FIM Academy inspires future generation of racing stars
The inaugural 2012 FIM Track Racing Youth Training Camp was organised in collaboration with Croatia’s Gorican Speedway Club, which hosted the event at its city’s Speedway Stadium Millennium.
The FIM Track Racing Commission together with FIM Medical, Technical & International Environment Commissions, under the aegis of the FIM Academy, the training division of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, are investing in the futures of young motorcycle racers through its newly launched annual training camps for Speedway and Long Track riders. The 2012 FIM Track Racing Youth Training Camp was held in April just before this year’s FIM Speedway Youth Gold Trophy, which was also hosted in Croatia. The first-ever international training event of its kind, the two-day FIM Track Racing Youth Training Camp taught Speedway riding techniques, helping the young riders to improve their skills and inspiring them to become future champions in this spectacular discipline.
Twenty-four riders, aged eleven to seventeen, benefited from the first FIM Track Racing Youth Training Camp, after being selected through their respective national youth training programmes for the sport. First-class coaching was provided over the two days by an elite group of instructors, which included the likes of Marco Belli who is Europe’s most successful Flat Track rider and local Croatian speedway star, Jurica Pavlic. Greg Hancock, 2011 FIM Speedway World Champion and winner of the 2012 FIM New Zealand Speedway Grand Prix, also joined the training team as the event’s appointed ambassador.
Speaking after the event, Greg Hancock, commented: “Looking to the future of Speedway, it all starts with the kids or youngsters getting an early ride and with a natural progression. The introduction of the FIM Speedway Youth Project is a major step forward for the sport as I see it. Countries such as Sweden and Denmark have produced many World Champions from the favourable two-stroke 80-85cc bikes over the years, however I believe that they can do even better by allowing the early teenagers to step up to the Youth 250cc one or two years before going professional on the 500cc.”
Paul Bellamy, Managing Director of BSI Speedway, which promoted the event, commented: “We welcome this initiative from the FIM as the future of any sports lies with the engagement of new competitors and a new audience from a young age. This is a great start and we look forward to the roll out of these training camps across key Speedway markets globally to help underpin the future of the sport.”
Other instructors included Armando Castagna from Italy, Christophe Dubernard and Laurent Sambarrey from France, René Schaefer and Sönke Petersen from Germany, Phil Morris from Great Britain, Talgat Galeiev from Russia, Aki Pekka Mustonen from Finland, Vozar Lubomir from Czech Republic. Various sessions both on and off the track were provided for the young racers with the instructors sharing their vast array of knowledge and experience.
The FIM agrees that nurturing young talent in this way is vital to the future of Speedway and other motorcycle sports, as FIM President, Vito Ippolito, explains: “This initiative follows the trend that the FIM is building up in each one of our sports to train and prepare young riders for success. Speedway is popular in many parts of Europe. We must now work to strengthen its international appeal and to recruit as much new talent to the sport as possible. With the support of our National Federations, our promoter IMG and the whole Track Racing community, I am convinced that we can ensure the development of Speedway and also expand the practice of this sport to new countries.”
The FIM plans to tour the World with its new FIM Track Racing Youth Training Camp, holding one event each year. The host nation for the 2013 FIM Track Racing Youth Training Camp will be announced in the coming months.
Photos captions: Greg Hancock, 2011 FIM Speedway World Champion & the Twenty-four riders, aged eleven to seventeen.