POOLE Pirates star Shamek Pawlicki will be fully focused on his own game in tomorrow’s Speedway Grand Prix qualifier – because he has no idea who he is facing.
The 22-year-old summer recruit will join Polish compatriot Maciej Janowski in Berwick (7pm) as they embark on their quest for a place on speedway’s biggest stage.
It is the first of three rounds the Poole duo will need to negotiate if they are to take a seat at speedway’s top table, with the 10 riders from the first showdown progressing to the race off later this month.
The Pirates heat leader - also due to ride in the Speedway European Championship Challenge in Hungary on Monday - is relaxed about his the opening round and quite happy to remain oblivious about his opponents at Shielfield Park.
Asked who would present the biggest challenge, Pawlicki told the Daily Echo: “I don’t know who is racing, I don’t look at the (other) riders but that’s better.
“Sometimes in speedway you can think about who is riding too much and lose the race. It will be hard, Berwick is a specialist track and you must start well to ride a good race.
"I have never raced there but it is important for me to have fun and just make the next elimination stage.
"I want to go to the GP this year but I don’t put pressure on myself, thinking I must get there.
"Sometimes you are not lucky and there is nothing you can do, I want it but it will be a lot of work for me and I just make sure I get to the final qualifier first.”
Meanwhile, 2012 world champ- ion Chris Holder threw his backing behind Poole’s Polish stars.
“I rode a few times at Berwick in 2006 and 2007,” said the Ringwood-based Aussie ace.
“It’s a big track, wide open with big corners so it’s good for the Polish guys who are used to that.
“They won’t be afraid and I’m sure they’ll be fine as long as they get good starts. Both are top riders who fancy themselves as contenders for the GPs so they’ll be going for it.”
A third Pirate – Josh Grajczonek – misses out with facial injuries picked up while riding as a guest for Birmingham last week, with Wolverhampton’s Ty Proctor coming in.
Poole’s Elite League rookie Vaclav Milik competes at the same stage in Abensberg, Germany on Sunday, 24 hours after captaining the Czech Republic in the Team Speedway Under-21 World Cup semi-final.
Berwick line-up: 1 Chris Harris (GB), 2 Jason Doyle (Australia), 3 Mathieu Tresarrieu (France), 4 Norbert Magosi (Hungary), 5 Tobias Kroner (Germany), 6 Kenneth Bjerre (Denmark), 7 Ty Proctor (Australia), 8 Maciej Janowski (Poland), 9 Linus Sundstrom (Sweden), 10 Tomas Suchanek (Czech Rep), 11 Matej Kus (Czech Rep), 12 Hans Andersen (Denmark), 13 Daniel Gappmaier (Austria), 14 Shamek Pawlicki (Poland), 15 Theo Pijper (France), 16 Craig Cook (GB). Reserves: 17 Richard Lawson (GB) 18 Lewis Bridger (GB).