FIM Long Track World Championship – Challenge
Scheessel, Germany. 25th August 2019
It was a good day for the Germans in Scheessel on Sunday as they delighted the home fans by taking the first two places in the FIM Long Track World Championship Challenge. In perfect track conditions at the Eichenring they shook off the disappointments of their recent European Championship disaster as Stephan Katt stormed to a win in the final. Veteran Berndt Diener finished fourth in the last race but claimed second place overall with a higher points total. Josef Franc was in third place with Jesse Mustonen fourth despite two disqualifications and all will have a permanent place in next year’s series next year’s series.
Diener at 60 years old was a revelation and had been top scorer in the qualifying races starting the final knowing that he already had enough points to guarantee his place in the 2020 championship.
Great Britain’s Richard Hall forgot his recent injury worries and took fifth place giving him one of the reserve spots for next year along with Dane Kenneth Hansen and Jorge Tebbe.
Pre meeting favourite Zach Wajknech was a disappointment and, possibly unsettled by a first race disqualification, he was able to collect only six points. Dutchmen Jarno de Vries and Henry van der Steen were both off the pace managing only five points between them. Despite his experience Stéphane Trésarrieu scored only three points but young Gaétan Stella enjoyed his best meeting of the year to salvage some glory for the French.
1. Stephan Katt (Germany) 23 points
2. Bernd Diener (Germany) 22
3. Josef Franc (Czech Republic) 19
4. Jesse Mustonen (Finland) 17
5. Richard Hall (Great Britain) 16
6. Kenneth Hansen (Denmark) 13
7. Joerg Tebbe (Germany) 12
8. Max Dilger (Germany) 12
9. Martin Malek (Czech Republic) 11
10. Gaétan Stella (France) 10
All is not lost for those who failed to make the top four as, with a number of the riders competing in the current series, and there are still two rounds to complete next month, some may qualify automatically for the 2020 championship if they finish in the top seven in the classification. In that case the reserves could yet play a part next year so we must wait until the end of the season to see the full line up for the next year’s Long Track World Championship.