Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Battles resume.

Action from Final 1 in Poznan (pic: speedwayu21.com)

EKO-DIR FIM Speedway Under 21 World ChampionshipFinal 2, Güstrow, Germany.  Friday 8th September 2017

As a prelude to the Speedway Grand Prix meeting in Teterow on Saturday, the second round of the Under 21 World Championship takes place in nearby Güstrow on the previous evening as the battle amongst the younger riders is continued.

Leading scorers after the first final in Poznan were:

1. Maksym Drabik (Poland) 21 points
2. Bartosz Smektala (Poland) 15
3. Max Fricke (Australia) 15
4. Jevgenijs Kostigovs (Latvia) 11
5. Jack Holder (Australia) 11
6. Dominik Kubera (Poland) 10
7. Robert Lambert (Great Britain)  9
8. Andreas Lyager (Denmark)    8
9. Brady Kurtz (Australia)  6
10. Kacper Woryna (Poland)  5

Only last weekend many of these riders were involved in the Under 21 Team Championship and the emphatic win by the Polish team will have boosted their confidence for individual honours with all five of the triumphant Polish team in action here. Bartosz Smektala, currently second in the classification, was top scorer in Rybnik but trails his colleague Maksim Drabik by six points so will be looking to close that gap and Dominik Kubera will need a top score if he is to challenge them. Only captain Kacper Woryna would appear to be out of contention after scoring only five points in the first round.
The Australian contingent includes current champion Max Fricke who was very impressive in the first round but has just returned from a serious back injury and may not be fully match fit. Jack Holder and Brady Kurtz have also had their season interrupted by injuries that could hamper their progress. Robert Lambert is Britain’s only representative and his knowledge of German tracks, where he has ridden extensively in the past, could be to his advantage but he too has a large points deficit to recover. His recent victories in both the European Under 21 and Under 19 Championships are testament to his abilities and he is always likely to be a contender at this level
An interesting addition to the field as a Wild Card is Germany’s Michael Härtel. Better known for his exploits on the Long Tracks, he has just completed a maiden season in the World Long Track Championship collecting the silver medal and finishing a very creditable four points behind the winner. Now able to concentrate on his speedway aspirations, this 19 year old could spring a few surprises amongst the more fancied riders.
Racing in Güstrow takes place under lights and the first race will start at 20.00 local time. FIM Jury President is Pavel Ondrasik from Czech Republic and Referee Poland’s Artur Kusmierz.

Graham Brodie