Dennis Foggia

2017 FIM Moto3 Junior World Champion

Born on 31st October 2000 in Algemesi, Italy

MOTO3 JUNIOR CHAMPION REMAINS IN ITALY

Dennis Foggia (KTM) ensured that the FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship remained in Italy in 2017, following in the footsteps of his compatriot Lorenzo Dalla Porta as he clinched the title with two races to spare. 

Jeremy Alcoba (Honda) made the early season running with a victory and a third place in the opening two rounds at Albacete and Le Mans, whilst back-to-back wins for Alonso López (Honda) at the French round and the first of two races at Barcelona-Catalunya pulled him into direct contention with his fellow Spaniard. However, a spell of inconsistency for the pair was met by a run of three straight wins for Foggia, who took the championship lead with a dominant double in round four at Valencia, before following up at Estoril.

A second place in the first race at Jerez edged Foggia closer to the title and even when he crashed in race two, when he was taken out in the last corner by López, Vicente Pérez (KTM) was the only one of the top seven in the championship to capitalise with a points-finish. 

As such, Foggia went into the penultimate event at MotorLand Aragón needing just fifteen points to secure the title. The Junior Team VR46 Riders Academy rider showed his intent in qualifying, scoring his first pole position of the season, before making sure of the championship with second place in a race won by Jaume Masia (KTM).

PALMARES
World title - 2017

France - FFM

2017 FIM Motocross of Nations

Team Manager: Pascal Finot
Riders: Gautier Paulin, Romain Febvre, Christophe Charlier

FANTASTIC FOURTH FOR FRANCE

The 2017 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations presented by FIAT Professional took place at one of the best circuits in the world, with the scenic setting of Matterley Basin in the UK welcoming almost forty countries to the 71st edition of this famous team event. The undulating and quick layout close to Winchester had been updated this year with new additions and extended track length, providing a fantastic stage for over 70,000 fans to defy typically wet English weather and watch some gripping racing.

Competing nations came from as far afield as Brazil, Thailand and Iran but once again there would be a familiar name on the trophy as Team France emerged as the fastest MX country for the fourth year in a row. The trio was again led by Gautier Paulin, ably assisted by Romain Febvre and Christophe Charlier, who became just the third athlete in history to pick up gold medals at the ISDE and the MXoN in the same year. Charlier was a late addition to the team though performed his role in the MX2 class admirably, whilst Paulin has now overseen victory for the French in Latvia, France, Italy and the UK. Febvre also reached a hat-trick of achievements at the sport’s flagship annual celebration.

The holders were challenged by the Netherlands and a returning line-up of Glenn Coldenhoff, Brian Bogers, and Jeffrey Herlings, who took the runner-up spot for the second year in a row. To the delight of the raucous home fans, third place went to Team Great Britain, with double race-winner Max Anstie helping ensure a podium appearance for the Union flag for the first time in 20 years.
 

Maksym Drabik

2017 FIM Speedway Under 21 World Champion

Born on 22 February 1998 in Czestochowa, Poland

MAKSYM-UM POTENTIAL

Poland’s never ending pool of talent was evident again as it took the top two positions in the 2017 FIM Under 21 Speedway World Championship when the last round was completed in Pardubice in September. Raced over three rounds this competition provided some excellent racing from some of the best young riders around, with Maksym Drabik coming out on top of the pile ahead of compatriot Bartosz Smektala and last year's champion Max Fricke of Australia.

Drabik led the field throughout and entered the final round with a one-point cushion at the top of the table. Despite having suffered a serious shoulder injury in the Güstrow round, he maintained his advantage with a steady performance as his rivals gradually fell away and secured his championship crown with victory in the second semi-final. It was a fitting season’s end for a rider whose 2016 campaign had been ruined by a broken leg. Drabik is the son of former Polish champion and international rider Slawomir Drabik and has clearly inherited his father’s talent on the track.

