Photo: Ole Olsen
July 13 2022
A galaxy of Speedway GP stars are among the riders bidding to race in the FIM Speedway of Nations as the 2022 squads are revealed.
A new era for the FIM SON under new global promoter Discovery Sports Events launches at the legendary Vojens Speedway Center, Denmark’s national speedway stadium, with four epic nights of action from July 27-30.
Built by triple world champion Ole Olsen, Vojens hosted the last-ever FIM Speedway World Final in 1994, when Swedish great Tony Rickardsson won his first world title. It has now staged an impressive 15 Speedway GP events, as well as four FIM Speedway World Cup Finals.
This is the first time the FIM SON has visited Vojens, as a total of 15 countries battle it out for the sport’s world team championship, with each nation naming a squad of up to five riders now, before selecting a three-rider starting line-up six days before their Semi-Final, with finalists picking their Final trio the day before racing.
Danish boss Hans Nielsen selects all three of his Speedway GP riders for his FIM SON Final squad – Leon Madsen, Mikkel Michelsen and Anders Thomsen. New Danish champion Rasmus Jensen and Frederik Jakobsen are also nominated.
Champions Great Britain bring back all four of their 2021 title-winning heroes, triple world champion Tai Woffinden and his Speedway GP rivals Robert Lambert and Dan Bewley, plus Tom Brennan. Reigning British champion Adam Ellis completes the Lions’ squad.
Last year’s runners-up Poland name double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik, plus Speedway GP riders Maciej Janowski and Patryk Dudek in their squad. Four-time Polish champion Janusz Kolodziej and rising star Dominik Kubera complete the list for the three-time silver medallists.
Australia name two world champions on their squad list, Jason Doyle and Chris Holder. Chris’ younger brother Jack and his Speedway GP rival Max Fricke also make the five, with former Aussie champion Brady Kurtz completing team manager Mark Lemon’s selection.
France nominates two of the three riders who led them to their first FIM SON Final in 2021, David Bellego and Dimitri Berge. Former FIM World Long Track champion Mathieu Tresarrieu completes their three-rider list.
Another first-time finalist in 2021 was Latvia, and they name a squad featuring all three riders who fired them to Manchester – Andzejs Lebedevs, Olegs Mihailovs and Francis Gusts. They are listed alongside Jevgenijs Kostigovs and Daniils Kolodinskis.
Swedish boss Morgan Andersson has named national speedway hero Fredrik Lindgren on his five-man squad list as the world No.5 fights to regain his fitness after a lengthy battle with long Covid. He joins forces with new Swedish champion Oliver Berntzon, Jacob Thorssell, Pontus Aspgren and Kim Nilsson.
Ukraine makes a very welcome appearance on the FIM SON stage, despite the current situation the country is facing, which has left older members of the squad unable to take up their usual league places in Poland in case they are required to serve in the Ukrainian armed forces.
Only youngster Marko Levishyn has been able to continue his career in Poland this year, racing for Czestochowa’s PGE Ekstraliga Under-24 team and First Division side Krosno. Former Speedway GP first reserve Oleksandr Loktaev, Andriy Karpov, Vitalii Lysak and Stanislav Melnychuk join him in Ukraine’s squad.
The Germans are led into action by FIM German Speedway GP wild card Kai Huckenbeck. He teams up with two-time former FIM World Long Track champion Erik Riss, Norick Blodorn, Michael Hartel and Valentin Grobauer.
Slovakia makes its debut in the FIM SON, with the country’s Speedway GP hero Martin Vaculik leading Jakub Valkovic and Patrik Buri into an exciting week for the growing speedway nation.
Vaclav Milik heads a young but talented Czech Republic list, featuring SGP2 trio Jan Kvech, Petr Chlupac and Daniel Klima, with Eduard Krcmar completing their side.
New USA boss Steve Evans selects a team including Luke Becker, Broc Nicol, Ricky Wells and brothers Dillon and Max Ruml.
The Finnish squad features SGP2 rider Timi Salonen, plus Timo Lahti, Jesse Mustonen, Antti Vuolas and Niklas Sayrio.
The Slovenians name the same three riders who represented them in 2021 – Matic Ivacic, Nick Skorja and Anze Grmek.
