The U.S. team remains in contention in FIM Speedway World Cup competition, thanks to a third-place finish at King’s Lynn, Great Britain, on July 15. The U.S. riders finished behind Great Britain and event winner Poland, while the Swedish team was eliminated due to its fourth-place finish.
U.S. speedway legend Greg Hancock, the 2011 FIM World Champion, led the U.S. effort, scoring 16 points for the team. Most significantly, he scored a victory in heat 14 with bonus points in play. That win moved the U.S. team into a qualifying spot that it didn’t relinquish.
“What a ride by Greg, and the team as a whole,” said AMA Vice President of Operations Jeff Massey. “Advancing to the next round of the FIM Speedway World Cup is a significant accomplishment. Not only does it help put American Speedway on the map for 2013, but it reduces the qualifying rounds we will be required to compete in for 2014. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going, and reach the final in Prague.”
The next stop for the U.S. team is a race-off on July 18 in Prague, Czech Republic. If the team advances there, it will advance to the July 20 finale, also in Prague. Also competing in the race-off are Latvia, Great Britain and Australia. The winner of the race-off will advance to the final.
Managed by former FIM World Champion and current U.S. Champion Billy Hamill, the U.S. team includes Ryan Fisher, Billy Janniro, Gino Manzares and Ricky Wells in addition to Hancock. Max Ruml is the team’s reserve rider.
The FIM Speedway World Cup features six total rounds and 14 countries, bringing together the best speedway motorcycle racers in the world. The teams compete for ultimate bragging rights in the “Olympics” of this oval-track sport where the bikes run without brakes. Contested since 1960, the event was re-launched under a new format in 2001.
The winner of the Speedway World Cup collects the Ove Fundin Trophy, named after the five-time world champion.
Logo courtesy American Motorcyclist Association