Smektala took the silver medal after faltering in the qualifying races and only a battling last-to-first effort in his final qualifying race salvaged his chances, giving him just enough points to steal second place in the series from Fricke. The Aussie had himself made a gallant return from serious mid-season injury and fully deserved the consolation of a bronze medal after qualifying for the final despite some motor problems. 

PALMARES
World title – 2017

Jonas Knudsen

2017 FIM Speedway Youth 250cc World Champion

Born on 4 August 2001 in xxxx, Denmark

JONAS BRINGS HOME THE BACON

For the first time in 2017 the Speedway Youth 250cc competition was given FIM World Championship status and was run in August as part of the FIM Training Camp in Prague. The event was voted a great success, with Greg Hancock in attendance throughout and visits also from former FIM World Champions Erik Gundersen and Jan O Pedersen as well as former rider and now FIM Track Racing Director Armando Castagna. 

The FIM Speedway Youth 250cc World Championship was held over two semifinals and a Final and saw 32 riders from thirteen countries compete in the inaugural running of this competition. A rain affected Final on Thursday saw Denmark’s Jonas Knudsen become the first rider to have his name engraved on the trophy with a 15-point maximum after the final race was abandoned following a heavy downpour. His win came much to the delight of Danish Youth boss Gundersen who, almost exactly 32 years before had won the World Championship in Bradford. Karol Zupinski from Poland was second with Sweden’s European Champion Philip Hellstrom-Bangs third.

Knudsen is a product of the 80cc speedway pioneered by Denmark and Sweden that has been feeding senior speedway in Scandinavia with a regular supply of fresh talent for many years. Knudsen is one of several emerging names from the area to keep an eye on as he prepares to make the step up to 500cc racing.

PALMARES
World title – 2017

Iwan Roberts

2017 FIM Trial2 World Champion

Born on 16 August 1996 in Bangor, Great Britain

IWAN THE INVINCIBLE

Iwan Roberts (Beta) wrote himself into the record books by becoming the first ever FIM Trial2 World Champion with a season of unerring consistency that saw him finish off the podium on just one occasion; taking a win, four second places and four thirds from the other nine days of competition during the inaugural 2017 season of this class (for machines up to 250cc 2T or 300cc 4T) as an FIM World Championship.

Gabriel Marcelli (Honda) made the strongest start to the campaign with a win at the opening round in his native Spain before Frenchman Gael Chatagno (Gas Gas) opened his account on day one in Japan. Roberts had joined them on the podium on both occasions, moving to the top of the championship in the process, and he made his way to the top step on day two at Motegi as Marcelli slipped back to ninth.

Chatagno struck again in Andorra as Roberts suffered his worst result of the season in fifth, whilst another win for Marcelli in France was followed by another disappointing result in Great Britain, where fellow Spaniard Francesc Moret (Montesa) denied British pair Toby Martyn (Vertigo) and Roberts the win. Marcelli hauled himself back into championship contention with a double victory in the USA but eighth place in the Czech Republic, combined with another strong second place for Roberts, gave the Brit a comfortable sixteen-point cushion going into the final round.

Despite missing out on the final win of the season to Martyn, dropping ten marks on the second lap to lose by four, second place for Roberts was enough to secure the title by s from Marcelli, who consolidated his second place in the series with third on the day.

PALMARES
World title - 2017

Poland

2017 FIM Speedway World Cup

Team Manager: Marek Cieslak
Riders: Patryk Dudek, Maciej Janowski, Piotr Pawlicki, Bartosz Zmarzlik, Bartosz Smektala

SUPERPOWER POLAND STILL IN CHARGE

Poland Team Manager Marek Cieslak took his gold medal tally to seven in Leszno as his latest young team demolished the opposition in the Final of the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup. Providing twelve of the heat winners, the Poles were in control from the start and their 50-point total was the best in this competition since they won in Gorzow in 2011. Only Sweden were able to provide any real opposition with Antonio Lindback at his spectacular best and fellow Grand Prix star Freddie Lindgren in support, although the team lacked the strength in depth needed to challenge the Poles.

