Swedish ace Antonio Lindback insists he and Fredrik Lindgren are “going for the win and nothing else” in Wroclaw after qualifying for the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Finals with victory in Manchester on Tuesday.
The Swedes dominated Race Off 2, dropping just four points over six heats to win the meeting on 26, with Great Britain joining them in the Finals after finishing second on 23.
Australia claimed the last spot in Wroclaw after seeing off the Czech Republic in the final knock-out heat after finishing third on the scorechart with 21.
But there was no doubt about tonight’s winners as World Championship leader Lindgren and Lindback produced a magical performance, featuring four 5-1 maximum heat advantages.
Buoyed by that display, Lindback sees no reason why Sweden can’t win the first-ever Monster Energy SON Finals this Friday and Saturday.
He said: “It was a good night. We did what we should and we went through, but Wroclaw is more important. We just need to keep up the hard work. I think we are a good team together and we showed that.
“Me and Lindgren are thinking the same – we went into the meeting to win and we’ll do the same in Wroclaw.
“Even if we are behind, there are still four laps to go until we see the chequered flag. So we’ll be going for the win and nothing else.”
GB star Robert Lambert joined double world champion Tai Woffinden in taking the Lions to Poland. Having started the night as Britain’s under-21 reserve, the King’s Lynn man was drafted in for his team’s second race and immediately stormed to two heat wins with Woffinden shielding him in second.
Lambert says team work made all the difference for the Lions. He said: “Tai is a great team rider when it comes to things like this; he can really step his game up and I am also a good team rider myself. It worked out well in the end.”
The double British Under-21 champion replaced Craig Cook after the Cumbrian finished third in his opener, and admits they were each given one race to impress and earn the right to join Woffinden in the remaining four heats.
Lambert revealed: “We went with the plan to use Craig in the first heat and me in the next one and see who’s firing. I got a win so Rosco put me in the next heat and we carried on.
“I would have been the same if Craig was going well. You’ve got to do what’s best for the team on the day. We’re a three-man team and if someone is having a bad day, the other one can step in. It worked well in the end.”
Australia’s world champion Jason Doyle admits his side had to graft hard for their spot in Wroclaw. But they’re determined to move on from their Manchester battles and fight for a medal this weekend.
He said: “We didn’t do it the easy way. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We knew the Swedes, the Brits and the Czechs were going to be hard to beat.
“There were a few surprise packages with the Finns and Timo Lahti and Tero Aarnio being so quick around this track. There wasn’t one easy race where we knew we would go out and get a 5-1.
“We need to push forward now and forget about the Manchester meeting. Hopefully all the bad luck is away now. We start afresh on Friday and Saturday to go for the medals. We have a very good chance.”
MONSTER ENERGY SON RACE OFF 2 SCORES:
Sweden 26: Fredrik Lindgren 15, Antonio Lindback 11, Joel Kling DNR.
Great Britain 23: Tai Woffinden 14, Craig Cook 1, Robert Lambert 8.
Australia 21: Jason Doyle 14, Max Fricke 7, Jaimon Lidsey DNR.
Czech Republic 20: Vaclav Milik 13, Josef Franc 7, Jan Kvech DNR.
France 14: David Bellego 10, Dimitri Berge 4.
Finland 14: Timo Lahti 7, Tero Aarnio 7.
Italy 8: Nicolas Covatti 6, Paco Castagna 2.
MONSTER ENERGY SON FINALS DRAW
The draw has been completed for days one and two of the Monster Energy SON Finals in Wroclaw …
E: Great Britain
G: GREAT BRITAIN