Cycle News

Cycle News 2014 Issue 14 April 8 2014

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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IN THE WIND P20 SMOLINSKI'S SPEEDWAY SHOCKER M artin Smolinski defied his doubters to win the opening round of the World Speedway Cham- pionship in New Zealand on Saturday night and now he wants to put German speedway back in the lime- light. The Munich-born hero won one of the best GP fi- nals in recent memory after sitting at the back for two laps, before scything past Nicki Pedersen, Krzysz- tof Kasprzak and Freddie Lindgren to collect his first Grand Prix win in only his second-career GP. Smolinski has come a long way since failing to score in his debut in the 2008 Polish GP, but the 29 year old will return there full of confidence after picking up the biggest victory for a Ger- man rider since Egon Muller won the 1983 World Final. "I can't put this into words," Smolinski said. "I can't really be- lieve what has happened here at the moment. The main reason I'm sitting here and I won is the hard work I have done and my team has done over the winter. I've had big issues in the press – no one believed in me because I don't race in Poland, I don't race in Sweden and I don't race in Brit- ain. I'd like to say a big thank you to all the people in my team, my engine tuner, my girlfriend and the people who believed in me. Smolinski rode the West- ern Springs circuit in his own, unique style, showing astonish- ing speed around the white line to rack up 10 points in his heats, before following Kasprzak home in semi-final two. After picking off Lindgren in the final, he then showed re- markable patience and poise to pounce up the inside as Peder- sen and Kasprzak scrapped for the lead to claim the biggest vic- tory of his career. Despite this result, Smolinski insists his target remains a top 10 finish in the World Champion- ship, even if his awesome Auck- land performance will prompt others to set the bar higher. "My target is still the top 10," he said. "I was in the GP Chal- lenge for the first time in 2005 and that's nine years ago. But ev- erything comes at the right time. I've taken it step by step." Despite finishing second in the final, Pedersen leaves Auck- land as the World Championship leader with 19 points after blitz- ing to a 15-point maximum in his heats, before finishing second to Lindgren in semi one. He was delighted to build on his 2012 and 2013 bronze med- als in Auckland after playing his part in an enthralling final. "I think I have to go back many years to remember a final like this," Pedersen said. "I don't re- German Martin Smolinski was the surprise winner of the opening round of the World Speedway Grand Prix Championship in New Zealand. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN HIPKISS

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