FIM have carried out the draw for the first final of the 2016 Under 21 World Championship which will take place at the Adrian Flux Arena, Kings Lynn on Saturday June 18th. The twelve qualifiers along with three permanent Wild Cards and an entry nominated by the host nation will compete in the meeting which promises an evening of high octane racing from speedway’s rising stars.
It is unfortunate that the top scorer from the qualifiers and the favourite for the world title will not be able to compete. Poland’s Maksym Drabic suffered a fractured leg in a meeting in Sweden and it is an injury which will rule him out of this years competition. His place in this round will be taken by fellow Pole Pawel Przedpelski who is the first nominated substitute rider.
The fast Kings Lynn circuit is a racer’s track and is also the Elite League home track of Roger Lambert. The hard riding Brit gained his early experience on the big German tracks and will be adding his home track knowledge in his efforts to take a top place. Fellow countrymen Adam Ellis and Josh Bates were forced to miss the recent Under 21 Team Qualification round but will be back to full fitness for this meeting and will be joined by Wild Card Zach Wajtknecht.
France has one representative in Dmitri Berge who has struck his top form at the right time. Prominent in last year’s Long Track series his speedway successes have been limited by injury but he was the unbeaten winner of the rain-affected Manchester round setting a new track record in the process and will relish the opportunity to showcase his talents again at world level. Fellow Long Track star Erik Riss will be flying the flag as the only qualifier from Germany after a successful battle with injury and a heroic performance in Manchester saw him through to the Final series.
Poland continues to produce fresh talent and will have three of their best in action at the Norfolk venue. In addition to Przedpelski, Bartosz Smektala and Krystian Pieszczek will be looking to maintain an enviable record for Poland who have provided the champion for the past five years.
Track racing is in the blood of the Holder family but Jack Holder is now shaking off the mantle of being the brother of senior World Champion Chris and is establishing a reputation in his own right as one of Australia’s bright prospects. Max Fricke, who won the Pocking round, joins him as another great Aussie prospect and both have a good knowledge of British track conditions, which will help their efforts here. Denmark also has two contenders in Patrick Hansen and Mikkel B. Andersen who was top scorer for his country in the recent team qualification round.
Development of young riders in Russia is hampered by the lack of funds and the vast distances between tracks, which makes a strong league competition difficult to maintain and limits regular practice. Nevertheless some quality juniors are emerging and the current pick of these is Victor Kulakov who has lodged some impressive performances so far this season but generally on the bigger eastern European tracks. If he is able to adapt quickly to the shorter Kings Lynn oval he could surprise a few of his opponents.
This observation applies equally to the young Czech, Eduard Krcmar, one of the best prospects to come from that country for some time and a solitary Swede, Joel Andersson, completes the field.
FIM Jury President will be Jan Staechmann from Denmark with Christian Froschauer of Germany the Referee. Racing at the Adrian Flux Arena will start at 19.30.