Due to an injury suffered during the PGE Ekstraliga match, Wiktor Lampart will not perform in the Fogo FIM Speedway U21 World Championship final, which will be held in Pardubice. Lampart will be replaced by Jakub Miśkowiak.
The original calendar for this championship planned three finals but with the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, causing widespread interference with travel and social gatherings, the first two finals along with the Qualifying Rounds had to be cancelled and the FIM were forced to reorganise the competition into a single final with riders nominated by their home Federation.
This one-day event will take place in Pardubice, Czech Republic on Friday 2nd October and the full line up and draw has now been announced. The format provides for 20 qualifying heats from which the top eight scorers race two semi -finals and a Grand Final in which the winner takes all and will be crowned World Champion
So, what are the prospects for the competitors and who will be favourites to take the medals?
Poland have some good results over recent years and provided the best three in 2019 but with Maksym Drabik and Bartosz Smektala no longer eligible and having only two representatives it is left to bronze medallist Dominik Kubera and Wiktor Lampart to maintain that record. Kubera from Leszno, who lost a run-off with Smektala for the silver medal last year at this track, is currently riding high in the Polish Ekstraliga averages and looks to be the racer on form. Lampart will have to put behind him his poor performance here last year when he could only gather 4 points.
Home rider Jan Kvech had a promising debut last year finishing in sixth place overall despite riding the final round with a broken arm and will benefit from racing in familiar surroundings. For Australian Junior Champion Jaimon Lidsey this will be his last opportunity to race at Under 21 level, but he is another who is showing good form for his Polish club Leszno and cannot be overlooked.
Luke Becker is one of the rising stars of American speedway and he has some experience of European racing. However, this will be his first outing on this side of the Atlantic this year as his plans were upset by covid-9 and his lack of race practice could prove to be a handicap. Young Brit Dan Bewley is another whose season has been curtailed, mainly through injury but a storming performance in the recent Under 212 Team World Championship suggests that he is riding as well as ever.
Lukas Fienhage, currently leading the World Long Track Championship, has not reached the finals of this competition since 2017 but he is one the coming stars of German speedway and might well upset some of the favourites on the big Pardubice track. Mads Hansen is in a similar position in his native Denmark although much of his recent experience has been in the Swedish and Polish leagues. Sweden will be represented by their double under 21 champion Alexander Woentin although his limited experience at this level might be a problem.
The remaining riders in the field are relatively unknown outside their own country and seem unlikely to trouble the favourites but as in all sports, surprises can happen. Oleg Mikailov from Latvia enjoyed a good meeting in Pardubice in May as he helped his country to the final of the Under 21 Team Championship and Russia’s Vitaly Kotliar has no experience of racing on European tracks but is scoring well for his home club in Vladivostok. Frenchman Steven Gore has ridden the Pardubice track before when he took part in the Qualifying round for the 2019 championships.
Wild Card will again be local favourite Petr Chlupáč whose track knowledge could produce a surprise or two against the more favoured riders.
With only one meeting in the competition this year, racing will surely be tough but whoever emerges as the winner will stand proudly at the top of the podium knowing that, for that moment at least he is the best – Champion of the World.
1. Niklas Sayrio (Finland)
2. Marko Levyshyn (Ukraine)
3. Alexander Woentin (Sweden)
4. Luke Becker (USA)
5. Jan Kvech (Czech Republic)
6. Mattia Lenarduzzi (Italy)
7. Daniel Bewley (Great Britain)
8. Steven Goret (France)
9. Dominik Kubera (Poland)
10. Petr Chlupac (dzika karta) (Czech Republic)
11. Mads Hansen (Denmark)
12. Vitaly Kotliar (Russia)
13. Jakub Miśkowiak (Poland)
14. Olegs Mihailovs (Latvia)
15. Jaimon Lidsey (Australia)
16. Lukas Fienhage (Germany)
17. Daniel Klima (Czech Republic)
18. Jan Macek (Czech Republic)