FIM Long Track World Championship
Final 3 – Mühldorf, Germany – 7th July 2019
Martin Smolinski took a major step in retaining his title with an impressive win in difficult conditions at the FIM Long Track World Championship in Mühldorf on Sunday. Heavy rain kept many spectators away and had put the meeting in doubt but good work from the organisers and a break in the weather allowed racing to start after a delay.
Smolinski had suffered an interruption to his plans when two specially tuned engines failed to arrive until the day before racing, but he dominated the meeting on the 1000m track and was beaten only by Josef Franc in the qualifying races. He led from the start in the final after choosing the outside gate and left Dmitri Bergé and Mathieu Trésarrieu to battle for the remaining places on the podium. Smolinski opened up a three-point gap at the top of the leader board but will know that he cannot relax with two more finals to compete outside the comforts of his home tracks. Bergé is still in touch but former champion Tresarrieu looked less comfortable, winning only two races and a last place in his semi-final lost him precious points.
Leading scores after three rounds:
1. Martin Smolinski (Germany) 74 points
2. Dmitri Bergé (France) 71
3. Mathieu Trésarrieu (France) 59
4. Theo Pijper (Netherlands) 44
5. Josef Franc (Czech Republic) 39
6. Lukas Fienhage (Germany) 39
7. James Shanes (Great Britain) 34
8. Max Dilger (Germany) 30
Dutchman Theo Pijper enjoyed his best meeting of the series and his 20-points moved him into fourth place and Josef Franc improved his chances of a medal with 18 points. The young German Lukas Fienhage again impressed with some fine overtaking and confirmed that he could be a rider with a great future ahead.
The British challenge was disappointing with only Andrew Appleton reaching the semi-finals and James Shanes challenge ended with a broken chain at the start of his last race.
Final 4 takes place in Morizes, France on 7th September.