4 points is not a lot. After two series of starts, Andzejs Lebedevs can no longer be Speedway Euro Championship's leader. Vaclav Milik is right behind Latvian and there are many arguments, which can lead Czech rider to the European title. One of them is a fact that in their direct clashes, it was Lebedevs watching Czech's back more often.
Milik made a huge sensation a year ago, when silver medal hanged on his neck. Back then, after receiving a wild card, noone expected him to reach for a medal, especially with such a strong line up, including names like Lindbaeck, Sayfutdinov, Kołodziej or Vaculik - brands that were put way above Milik's name. By the way, organizers seem to have a good view with giving wild cards. One year back, Milik was 2nd and in SEC 2017, all three riders, who were given the wild cards are in the TOP 4. Milik and Lebedevs are good friends, both on and off the track. Czech rider have said it many times that he's not the kind of rider, who's willing to put someone in the fence just to win the heat and he's even further from it when it comes to his club partner from Wrocław.
- Everyone's racing individually, but we're looking at each other and not willing to hurt. Andzejs has been sensational this year and I would like to reach for the title on track - Milik said after the round in Hallstavik.
Rivalry for gold between Milik and Lebedevs is also a sign of the times. In a group fighting for gold, only Andreas Jonsson is the one who has the biggest experience, way above the others.
Third - Artem Laguta is 26 years old, Milik is 24 and leading Lebedevs will be 23 in November. Looking at these three, not many have any doubts that future of speedway belongs to them. In Lublin, all eyes will be focused on Lebedevs and Milik. Statistically, Lebedevs looks better: won 9 out of 18 heats he's started and got 'zero' in only two. His average is 2,11 points per heat. Milik has also 18 heats behind - 7 wins, 4 second positions, 1 third and 4 fourth, gave him an average of 1,89 points per heat. However in their direct clashes, it's slightly different. Both had 7 direct fights and 4 of them ended with Milik's win. Plus, Milik got a win in one of the rounds (Hallstavik), which was unable to be done by Lebedevs yet.
Their battle will be extremely interesting. According to Sam Ermolenko, world champion 1993, round in Lublin will be a test of speedway maturity for Lebedevs.
- 4 points is not a lot. It will be a good test for Lebedevs's psyche. I think he'll hold this advantage.
Despite this opinion, second in general classification Milik knows what he's coming to Lublin for.
- I have silver, so it's time for gold and I'll fight for it.
For both riders, track in Lublin is not the one they're starting on a regular basis, however it's Latvian who's already had a chance to start there.
- I raced in Lublin, while starting in the 1st Polish league and during the Individual Speedway Junior World Championship, where I was third. If surface will be well prepared, fans will witness a passionate evening. I think that this last round in Lublin will be really interesting.
Milik admits that practice sessiin before the meeting will be the key when it comes to ultimate solutions.
- I've been in Lublin couple times, but don't rememver this track well. I'll have to practice and find some right setups for this surface. You need to be well prepared, because wr have some top-notch riders in the line up.It will be a tough meeting, you got to fight, adjust to the track and race the best I can.
Before Saturday's round, one thing is sure - it will be a real final. Fans who will come to Motor's Stadium will surely have some unforgettable memories and repeating situation from last year's final, when new European Champion was known after heat no.22 is possible.
Tickets are in sale and can be purchased via bit.ly/SEC_final_Lublin_tickets, in Empik stores, Media Markt and STS spots. They can also be bough at the stadium, in main cash desk from 12 to 6 PM, until Friday. On event's day, sales start at 10 AM. Live broadcast will be provided by Eurosport.
normal – 55 PLN
reduced – 40 PLN
1. Krzysztof Kasprzak #507 (Poland)
2. Mateusz Szczepaniak #58 (Poland)
3. Martin Smolinski #84 (Germany)
4. Kenneth Bjerre #91 (Denmark)
5. Andzejs Lebedevs #129 (Latvia)
6. Andrey Kudryashov #9 (Russia)
7. Vaclav Milik #13 (Czechia)
8. Artem Laguta #2 (Russia)
9. Przemysław Pawlicki #59 (Poland)
10. Jurica Pavlic #19 (Croatia)
11. Daniel Jeleniewski #16 (Poland)
12. Michael Jepsen Jensen #52 (Denmark)
13. Leon Madsen #66 (Denmark)
14. Andreas Jonsson #100 (Sweden)
15. Mikkel Bech #177 (Denmark)
16. Kacper Gomólski #44 (Poland)
17. Oskar Bober (Poland)
18. Wiktor Lampart (Poland)