FIM UNDER 21 SPEEDWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Final 3 – Gdansk, Poland. 2nd October
In a weekend of mixed fortunes for Australian riders it was Max Fricke who emerged as the new Under 21 World Speedway champion. He sealed his claim to the title after setting the fastest time of the meeting and taking 16 points from the final round in Gdansk to end the series with a clear margin of 6 points ahead of silver medallist Krystian Pieszczek of Poland. In third place was Britain’s Robert Lambert.
Pieszczek had been only one point adrift of the leaders but his expected challenge faltered at the semi final stage where he tangled with Dmitri Berge and was disqualified. European champion Berge suffered a hand injury but had failed to capitalise fully on his victory in the previous round in Pardubice and after a brave third place in the restarted semi final he was left two points adrift of a bronze medal place.
Lambert began the meeting as joint series leader with Fricke but the young Brit was let down by some poor starting on a track which favoured the inside gate position in the early stages. His seven points were enough to secure the bronze medal although it needed a run off with Aussie Jack Holder to resolve the tie between the two.
Patrick Hansen was the impressive top scorer in the qualifying races and with Danish legend Hans Nielsen guiding him from the pits looked to have a good chance to step onto the podium. However, a disqualification in the Final after a clash with Erik Riss ultimately put paid to his medal aspirations.
Russian Viktor Kulakov enjoyed his best return of the competition and improved as the meeting progressed. Ultimately he took the final race ahead of Fricke and Riss to bring down the curtain on another memorable Under 21 World Championship.
Final scores in the Championship are:
• Max Fricke (Australia) 46
• Krystian Pieszczek (Poland) 40,
• Robert Lambert (Great Britain) 37 (after run off)
• Jack Holder (Australia) 37 (after run off)
• Patrick Hansen (Denmark) 35
• Dimitri Berge (France) 35
• Viktor Kulakov (Russia) 27
• Erik Riss (Germany) 27
• Pavel Przedpelski (Poland) 26
• Josh Bates (Great Britain) 23