Ben Ernst is the new FIM Speedway Youth World Champion after an impressive performance at the Final in sunny Torun on Friday. The young German from Gustrow was beaten only by an engine failure whilst leading Heat 16 following which his machine caught fire and required the speedy attention of the efficient track staff. However, he shrugged off this setback and won his remaining rides including the semi-final and final to leave his opponents to follow his tyre tracks.
The silver medal went to Poland’s Mateusz Bartkowiak who recovered after a slow start in his qualifying rides to win his semi-final and chased Ernst all the way in the final ahead of Swede Philip Hellström-Bängs. Australian Keynon Rew was fourth.
Esben Hjerrild, winner of his Gdansk qualifier had a disappointing end to the competition. After taking wins in his first two outings, a fall followed by a retirement ruined his chances of a podium place and he withdrew from his final ride. His compatriots also failed to perform to their usual level in what was another fruitless evening for the Danes.
Poland’s other qualifier Karol Zupinski, a runner up in Gdansk had looked to be a contender but made a poor start in his semi-final and failed to make up the ground on Bartkowiak and Rew. Australia provided three riders in the semi-finals but were unable to make a podium place despite the efforts of Rew in the Final.