FIM Long Track World Championship
Final 3 – Mühldorf, Germany – 7th July 2019
After two rounds of the FIM Long Track World Championship, three riders lead the field with only six points separating them. Can we expect a clear leader to emerge from this Sunday’s meeting in Mühldorf where Final 3 will be held? The 1000m sand track has provided us with many exciting races in the past but competition this year will be as high as any in recent years and with three events remaining the winner could take a big step towards claiming the world title.
Joint leader Martin Smolinski will have the support of thousands of German fans at the track where he won his championship in 2018 after a titanic battle with Dmitri Bergé which was only decided in the last race of the series. Bergé will be out to avenge that defeat and to take a lead in the championship at the half way stage. Close behind the them is 2017 champion Mathieu Trésarrieu, winner of the Herxheim round who must not allow the points gap to widen before the series returns to the more familiar grass surfaces in France and The Netherlands in the next two months.
Leading scores after two rounds:
1. Martin Smolinski (Germany) 47 points
2. Dmitri Bergé (France) 47
3. Mathieu Trésarrieu (France) 41
4. James Shanes (Great Britain) 29
5. Lukas Fienhage (Germany) 25
6. Theo Pijper (Netherlands) 23
7. Chris Harris (Great Britain) 21
If the championship might appear to have turned into a three-horse race the other contenders cannot be overlooked and a good performance in Mühldorf could transform their chances of a medal.
Britain’s young hopeful and former European Champion James Shanes has had a mixed season to date and dropped some valuable points at the last round in La Reole although he retained his fourth place. On the other hand, fellow Brit Chris Harris had his best meeting to date and could see his medal prospects rise if he can build on that performance.
Lukas Fienhage has been the find of the season so far. The youngest rider in the field until now, he has not been intimidated by the experience of the opposition and some brave riding in the last round took him to fifth spot. He will also have great support from the home fans. Dutchman Romano Hummel is another young man who is tipped for a great future in this discipline, but his injury problems continue, and he has been forced to withdraw having failed to recover from an ankle injury. He is replaced by Frenchman Gaëtan Stella who, at 20 years old will now be the youngest competitor.
Of the more experienced riders, Theo Pijper continues to gather points in a steady fashion but Josef Franc, bronze medallist last year will need a good result here if he is to reclaim that status. Veteran Bernd Diener is another who is always capable of a surprise and the Wild Card will be Stefan Katt now returning to form after injury.
FIM Jury President will be Thierry Bouin from France and Referee Pavel Kubes from Czech Republic. Racing in Mühldorf starts at 13.30 local time and as there is no live streaming, progress of the racing and results can be followed on: www.longtrack-live.com