Italian boss Alessandro Dalla Valle also calls up a squad of three, including former FIM GP Challenge finalist Nicolas Covatti, Paco Castagna and Daniele Tessari.
Racing gets underway with Semi-Final 1 on Wednesday, July 27, featuring eight-time FIM Speedway World Cup winners Poland, plus Australia, Latvia, Germany, USA, Ukraine and Finland.
Great Britain launches its title defence in Semi-Final 2 on Thursday, July 28, taking on Sweden, France, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Italy and Slovakia.
SON2 takes place for the sport’s under-21 teams on Friday, July 29, including hosts Denmark, 2021 FIM Team Speedway Under-21 world champions Poland, Great Britain, Australia, Sweden, Czech Republic and Latvia.
The top three teams from each Semi-Final then join host nation Denmark in the FIM SON Final on Saturday, July 30, when the 2022 world team champions will be crowned.
François Ribeiro, head of Discovery Sports Events, commented: “Excitement is building for the FIM SON, and it is great to see four former Speedway GP world champions and 14 of this year’s 15 Speedway GP riders on the squad lists.
“At Discovery Sports Events, our vision for the FIM SON was always to bring together fans from 15 nations at one venue for four fantastic days of entertainment – a real festival both on and off the track.
“Hosts Denmark will be chasing their first FIM SON gold medal, but 14 other nations share this dream and competition will be extremely fierce.
“We are delighted to be working with the vastly experienced team at Vojens Speedway Center to deliver this historic week. We thank them for stepping in as host at such a late stage after our organiser in Esbjerg withdrew, and it’s a pleasure to bring the first FIM SON of this new era under Discovery Sports Events to Vojens.”
Tickets for the FIM SON are available online. Secure your place at Vojens Speedway Center for an unforgettable four days of racing here: https://www.billetlugen.dk/eventseries/3187803/?affiliate=WW2
2022 FIM SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS SQUADS
DENMARK: Leon Madsen, Mikkel Michelsen, Anders Thomsen, Rasmus Jensen, Frederik Jakobsen. Team Manager: Hans Nielsen
GREAT BRITAIN: Tai Woffinden, Robert Lambert, Dan Bewley, Adam Ellis, Tom Brennan. Team Managers: Oliver Allen and Simon Stead
POLAND: Bartosz Zmarzlik, Maciej Janowski, Patryk Dudek, Janusz Kolodziej, Dominik Kubera. Team Manager: Rafal Dobrucki
AUSTRALIA: Jason Doyle, Max Fricke, Chris Holder, Jack Holder, Brady Kurtz. Team Manager: Mark Lemon
FRANCE: David Bellego, Dimitri Berge, Mathieu Tressarieu. Team Manager: Laurent Sambarrey
LATVIA: Andzejs Lebedevs, Jevgenijs Kostigovs, Olegs Mihailovs, Francis Gusts, Daniils Kolodinskis. Team Manager: Vladimirs Ribnikovs.
SWEDEN: Fredrik Lindgren, Oliver Berntzon, Jacob Thorssell, Pontus Aspgren, Kim Nilsson. Team Manager: Morgan Andersson
USA: Luke Becker, Broc Nicol, Ricky Wells, Dillon Ruml, Max Ruml. Team Manager: Steve Evans
GERMANY: Kai Huckenbeck, Erik Riss, Norick Blodorn, Michael Hartel, Valentin Grobauer. Team Manager: Herbert Rudolph
SLOVAKIA: Martin Vaculik, Jakub Valkovic, Patrik Buri. Team Manager: Jakub Zliechovec.
UKRAINE: Oleksandr Loktaev, Andriy Karpov, Marko Levishyn, Vitalii Lysak, Stanislav Melnychuk. Team Manager: TBC
CZECH REPUBLIC: Vaclav Milik, Jan Kvech, Petr Chlupac, Daniel Klima, Eduard Krcmar. Team Manager: Zdenek Schneiderwind.
FINLAND: Timo Lahti, Timi Salonen, Jesse Mustonen, Antti Vuolas, Niklas Sayrio. Team Manager: Peter Jansson.
SLOVENIA: Matic Ivacic, Nick Skorja, Anze Grmek. Team Manager: Gregor Arnsek.
ITALY: Nicolas Covatti, Paco Castagna, Daniele Tessari. Team Manager: Alessandro Dalla Valle.