Emil Sayfutdinov admits the new Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations format has given Russia a chance to win their first ever speedway world senior title next week.
Sayfutdinov joins forces with the in-form Artem Laguta and under-21 star Gleb Chugunov for the tournament, which gets underway with Race Off 1 in Teterow this Saturday. Russia face Germany, Denmark, Latvia, USA, Slovenia and the Ukraine with three sides advancing into the Finals at Wroclaw on June 8 and 9.
Laguta has made a sensational SGP comeback this year and both Russians have reached a final this year, with Laguta fourth in Warsaw and Sayfutdinov taking third place in Prague.
For this moment, I think we have two good riders who can do well and try to fight to make some history for Russia.
They will fancy their qualification chances in Teterow and are being tipped among the frontrunners to win the brand new competition.
Victory for Russia would be the nation’s first speedway world title at senior level – individual, pairs or team. And double World Under-21 champion Sayfutdinov admits the pairs format has given his side a massive boost.
He said: “Of course, it’s all new. It’s not like the World Cup – it’s pairs. For us, it will be easier because we don’t have a lot of strong riders like Poland or other countries.
“For this moment, I think we have two good riders who can do well and try to fight to make some history for Russia.
“We’re looking forward to it because we have a good team and good speed. But we will see.
“Teterow will be a hard meeting because only three teams get to the Final, and we have six other countries who want to be there.
“We just want to concentrate on us, try to get to the Final and we will try and fight for a gold medal.”