The destiny of the 2018 FIM Speedway Under 21 World Championship will be decided this week when the final round takes place in Pardubice on Friday and the 391metre track with its sweeping bends is sure to provide some lively action before the new champion is crowned.
The Championship leaders are evenly placed going into the meeting:
1. Maksym Drabik (Poland) 41
2. Bartosz Smektala (Poland) 35
3. Robert Lambert (Great Britain) 30
4. Dominik Kubera (Poland) 25
5. Daniel Bewley (Great Britain) 21
6. Andreas Lyager (Denmark) 17
7. Frederik Jakobsen (Denmark) 16
8. Patrick Hansen (Denmark) 15
2017 champion Maksym Drabik has won both of the earlier rounds dropping only one point in the process and with a six-point lead over his nearest rival, fellow Pole Bartosz Smektala. Drabik is in great form for his Polish Extraleague club Wroclaw and must be favourite to retain his title.
Smektala the silver medallist last year will not be giving up the chase easily and his rides with Unia Leszno in Poland and his Swedish club Vastervik have provided good experience. With 21 possible points available in this meeting he cannot be written off.
Robert Lambert in third place saw his title hopes slip with a below par performance in Leszno where he failed to make the final. The British Champion also holds the British Under 21 title and his recent bronze medal in the European SEC series has proved his ability to match the best.
European Under 21 Champion Dominik Kubera rides alongside Smektala in the Leszno team and is the other contender for a medal place. Team riding will not be the order of the day on Friday.
Injury has again affected the line up with British youngster Dan Bewley sustaining season-ending injuries in a domestic fixture. With Gleb Chugunov now fit, Joel Kling will replace Bewley as the Russian returns to world championship action and Britain’s Zach Wajtknecht comes in for Sweden’s Filip Hjelmland. The Wild Card will be local rider Jan Kvěch.
The event will be overseen by FIM Jury President Piotr Szymański with Christina Turnbull the FIM appointed Referee. Racing starts at 19.15 local time and FIM Track Racing Director Armando Castagna will be in attendance to present the medals.
The meeting will be held as part of the annual Golden Helmet event which is celebrating its 70th year in 2018 and the City of Pardubice and the club have invited all past winners to join them in the festivities. As the old stars mingle with the new it will be a memorable weekend for all – not least for the new under 21 world champion.
Graham Brodie, for FIM