Just nine English speakers (five Australians, three Brits and one American) raced in Sweden this year of a total of 85 riders who rode at least one match in the league.
MIXED RESULTS FOR THE BRITS
Of the riders from the UK, Robert Lambert had a stand out year, winning the Speedway Euro Championship, topping the Swedish league’s individual heat average of 2.634 riding with Lejonen and being ROW Rybnik‘s go-to rider as the team’s top scorer even though the club were relegated.
Elsewhere, it was an injury hit season for Daniel Bewley, who at least was able to return and race at his best. He will surely be disappointed with his fourth place at U21 Worlds after leading the competition during qualifying. He will definitely represent Great Britain as their junior alongside Lambert, and maybe Tai Woffinden, at next week’s Speedway of Nations which has been moved from Manchester to Lublin.
For 24 year old Adam Ellis it can only be a “what might have been” after sustaining a season ending back injury during the Grand Prix Challenge race in Gorcian on 22 August which means he will be out until December. Swedish team Piraterna really missed the Swindon Robins rider, who scored 2.500 in the two matches he raced for the Motala team. He was even being touted as an outside contender to qualify in the GP Challenge match where he crashed out.
AUSSIES ON GOOD FORM
JASON DOYLE may be 35 year old but continues to be one of the best riders in which ever league he rides in. Third best in Sweden, 14th best in Ekstraliga and 6th in the World Championships.
Jack Holder was the only Australian rider to score better than him in Poland, and even then it was only by 0.052. Doyle’s average in Sweden of 2.481 p/h put him at the top end of the individual leader board. But when compared to his teammates at Västervik Speedway it shows that he had an enormous role in carrying the team. The next best rider for the east coast club was Mads Hansen (27th, 1.633) and then fellow Australian, Sam Masters (33rd, 1.508). By comparison Lejonen, Indianerna and Masarna had their top 3 riders in the Top 11 on overall points with heats averages above 2.100.
ROHAN TUNGATE, is 30 years old has made massive improvements in performance in both 1 League and in Sweden this year. In Poland he has gone from 1.922 (20th) to being one of the league’s top scorers with 2.348 (3rd). But in Sweden he is almost unrecognisable from the rider who finished 54th in the individual standings in 2019 with Masarna. He has more than doubled his score from last year, gaining 2.481 with Lejonen and jumping up to be 4th best rider in the league. To give an idea of the quality of his performance the only riders ahead of him were two World Champions and one SGP rider.
AMERICANS IN EUROPE
American U21 champion, Broc Nicol was also in that competition in Gorcian and got the opportunity to race his first ever European club meetings at Piraterna. It was an underwhelming season with just 0.850 as an average, but for the Östergotland team if may have been just right as they were having to look at the budget more than results. That’s because last season they nearly went bankrupt and 2020 was still a season in which relegation was not in action.
Perhaps one of the names that was most anticipated new names to 2020 speedway was, American Luke Becker. Like Nicol, he is trained by Greg Hancock, but he could not make to Europe due to COVID-19. Instead of racing his first full season in Europe with Dackarna, Wolvehampton and Czestochowa, his only European fixture was a disappointing performance in the U21 World Championship in Pardubice when he finish 13th.
ENGLISH SPEAKERS AVERAGES
1. Robert Lambert LEJ 2.634
3. Jason Doyle WSSK 2.481
4. Rohan Tungate LEJ 2.405
13. Brady Kurtz VET 2.094
17. Max Fricke KUM 1.973
33. Sam Masters WSSK 1.508
41. Daniel Bewley ROS 1.318
56. Broc Nicol PIR 0.850
72. Adam Ellis PIR 2.500 (only raced 10 heats)