2017 FIM Speedway Youth World Championship
Prague, 29th to 31st August
We recently previewed the FIM 2017 Training Camp in the Czech Republic that will take place in Prague over the next week. The climax to this will be the inaugural running of the FIM Speedway Youth World Championship.
A total of 32 riders from 13 different countries have been entered by their Federations and will compete over two semi finals and a Final to establish the first ever World Champion in this discipline.
Predictions for this event are difficult with limited information on many of the competitors and their ability to take on board the advice they will have received during the Training Camp sessions.
The European 250cc Youth Cup provides some indication of ability and this year’s winner Philip Hellstrom-Bangs from Sweden must be considered as one of the favourites. Fellow Scandinavians Jonas Knudsen, Sebastien Blakkilt and Emil Breum from Denmark are benefitting from the training programmes set up by the Danish Federation and under the supervision of Danish legend Erik Gundersen.
Australia is well represented by Keynan Rew, Jedd List and Bailey Viner who have made the long journey from the far side of the world much of it at their own expense. Rew with two 85cc finals behind him has been gaining European experience in Denmark and will be keen to add a world title to the Australian 125cc Championship and under 16 Solo titles he holds. List was bronze medallist in the 2016 World Cup competition in Poland.
Great Britain is also beginning to harvest the fruits of an established training scheme and have high hopes for Kyle Bickley twice winner of the 125cc Gold Trophy who is one of the top scorers for the Belle Vue National League team. Jack Parkinson-Blackburn is another young rider scoring well for both Birmingham and Sheffield, his two clubs in the UK. Leon Flint was eighth in the equivalent completion last year and has been gaining experience by riding for Marmande in the newly formed French League this year.
Poland is continuing to deliver fresh talent and have three riders entered. Karol Zupinski looks to be the most likely success here despite his somewhat erratic form.
Sebastian Palmese and Colton Hicks are the two entrants from the United States experiencing their first taste of Europe but will benefit from the presence of U.S speedway legend Greg Hancock who will be on hand to give advice.
The two semi finals will be held at the Marketa Stadium in Prague on Tuesday 29th August at 14.00 and 18.00 with Final two days later at 18.00. Jan Staechmann from Denmark is FIM Jury President and Craig Ackroyd from Great Britain the Referee.
To precede this event the FIM Long Track Youth World Cup will be held on Friday 25th August at Pardubice.