The starting line-ups for the 2021 Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Final in Manchester on Saturday and Sunday have been confirmed.
Hosts Great Britain, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Latvia and France battle it out over two days in the ultimate test of team riding, staged at Britain’s iconic National Speedway Stadium.
Each country must select two senior riders and one under-21 from their five-man squad as they compete to become FIM world champions.
The Brits track their two FIM Speedway Grand Prix stars, triple world champion Tai Woffinden and 2020 European champion Robert Lambert.
British Under-21 champion Tom Brennan is named as their under-21 rider on his SGB Premiership home track in Manchester, but his Belle Vue team mate Dan Bewley is overlooked by joint team managers Simon Stead and Oliver Allen, with Woffinden and Lambert ending SGP 2021 in strong form.
Last year’s Monster Energy SON runners-up Poland draft in Maciej Janowski for his first appearance in the competition since 2019. He replaces Dominik Kubera, who partnered double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik to victory at Semi-Final 1 in Daugavpils, Latvia on September 17.
New FIM Speedway Under-21 world champion Jakub Miskowiak teams up with Zmarzlik and Janowski to complete a stellar side in team manager Rafal Dobrucki’s first Final as Polish boss.
Semi-Final 2 winners Australia are led by 2017 world champion Jason Doyle and former Belle Vue star Max Fricke, who returns to his former British home track. Keynan Rew is their under-21 star.
Denmark list an unchanged side from Semi-Final 1, with double European champion Mikkel Michelsen, former world No.2 Leon Madsen and FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship runner-up Mads Hansen bidding for the country’s first world team title since 2014.
The Swedes are without their SGP icon Fredrik Lindgren, who has ended his season early due to an ongoing battle with long Covid and a hand injury.
His place is taken by double Swedish champion Jacob Thorssell, who partners stand-in skipper Pontus Aspgren, while promising young gun Philip Hellstrom-Bangs is their under-21.
Making historic first-ever final appearances, both Latvia and France name unchanged sides from Semi-Final 2.
Former European champion Andzejs Lebedevs leads Latvia into action, alongside 2020 FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship bronze medallist Olegs Mihailovs. European Under-19 champion Francis Gusts is named as their under-21.
The French side features David Bellego and Dimitri Berge, who teamed up to help Swedish side Masarna win the Bauhaus Elitserien in 2020. FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship rider Steven Goret is their junior man.
The seven sides battle it out over 21 heats on Saturday, followed by another 21 heats on Sunday as each of the countries face each other once on each day.
The highest scoring nation over two days earns automatic qualification for the Grand Final, with the second and third-placed sides meeting in the Grand Final Qualifier. The winning team in that race faces the top-scoring country in the Grand Final for the Monster Energy SON world title.
MONSTER ENERGY FIM SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS FINAL LINE-UPS:
GREAT BRITAIN: 1 Tai Woffinden ©, 2 Robert Lambert, 3 Tom Brennan (U21). Team Managers: Simon Stead and Oliver Allen.
POLAND: 1 Bartosz Zmarzlik ©, 2 Maciej Janowski, 3 Jakub Miskowiak (U21). Team Manager: Rafal Dobrucki.
SWEDEN: 1 Pontus Aspgren ©, 2 Jacob Thorssell, 3 Philip Hellstrom-Bangs (U21). Team Manager: Morgan Andersson.
DENMARK: 1 Leon Madsen ©, 2 Mikkel Michelsen, 3 Mads Hansen (U21). Team Manager: Hans Nielsen.
AUSTRALIA: 1 Jason Doyle ©, 2 Max Fricke, 3 Keynan Rew (U21). Team Manager: Mark Lemon.
LATVIA: 1 Andzejs Lebedevs ©, 2 Olegs Mihailovs, 3 Francis Gusts (U21). Team Manager: Vladimirs Ribnikovs.
FRANCE: 1 David Bellego ©, 2 Dimitri Berge, 3 Steven Goret (U21). Team Manager: Laurent Sambarrey.
MONSTER ENERGY SON FINAL DAY 1 (SATURDAY) DRAW:
A – GREAT BRITAIN
B – LATVIA
C – POLAND
D – AUSTRALIA
E – SWEDEN
F – FRANCE
G – DENMARK
MONSTER ENERGY SON FINAL DAY 2 (SUNDAY) DRAW:
A – LATVIA
B – SWEDEN
C – AUSTRALIA
D – FRANCE
E – GREAT BRITAIN
F – POLAND
G – DENMARK
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