King’s Lynn Star Robert Lambert helped Great Britain earn their first Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup medal since 2006.
The teenage racer put in a battling performance in a breathless meeting at the National Speedway Stadium in Manchester as Alun Rossiter’s side claimed a surprise silver medal.
With World Champion Tai Woffinden in blistering form, Lambert chipped in with a hard-fought three points on just his second World Cup appearance.
The 18-year-old scored in three different outings as Great Britain won silver for the first time since 2004.
The Foulsham-based teenager was harsh on himself after his first WCF appearance, saying: “I feel like I let the team down in my performance with three points, it’s not good enough.
“I feel if I scored a few more points we could have got gold last night.
“I’m so happy with the team with the silver though and I’m happy about that too, just disappointed with how I did. I hope all the fans will still be behind me.”
It was another vital learning curve for the youngster as he continues to make excellent progress in the early stages of his career.
He will be back in action for King’s Lynn as the Stars travel to Swindon for a crucial encounter in the race for the Elite League play-offs on Thursday (7.30).
Team boss Rossiter said: “It’s an amazing feeling and I’m so proud of all of the boys.
“I knew the boys were good enough to get a medal and if we’re being honest, before the meeting started we’d have been happy with bronze.
“But to finish in second and get a silver medal is an unbelievable effort and achievement.
“Tai was outstanding once again but you’ve got to give all the boys lots of credit .
“There were a few incidents where we made the gate and then got boshed out in the first corner but we just took one race at a time and we’re delighted.
“There’s a lot of positives to take once again but for now we’ll just enjoy the moment.”
Woffinden said: “It was a good meeting. I said before the start, ‘let’s focus on getting a bronze medal, and when we’re in that position, we can focus on the silver, and then we can focus on the gold.”
MONSTER ENERGY FIM SPEEDWAY WORLD CUP FINAL, Belle Vue
POLAND 39: Bartosz Zmarzlik 11, Piotr Pawlicki 10, Patryk Dudek 10, Krzysztof Kasprzak 8. GREAT BRITAIN 32: Tai Woffinden 19, Craig Cook 5, Danny King 5, Robert Lambert 3.
SWEDEN 30: Fredrik Lindgren 10, Andreas Jonsson 8, Peter Ljung 6, Antonio Lindback 6.
AUSTRALIA 22: Chris Holder 10, Jason Doyle 7, Sam Masters 5, Josh Grajczonek 0.
* Australian maximum man Jason Doyle was delighted to defy the “immense” pressure of a last-heat decider on Friday as he led his country into Saturday’s Final.
The Newcastle-born racer stormed to victory over Russia’s Emil Sayfutdinov and Danish star Niels-Kristian Iversen in heat 20 to complete a phenomenal 15-point maximum as the Aussies won the Monster Energy SWC Race Off.
They saw off a late charge from Denmark, who finished on 41, Russia (32) and the USA (9).
Danish skipper Iversen starred for his team on 16 points and was delighted with the way they battled back into Final contention after being eight points down on the Aussies after eight races.
NKI said: “We knew it was going to be difficult and it looked pretty hard at some points. But we managed to win it back and keep it really close at the end.
“Of course it was disappointing we didn’t manage to turn Australia over in the last race. But they were a better team than us and we benefitted from the joker as well, and they didn’t.
“I think it’s fair to say they were a better team. But it doesn’t make it any less disappointing.”