FIM Long Track World Championship
Final 2 – La Reole, France – 15th June 2019
Mathieu Trésarrieu continues his quest to regain the title he won in 2017 when the FIM Long Track World Championship returns to La Reole next Saturday. After winning the last round in Herxheim three weeks ago he will be strongly fancied to repeat his performance on his home track where he has won for the past five years.
Despite his victory in Germany, Trésarrieu still stands in second place overall, 3 points behind current champion Martin Smolinski but will hope to use his local knowledge to good advantage and maintain his challenge.
Smolinski will have mixed feelings about his return to La Reole where a horror crash in 2018 almost ended his title hopes. Thankfully he recovered from his injuries and fought back in time to snatch the championship in a nail-biting finale in Mühldorf. He is on great form this season and looks likely to be in contention throughout the series.
Dimitri Bergé headed the field for much of last season and was bitterly disappointed to miss out on the gold medal in the run in to the title. His third place in Herxheim sees him level with Trésarrieu and he will be a hard man to beat on a track that he also knows well.
Britain’s James Shanes is still struggling to improve on the promise he showed during his first World Championship series. A combination of injuries and mechanical problems have slowed his progress but the former European Champion at 23 years old has age on his side and is currently fourth in the intermediate classification. His compatriot Chris Harris is another who has disappointed despite his pedigree, but he is still capable of beating the best. Once again, his equipment let him down in the first round and he needs a good performance here to lift him into a challenging position in the table. Fellow Brit, Andrew Appleton is now a more relaxed racer and marked his return to the world championship with a semi-final place in Germany.
He may be the best of the Czech Long Track racers at the moment, but consistency has not been the most prominent feature of Josef Franc’s appearances over the last few seasons. His bronze medal in 2017 is a mark of his talent and he will certainly be one to watch again this year. Challenging him will be Dutchman Romano Hummel whose 2018 season was cut short through injury. Amongst the group of talented young challengers in this series, his results in Final 1 included a win over Smolinski but mechanical problems cost him dearly. Germany’s Lukas Fienhage at 19 years of age is another promising talent and he enjoyed a successful debut in the first round with a 12-point score.
Wild Card for this meeting will be Stéphane Trésarrieu, elder brother of Mathieu although family feelings will be left behind once the pits gates are closed. Gaétan Stella and Julien Cayre will be the reserves.
Finland’s Jouni Seppanen will be the FIM Jury President and Pavel Kubes from Czech Republic the Referee for this meeting which starts at 20.30 local time. the racing and results can be followed on: https://www.longtrack-live.com/