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Bell & Neave ready for FIM Flat Track World Championship Opener in Manchester – Preview & Entry Lists

Bell & Neave ready for FIM Flat Track World Championship Opener in Manchester – Preview & Entry Lists

A truly International field of racers will be in action this coming Saturday (5 August) at the National Speedway Stadium based in Belle Vue, Manchester, England, for the opening Final of the 2023 FIM Flat Track World Championship.

Image and words by FIM Communications

The twenty-eight-strong entry features riders from eleven countries spread across four continents representing nine different manufacturers with the championship due to be decided over an intense five-event schedule.

Heading the entry is twenty-eight-year-old defending champion Gerard Bailo (KTM) from Spain who emerged on top of an incredibly close 2022 title fight with Italy’s Matteo Boncinelli (GASGAS) that was only decided at a rain-hit final round in Italy last October.

The pair had been virtually inseparable all season with Boncinelli holding a slight advantage heading into the deciding Final at the Bisalta Motor Park in Boves where two falls proved to be extremely expensive for the young Italian and cost him the title when the event was eventually abandoned due to rain.

With over half the riders returning after competing in last year’s series and eight of the 2022 top-ten finishers in action, there is talent in depth throughout the field and both Bailo and Boncinelli will not be the only riders fighting for the top step of the podium.

A close third in 2022, the Czech Republic’s Ervin Krajčovič (KTM) stood on the podium twice last season while Italy’s Daniele Moschini (GASGAS) – who finished third in 2020 – and Argentina’s Matias Lorenzato (Zaeta) both claimed a victory.

Germany’s Markus Jell (KTM), who was third in 2021, Sébastien Jeanpierre (Kawasaki) from France and Dutch racer Menno Van Meer (Honda) also scored podium finishes in 2022 and will be determined to add more to their totals this time around.

Underlining the gender inclusivity of Flat Track, Austria’s Yasmin Poppenreiter (GASGAS) – who has been competing in the highly-specialised sport since 2013 – will once again be mixing it with the men.

As the popularity of the series expands around the globe, entries have been received from American rider Sammy Halbert (GASGAS) and Australia’s Jarred Brook (Husqvarna) while home hopes will be carried on the shoulders of Jack Bell (Honda) and Tim Neave (Yamaha). Bell competed last season, recording a best finish of eighth on his way to an eventual twelfth-placed finish in the championship, while Neave – who is better known as a British Superbike Championship racer – will be making his series debut.

Following the Manchester event the series will resume on 10 September at Debrecen in Hungary before travelling to Boves in Italy on 16 September and then Pardubice in the Czech Republic on 23 September. It concludes on 8 October at Morizès in France.

Start List