SMOLINSKI'S RUSSIAN MISSION
Martin Smolinski is ready to “show how good Germany is” in Togliatti after they booked their place in the Monster Energy SON Finals.
07 / 05 / 2019, 11:26
German star Martin Smolinski is ready to “show how good Germany is” in Togliatti after they booked their place in the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Finals.
The hosts finished third in Race Off 1 in Landshut last Saturday, with Smolinski starring on 11 points and partner Kai Huckenbeck collecting eight.
Their under-21 star Michael Hartel also made his mark, pipping Patryk Dudek to a priceless third place that took Germany on to 20 points – ensuring their spot in the final knock-out heat ahead of the Czech Republic and Slovenia, who tied on 19 in a close-run contest.
We will see what happens in Togliatti, but we will have some fun over there. I have been there a couple of times. I think we can do it over there and show how good Germany is.
Smolinski leads his side into their second straight world final – a huge result for a nation that went 20 years without qualifying for one after reaching the World Team Cup decider in 1998.
And following a big night on home shale, he hopes the team can better the seventh spot they achieved in Wroclaw last summer.
He said: “We will see what happens in Togliatti, but we will have some fun over there. I have been there a couple of times. I think we can do it over there and show how good Germany is.”
Reflecting on Saturday’s meeting, which also saw Sweden and Poland advance to the Finals, he said: “It was job done – it’s very nice. It’s always nice to get through to the next round in front of your home crowd.
“We had a very good team performance. Every one of us scored some good points out there – even Michael Hartel came in and scored a point against Poland.
“We were in place three and I would have loved to win my last heat. But Milik had good speed out there and I didn’t hit the dirt properly. That’s racing, but the fans liked it.
“It shows how good German speedway is – we had a very good venue. We had a lot of rain in the afternoon. But the track guys worked very well with BSI. They know what to do out there and we saw some very nice racing.”
Smolinski admits the Landshut track was slightly different to normal after a day under the covers due to the threat of rain showers.
He said: “On Saturday the track moved very wide. Normally it doesn’t move so much, but we had two lines – especially at the end. You could race inside and completely on the fence.
“The best guy who used the track was Bartosz Zmarzlik – he was flying around the fence.”