FIM Speedway Under 21 World Championship
Final 3 – Pardubice, Czech Republic. 28th September 2018
Poland’s Bartosz Smektala sensationally stole the 2018 FIM Speedway Under 21 World Championship with a maximum 21 points in Pardubice on Friday as holder Maksym Drabik the pre-meeting favourite saw his title hopes disappear with an inconsistent performance.
On a superbly prepared track, helped by an early meeting rain shower, spectators were treated to some thrilling racing and the surprises began from the start with Drabik taking only three points from his first two rides having dropped only one point in the previous 14 races in this competition. By contrast Smektala was in superb form and began to dominate the meeting.
Drabik recovered his composure collecting 11 points and, after a restarted semi-final reached the last race with a one-point lead overall. However, the Final was to prove his downfall after he was boxed out in a first bend scramble and was unable to make any impression on Smektala who cruised to a win ahead of Robert Lambert. Drabik finished in last place allowing Smektala to take the title by the narrowest of margins.
Third placed overall, Robert Lambert can feel satisfied with his season when only a below par result in Leszno prevented him from claiming a higher position and similarly Dominik Kubera would have been in contention for a medal if he had collected more points from the first round in Daugavpils. Danish riders occupy the next three positions and improved as the season progressed. With team boss Hans Nielsen watching closely they fought gamely and could be in a position to challenge the dominant Poles in the future.
Final medal positions:
1. Bartosz Smektala (Poland) 56
2. Maksym Drabik (Poland) 54
3. Robert Lambert (Great Britain) 48
The end of the series produced a new champion but with the leading riders looking to compete again next year another interesting competition is promised for 2019.