Round One of the EKO-DIR FIM Speedway U-21 World Speedway Championship kicks off this weekend, July 23rd in Poznań, Poland, where nine nations and sixteen of the world’s best junior speedway riders will start their fight for points. Australian(s) Max Fricke will defend the title, with Brady Kurtz and Jack Holder side by side.
This year’s tournament will visit Poznań (Poland), Guestrow (Germany) and Pardubice (Czech Republic). Current Individual World U-21 Chamapion, Max Fricke will attempt to repeat fellow Aussie Darcy Ward’s performance, winning the junior title in 2009 and 2010. Fricke showed his skills in Poland for the first time back in 2014, signing a contract with Unibax Toruń. Despite good results in friendly matches, he couldn’t break through the team full of stars. This time Toruń’s managers decided to loan him to ROW Rybnik, where Fricke’s career improved.
Fricke spoke with excitement ahead of this weekends’ racing, adding; “Darcy was a fantastic rider and the fact that I could achieve the same thing he did is something amazing. Darcy won two back to back titles, he rode amazing! I can’t wait to get out there and race!” said the current U-21 World Champion.
Despite his young age, Brady Kurtz has already achieved a great deal and he is continuing to achieve a lot representing the Poole Pirates in England. Kurtz won 29 out of 54 heats, and has become one of the team’s standouts. For the Australian rider, first round should be the biggest challenge, because he hasn’t had a chance to compete at this track before.
Kurtz recently shared; “I’ve been racing in Güestrow and Pardubice a lot and I feel great at these tracks. However, I’ve never had a chance to compete in Poznań. It’ll be a new experience for me. Not many of us has seen this track before.
“I’m really happy to race and improve. Currently, I’m not thinking about the future. Let’s finish this season first”. Kurtz ended.
Jack Holder placed fourth in last year’s U-21 World Speedway Championship. He is the youngest of the Holder brothers, and narrowly missed out on the bronze in 2016.
Holder commented ahead of Round 1; “The Under 21 this year has a strong field with a lot of good riders in it. It’s going be a tough series. My goal is to be number 1 in the general classification, but every rival’s got the same aim. I will give my best shot to fight for it”.
“When I first started riding, my brother Chris had #23 and my other brother James #27, so I went in the middle and chose #25 for the season” Holder finished.
Make sure you tune into the broadcast from Poland this weekend and cheer on our Aussie junior speedway stars! Link for the broadcast https://youtu.be/M_gz5s9yfAw
Official starting list – 1st round of EKO-DIR FIM Speedway U21 World Championship:
1. (#222) Kacper Woryna (Poland)
2. (#73) Alexander Woentin (Sweden)
3. (#113) Jevgenijs Kostigovs (Latvia)
4. (#101) Brady Kurtz (Australia)
5. (#505) Robert Lambert (Great Britain)
6. (#115) Bartosz Smektala (Poland)
7. (#76) Lukas Fienhage (Germany)
8. (#16) Rafał Karczmarz (Poland) – Wild Card
9. (#114) Andreas Lyager Hansen (Denmark)
10. (#133) Maksym Drabik (Poland)
11. (#1) Max Fricke (Australia)
12. (#263) Eduard Krcmar (Czech Republic)
13. (#124) Patrick Hansen (Denmark)
14. (#463) Dominik Kubera (Poland)
15. (#96) Dimitri Bergé (France)
16. (#25) Jack Holder (Australia)
17. Damian Dróżdź (Poland)
18. Alex Zgardziński (Poland)
Also keep up with the latest Speedway news with the Australian Speedway Championship Facebook Page and Motorcycling Australia Website.
Pictured: Max Fricke U-21 World Speedway Championship 2016