AN exclusion in heat 18 cost Peter Kildemand dear as he finished as the runner-up in the European Championship in Czestochowa this evening.
The Dane went into the final round of the series three points behind eventual champion Emil Sayfutdinov but, despite producing some stunning passes on his Polish home track, the top step of the rostrum was always beyond his reach.
Russian Sayfutdinov was immaculate throughout as he claimed a qualifying maximum before crashing out of the final, but he’d already secured the title after Swindon rider Kildemand was excluded for coming to grief while desperately trying to round Sayfutdinov in a make or break heat 18.
Kildemand eventually finished third in the meeting, which was won by Grigory Laguta, to take second in the championship, with his comfortable top five finish enough for him to secure an SEC place for 2015.
After Sayutdinov started his evening with an easy victory in heat one, Kildemand knew he needed to match the Russian in heat two if he was to keep pace but had to do things the hard way. After spinning his back wheel coming out of the start, Kildemand was squeezed out down in the first corner and sat last on the first back straight, but the Dane was able to dive bomb through Andreas Jonsson and Jurica Pavlic to take victory.
Sayfutdinov produced another good ride in his second outing, beating Rune Holta home for another victory, before Kildemand looked to be finishing second behind Tomasz Gollob in his second race before Adrian Miedzinski’s crash forced a re-run. The Dane entered turn two of the re-run in third, but rounded both Gollob and Miedzinski to win and maintain the three-point gap.
The pressure was immediately put on Kildemand again as Sayfutdinov won heat 10 by the length of a straight, but it appeared as though he had responded perfectly with a stunning gate before Laguta made a stunning pass to give the Swindon man a taste of his own medicine.
It looked as though Kildemand’s challenge was going to end as he rolled at the start and found himself back in third in his fourth ride, but after steaming around Holta he hunted down Vaculik and made the pass stick to keep himself in contention.
Sayfutdinov produced another win from the gate in his fourth ride, leaving him four ahead of Kildemand going into the two riders’ meeting in heat 18. The Russian made the gate with Kildemand not getting away well and, although the Swindon number one chased hard, he could only clip the fence with his back wheel before hitting the deck which saw him excluded.
That was enough to secure the title for Sayfutdinov, who celebrated wildly with his team before winning the re-run, leaving Kildemand needing to negotiate the last chance semi to make the final.
The Dane did just that, winning from gate two, before losing out to Nicki Pedersen in the battle for second in the final.
Kildemand now turns his attention to the GP Challenge at Lonigo tomorrow, where a top three finish would seal a place in the 2015 Grand Prix series.