Final 2 – Pardubice, Czech Republic 16th September
The Under 21 Speedway World Championship features 16 of the world’s best young riders and is being held this year over three rounds. It was as long ago as June that Final 1 was held at Kings Lynn and next Friday sees the staging of the second final around the open spaces of the famous Pardubice track that will test both riders and machines to the limit. Racing will be over 20 qualifying heats with two semi finals and a Grand Final, providing a total of 21 points available.
Poland’s Krystian Pieszczek leads the field at this stage. As the Reserve nomination in the Polish senior squad that won the Speedway World Cup in Manchester he may not have been given a ride but the experience will have prepared him well for major events such as this. However, he is only one point ahead of Britain’s 18-year-old Robert Lambert who will want to put behind him the disappointment of scoring only one point in the recent Grand Prix Challenge to concentrate now on challenging for the Under 21 crown.
The Australian duo of Max Fricke and Jack Holder, younger brother of World Champion Chris, should enjoy the fast 400m Pardubice track and, along with Britain’s Josh Bates could be in a strong medal position at the end of the series if they have a successful meeting.
For Erik Riss and Dmitri Berge this will be the first of two World Championship Finals that they attend this weekend as, after this meeting, they will be travelling to Germany for Saturday’s Long Track Final in Vechta. They will need to reproduce their Long Track form here if they are to claim a podium place.
Wild Card for this meeting will be Patrik Mikel who joins Eduard Krcmar hoping to repay the support of the Czech fans with a win. Polish riders enjoyed mixed success in the first round with Pawel Przedpelski unbeaten in his first two rides before injury ended his evening and Bartosz Smektala gathering seven points. Przedpelski stands by as a possible replacement for Maksym Drabik who may not yet be fit to ride after an early season injury which rued him out of the first round.
Mikkel B Andersen will be hoping to avoid his experience at Kings Lynn where he suffered four falls on a difficult track. Patrik Hansen is the other representative of a surprisingly sparse Danish entry.
Leading points scorers:
1. Krystian Pieszczek (Poland) 20
2. Robert Lambert (Great Britain) 19
3. Jack Holder (Australia) 13
4. Josh Bates (Great Britain) 12
5. Max Fricke (Australia) 12
6. Erik Riss (Germany) 10
7. Bartosz Smektala (Poland) 7
8. Patrick Hansen (Denmark) 6
9. Dmitri Berge (France) 6
10. Eduard Krcmar (Czech Republic) 6
Racing in Pardubice will start at 19.15 on Friday evening and is part of the celebrated Golden Helmet event staged here since 1929. FIM Jury President will be Piotr Szymanski from Poland with Britain’s Christina Turnbull Referee.