FOGO FIM SPEEDWAY UNDER 21 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
FINAL 1 – LUBLIN, POLAND 22ND JUNE 2019
Sixteen of Speedway’s top young riders line up in Lublin next Saturday at the start of this year’s FIM Speedway Under 21 World Championship and the field looks to be as strong as any of recent seasons. Of the fifteen permanent riders, five are from Poland, four from Denmark and one each from Germany, Russia, Slovenia, Australia, Great Britain and the Czech Republic.
Champion Bartosz Smektala will be a strong defender of the title he won so dramatically with a 21-pont maximum in Pardubice last year but will have to fight off a fierce challenge from Maksym Drabik who took the gold medal in 2017. Drabik looked to be a certain winner as the competition entered its final round, but he dropped points through the meeting and was finally caught by a last race defeat to allow Smektala to steal the top spot. There are three riders from the Lublin Ekstraliga team, Wiktor Lampart, Robert Lambert and Wild Card Viktor Trofymov and all will expect an advantage from racing regularly at their home track. Of these, Lambert will be a favourite. Twice a bronze medallist he is enjoying appearances at the highest level in the Speedway Grand Prix and will be competing in the European Championship as well as racing regularly in Polish, British, Swedish and German Leagues. Other names to watch out for include Jaimon Lidsey strongly tipped as a star of the future and twice Australian Under 21 Champion. He is another busy rider, riding in five senior leagues and will not lack match fitness. Frederik Jakobsen a member of the Danish Speedway of Nations squad finished in seventh place last year and won the qualifying round in Stralsund last month. Dominik Kubera finished second in Stralsund and is making his third appearance in this championship. His fourth place in last year’s series will make him a strong contender for 2019.Gleb Chugunov is the latest prospect to emerge from Russia and was the Under 21 representative in Russia’s winning Speedway of Nations squad last year. Nick Skorja will be Slovenia’s only qualifier, but he impressed with his riding at senior level in the recent Slovenian Grand Prix and Patrick Hansen was one of the three Danes who made the top eight last year.Making their debuts in the championship will be Germany’s Dominik Moser and Rafał Karczmarz from Poland who has recovered from the injuries which prevented his entry last year.For the moment all riders are equal but an evening of exciting racing on Saturday should see the main contenders emerge. The first race in Lublin will be at 18.05 local time and will take place under the watchful eye of Referee Christina Turnbull from Great Britain and Jan Staechmann Jury President from Denmark.