Danish racer Leon Madsen secured a win at the FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens on Saturday in front of his home crowd.
Polish rider Bartosz Zmarzlik had been poised to win his fourth world championship in five seasons, but there was controversy before the action got underway.
The 2022 champion was disqualified from the race for wearing incorrect attire, with the governing body issuing a statement saying: “Bartosz Zmarzlik was found to be wearing a race suit which did not conform to the FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship Regulations 2023 during the Qualifying Practice and the starting number selection for the meeting.
“The decision of the FIM Jury was confirmed with a hearing and, according to Art. 5.8 and 12.3 of the FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship Regulations 2023, Bartosz Zmarzlik was fined €600 and disqualified from the 2023 DeluxeHomeart FIM Danish Speedway GP.”
While the Zmarzlik controversy commanded plenty of attention, the Danish fans were treated to a home win as Madsen prevailed in style.
He had to wait for his moment to take the win as Fredrik Lindgren took the early lead from Gate 1 after Madsen struggled for grip from Gate 3.
Madsen pushed into second place and then on lap two he made his first attempt, almost taking the lead on the inside before the door was shut by the Swede.
He continued to push and instead of attempting an overtake down the inside once more, he swept around the outside of Lindgren going into the final lap, to cross the line in first.
After his win, Madsen spoke to the crowd and said: “What a great reception you guys gave me today. You gave me that extra last power in the final heat. I’m just very happy to be back on the podium and on the top one.
“I’m just very thankful to be riding in front of all you guys. You made a fantastic atmosphere. Thank you.
“To be honest I don’t remember the heat very well. It went so fast, it was very hectic, shifting position all the time.”
Discussing the outstanding late move to clinch the win with an overtake, Madsen admitted to nerves at that moment, saying: “I think I made a good move and just on the last corner I was freaking out, I was so happy to be back winning a GP.”
The final round takes place on September 30 in Torun, Poland.