As host nation Poland had been seeded directly to the Final but Sweden had won their qualifier in Vastervik and Great Britain similarly in Kings Lynn. Russia however had battled through a tough Race Off meeting after losing their number 2 rider Grigory Laguta who was sensationally banned only hours before the meeting after failing a drug test during a Polish domestic meeting. 

Laguta's absence made the Russians even more determined to succeed and they saw off competition from a disappointing Australian team and an emerging Latvian side to win the eliminator by a huge 13-point margin. Although they were unable to repeat this feat in the Final, they did enough to push Great Britain into fourth place and the emergence of this young Russian team was one of the features of this year’s event. 

Meanwhile Poland, featuring four former U21 Speedway World Champions in Patryk Dudek, Maciej Janowski, Piotr Pawlicki and Bartosz Zmarzlik, as well as this year's silver medalist in Bartosz Smektala, show no signs of relinquishing their grip on the Ove Fundin trophy.
 

Poland

2017 FIM Team Speedway Under 21 World Champion

Team Manager: Rafal Dobrucki
Riders: Bartosz Smeklata, Kacper Woryna, Maksym Drabik, Dominic Kubera, Rafal Karczmarz

PERFECT TEN FOR POLAND

Poland's youngsters took their tenth FIM Team Speedway U21 World Championship title on home soil in Rybnik with a devastating second half to the meeting, collecting 27 points out of 30 in the final 10 heats. Heavy rain overnight had left the track unfit for practice although the track staff worked wonders and produced a surface that caused no problems to the riders and produced some good racing.

With last year's individual World Champion Max Fricke taking his first rides since suffering a serious back injury, Australia were always sure to face a difficult task to contain the rampant Poles, however Jack Holder and Brady Kurtz scored twelve points each to match the home team in the early stages, with debutant Josh Pickering also making a promising contribution.

The Aussies had held a one-point lead at the halfway stage but the young Poles dug deep and secured their victory with three races remaining, going on to complete the meeting with a ten-point advantage. Poland scored in every race except for Heat 8 when captain Kacper Woryna shed a chain.

Denmark took the bronze medal after a heroic effort from reserve rider Frederik Jakobsen, who scored nearly half of the team’s points from his five rides. Despite narrowly leading Denmark in the early stages, Great Britain were never able to match the others for speed and looked sadly underpowered, collecting only three points in the last twelve heats. Robert Lambert was their top scorer with nine points.
 

France - FFM

2017 FIM SuperMoto of Nations

Team Manager: Sébastien Bonnal
Riders: Thomas Chareyre, Laurent Fath, Sylvain Bidart

FRANCE OUT IN FRONT AGAIN

France took their sixth victory from twelve editions of the FIM Supermoto of Nations on home territory when the 2017 edition took place in warm and sunny conditions at the Circuit Carole in Tremblay-en-France in September. With the sun out early, lots of spectators found their way to the racetrack near Paris and the grandstands were packed full of Supermoto fans. Circuit Carole is one of the best venues in Europe and all riders felt at home on the spectacular, fast track giving the crowd some fantastic entertainment over the two days of the event. 

As in the individual series, Supermoto legend Thomas Chareyre (TM) was pushed hard by emerging German rivals Markus Class (Husqvarna) and Marc-Reiner Schmidt (SWM) but the Frenchman was ably assisted by Laurent Fath (Honda) and Sylvain Bidart (Honda), who spread the team success over the three races to ensure overall victory. 

After qualifying wins for Chareyre and Fath, the pair finished first and third respectively in the first race, which was for the nominated group 1 and group 2 riders. Class took second place in that race but in the absence of Chareyre in race 2, which was for group 2 and group 3 riders, he took advantage to steal a much-needed victory for Germany. Crucially, however, with Fath and Bidart alongside him on the podium it was advantage France going into the final race. 

With the group 1 riders back in alongside group 3, Chareyre was unleashed once more and with Bidart riding shotgun the pair stormed to a French one-two that put the seal on their fourth title in a row, whilst third place for Edgardo Borella (SWM) secured third overall for Italy.