2018 FIM Team Speedway Under 21 World Champion
Team Manager: Rafal Dobrucki
Riders: Bartosz Smektala, Maksym Drabik, Rafal Karczmarz, Wiktor Lampart
ELEVENTH HEAVEN FOR POLAND’S YOUNGSTERS
Poland’s latest generation of sideways stars defended their crown in the FIM Team Speedway U21 World Championship in August, with a line-up featuring three of last year’s title-winning team. Bartosz Smektala, Maksym Drabik and Rafal Karczmarz were joined in Outrup, Denmark, by reserve rider Wiktor Lampart, who proved to be the surprise package of the meeting as his team took a fifth consecutive gold medal ahead of their Danish hosts, with Great Britain taking bronze.
Karczmarz had been called into replace the injured Dominik Kubera and despite his first race fall, the young Poles had established a five-point lead by Heat 9. It was an advantage they were able to hold for the remainder of the meeting, fighting off a late challenge from the Danes, whose last opportunity disappeared when a clash in Heat 19 saw Patrik Hansen disqualified and left Poland needing just two points to secure an eleventh championship gold in the rerun.
Smektala top-scored for Poland but their hero was Lampart, who took over from Karczmarz for the remainder of the meeting and scored eleven valuable points. For Denmark, Frederik Jacobsen scored thirteen points whilst Andreas Lyager picked up twelve, including a superb last lap pass to beat Drabik in Heat 17 to keep the Danish hopes alive.
Great Britain relied heavily on Dan Bewley, their only heat winner, whilst Sweden, weakened by the absence of injury victims Alexander Woentin and captain Joel Kling, managed only four points from an inexperienced squad, who were never able to match the speed of their rivals.
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.