May 3, 2022 – In the biggest sporting event in Međimurje’s history, 6,500 fans from around the world cheered on their favorite bikers at the sold-out Millennium Stadium in Donji Kraljevec for the Tehnix FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Croatia.
After 23 runs, the best was Bartosz Zmarzlik from Poland, double world champion and 2021 vice-champion!
After the last World Championship qualifying race held at the Millennium Stadium for two years, Međimurje hosted 16 of the world’s best riders last weekend. The wild card went to the best Slovenian driver Matej Žagar, winner of these qualifications. The two reserves were national riders from Slovenia and Hungary, Nick Škorja and Dennis Fazekas.
Twelve days of construction, 14 production trucks, four television houses and the work of nearly 200 members of the production and organizing team resulted in a painting of Međimurje to the world. More than 40 countries broadcast the first race of the Speedway World Championship, TEHNIX FIM SPEEDWAY GRAND PRIX OF CROATIA.
Doyle, Holder, Dudek and Lambert faced off in the opening round, and the first win of the night went to Lambert, whose pre-season training in Croatia paid off. Nick Škorja took to the track in round three to the delight of nearly a thousand Slovenian fans when Danish driver Anders Thomsen left too early and tore up the start line.
“It was one of the best Grand Prix races ever. The riders enjoyed every square inch of the track and we witnessed the spectacular rides of the best in the world! Organizing such an event is very complex and exhaustive, especially as it was the first race for the promoter after taking over the FIM license. Nevertheless, we did our best, and I think it was visible for all viewers in live and on television. We are honored and proud to have organized the biggest event in the history of Međimurje and Croatian motorcycling,” said Race Director Darija Pavlic.
Matej Žagar proved to be extremely combative as a wild card and ended the evening with third place in the second semi-final. Great races propelled him into an elite group of just 11 riders in the history of Grand Prix competition, with more than 1000 points earned.
“Thank you to the organizer for the invitation. It’s a great honor to ride on a track that I know well and where the atmosphere is always special. I feel at home and I thank the whole Pavlic family and the club for their hospitality. Great track and organization, that’s why I hope the Grand Prix tradition will continue here,” said Matej Žagar after the race.
Much to the delight of hundreds of Polish fans and the packed Millennium Stadium, the winner of the race was Polish driver and multiple world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik!
“It feels good, even though I’m tired. We played in the Polish championship on Friday, covered more than 1,000 kilometers and arrived just in time for training,” said Zmarzlik. “At first I felt a little insecure on this track, but after four runs everything was sorted out. I’m happy to have won tonight. The track in Donji Kraljevec is short, I didn’t feel safe. safety in the corners at the start, but after warming up everything was fine.”
Maciej Janowski finished second, ninth in qualifying and was second best heading into the semis:
“I felt good from the start of training. We had problems with the engine, maybe it didn’t show in qualifying, but when we got to the race everything was fine.”
European champion Mikkel Michelsen started his season at this track during a training camp with the Danish national team:
“I’m happy that the season started with entering the final. Of course, we always want to win when we have the chance, but the season is long, we collect points, and I’m happy with the race! “
The first place award was presented to Bartosz Zmarzlik by State Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Sandra Herman, the second place award to Maciej Janowski was awarded by FIM Deputy Director, the Federation Motorcycle World Damiano Zamana, and the third place prize was awarded by Tehnix Eko industry Željko Horvat.
François Ribeiro, director of Discovery Sports Events, owner of the rights to organize the races of the Speedway Grand Prix for the next ten years, also followed the race from the stands:
“I’m sure thousands of fans enjoyed the super speedway. Our goal was to provide an extra experience with LED screens, fan zones and new stats. We’re all looking forward to the next race in Warsaw on May 14. .”
Pictures of Marko Kis
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