LEICESTER captain Max Fricke finished a superb second in Saturday’s Swedish Grand Prix at Malilla.

Fricke, who has only just rejoined the series as an injury replacement after being surprisingly overlooked for a full-time place at the end of last season, took runners-up spot to Bartosz Zmarzlik after an epic duel in the deciding race.

The Watling JCB Lions skipper was handed a route back in after Jason Doyle’s serious shoulder injury ruled him out of contention, and he immediately notched a semi-final appearance at Prague a fortnight ago.

But he went further in Sweden, in a meeting which was subject to an extensive delay due to heavy rain but then produced some spectacular racing.

Fricke scored 11 points from his qualifying races and then took a win in his semi-final over Jack Holder, before a ding-dong scrap with Zmarzlik in the Final.

The Pole eventually came through to break the outright record for GP victories with his 24th success, but Fricke was delighted with second place ahead of Robert Lambert and Holder.

He said: “It’s a good start so far. It’s nice to be back in the GPs, I’m having fun, just trying to mix it up and keep it interesting, and to race the boys as much as I can.

“To come away with P2 tonight, I’m super happy. It was a tough one but he (Zmarzlik) had a lot of speed, so fair play to him, he was the better one today.”

Despite missing the opening three GPs of the season, Fricke has already moved above series regulars Tai Woffinden and Jan Kvech in the standings, and he can make further progress in the next round at Gorzow in a fortnight.

In the meantime, he will be back to lead the Watling JCB Lions as they visit league leaders Ipswich in the ROWE Motor Oil Premiership on Thursday.

Photo credit: TAYLOR LANNING

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