In-form Polish racer Janusz Kolodziej stepped up his bid for a Speedway GP comeback as took the lead in the Speedway European Championship race with victory in Gustrow on Saturday.

Kolodziej went into the meeting level on 14 points at the top of the standings with reigning European champion Mikkel Michelsen. But he left round two of the series with a three-point lead after beating Speedway GP stars Patryk Dudek, Dan Bewley and Leon Madsen in the final.

If Kolodziej remains top of the standings after the last two rounds of the series in Lodz on September 3 and Pardubice on September 23, he will be guaranteed a spot in the 2023 Speedway GP series, making his return to the sport’s elite after a two-season absence.

He leads the way on 29 points from two rounds, with Dudek second on 26 and Madsen and Michelsen tied on 25 in third and fourth respectively. Bewley missed the opening round in Rybnik due to injury, but rocketed up to 10th spot with his 12-point total.

The Leszno star topped the heat scorechart on 12 points – tying with Madsen as both riders progressed to the final automatically.

Bewley also tallied 12, but just missed the top two on countback. He made up for that by winning the last-chance heat ahead of Dudek, Michelsen and French racer David Bellego.

Kolodziej and Madsen both moved at the start line in the final and received a warning from the referee. But that didn’t stop Kolodziej trapping terrifically in the re-run to take the chequered flag.

SEC STANDINGS: 1 Janusz Kolodziej 29, 2 Patryk Dudek 26, 3 Leon Madsen 25, 4 Mikkel Michelsen 25, 5 Bartosz Smektala 18, 6 Piotr Pawlicki 16, 7 Oliver Berntzon 13, 8 David Bellego 13, 9 Rasmus Jensen 13, 10 Dan Bewley 12, 11 Kai Huckenbeck 12, 12 Dimitri Berge 10, 13 Vaclav Milik 9, 14 Kacper Woryna 8, 15 Andzejs Lebedevs 7, 16 Dominik Kubera 6, 17 Michael Hartel 5, 18 Adam Ellis 5.

GUSTROW SCORES: 1 Janusz Kolodziej 15, 2 Patryk Dudek 14, 3 Dan Bewley 12, 4 Leon Madsen 12, 5 Mikkel Michelsen 11, 6 David Bellego 10, 7 Rasmus Jensen 8, 8 Vaclav Milik 8, 9 Bartosz Smektala 7, 10 Piotr Pawlicki 6, 11 Andzejs Lebedevs 6, 12 Michael Hartel 5, 13 Kai Huckenbeck 5, 14 Oliver Berntzon 3, 15 Adam Ellis 3, 16 Dimitri Berge 1, 17 Lukas Baumann DNR, 18 Marius Hillebrand DNR.

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