Russian sensation Emil Sayfutdinov dedicated his Fogo Swedish FIM Speedway Grand Prix triumph to his late father Damir after he lost his fight with cancer shortly before the race in Gothenburg on Saturday night.
The 23-year-old produced a breathtaking, last-lap swoop around World Champion Chris Holder to top the rostrum and add to the win he claimed in Bydgoszcz on April 20.
Sayfutdinov missed his Polish club Czestochowa’s home meeting with Leszno last Sunday to stay at his father’s bedside in Russia. But the Salavat-born racer opted to return to the track at the Ullevi Stadium and produced a courageous, daredevil, and lightning-quick performance.
The 2009 Gothenburg winner, who was unaware of the tragic news until after the post-meeting press conference, was delighted to triumph in Sweden again, and hopes the victory will comfort his family at this most difficult of times.
“When I was at home, I said to my dad, ‘I’ll win this for you.’ I did that. My family will feel much better for this hopefully.”
Sayfutdinov has been inundated with messages of support from fellow riders and fans alike.
“Everyone has helped me this week with sending messages and thank you very much to all my sponsors and fans who have done that,” he said. “I can’t say enough to thank them. So many fans applauded and congratulated me after the final. It means a lot.”