where this Challenge will be held. You always need a bit of luck and a lot of fighting spirit. With that, maybe I'll be able to take my place back in the SEC series, because I would like that very much.
The fourth SEC final will take place on September 23rd in Pardubice - your home track - two days before the tournament of Zlatá Přilba. Is it good that two such events will take place shortly after each other?
I think it's a great idea, because it was often possible to keep great U21 riders in Pardubice until Sunday. Now, when we finally have such good seniors, there will be a chance to put more of them in the lineup of Zlata Prilba. For me, it's one of the best tournaments and I also mean its program. This tournament lasts all day and it's nice that the Grand Final of SEC will take place in Pardubice too. I haven't been able to ride in front of my home fans in the European championships yet and now I would have a chance. I will try to get to these finals to be able to perform in Pardubice.
In the last two years - mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic – the SEC cycle was held in a shorter timespan and it lasted only about a month. Now everything will get back to the 'old' way, which means the whole series will take more than three months. Do you think this is a better solution?
For me, it's better when it lasts longer, because whenever something doesn't work out, I have time to try other solutions like changing of settings. When we raced week by week, I was asking myself all the time: "Is it over?". So that kind of fast pace didn't really appeal to me. I prefer when it takes longer and I also think that four finals is not enough. If they organized 10, it would be great (smile).
So you would like to have more finals of Individual European Championships than four?
Definitely yes. In my opinion, it's great. A lot of fans come to watch these events and they are always very interesting. I think that four finals are not enough.
What are your goals for 2022?
I would like to get a promotion to the SGP Challenge. I'm counting on it. Many times I took part in qualifications, but I didn't manage to advance further. My most important goal is of course the promotion to the Individual European Championships. I would like to win the last medal that I am missing, which is a gold one.