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Debrecen date for second Final of 2023 FIM Flat Track World Championship – Preview

Debrecen date for second Final of 2023 FIM Flat Track World Championship – Preview

The second Final of the 2023 FIM Flat Track World Championship fires off the line in Debrecen in Hungary this coming Sunday afternoon (10 September) where there will be reputations to uphold and points to be made following a rain-hit series opener in Britain.

The fact that the event at the National Speedway Stadium at Belle Vue went ahead at the start of August was testament to the expertise of the track team in Manchester, but conditions were still less than ideal to get a completely accurate picture of all the main challengers for the title this year.

What is crystal clear following Belle Vue is that ferociously fast Czech riders Ondřej Svědík (Yamaha) and Ervin Krajčovič (KTM) have been working hard behind the scenes and arrived in Manchester ready to race.

Svědík was the stand-out star, mastering very difficult conditions to win all four of his Heats before taking victory in the Grand Final, whilst Krajčovič – who was third in the series in 2022 – was not far behind and the pair’s one-two was a super-strong start to the five Final series for the two riders who are bidding to secure a first-ever FIM Flat Track World Championship for their nation.

The podium was completed by thirty-five-year-old American racer ‘Slammin’ Sammy’ Halbert (GASGAS) who took two wins and two second-placed finishes in his Heats. A former American Motorcyclist Association Grand National Champion, race day was the first time he had even seen his 2023 race bike and now that he has had time to test his new machine he will be aiming for the top step of the podium on Sunday afternoon.

Defending champion Gerard Bailo (KTM) from Spain powered to a Heat win on his way to fourth in Manchester, although while his result was a solid start, he knows he needs to pick up the pace if he is to retain his title.

Australia’s Jarred Brook (Husqvarna) also impressed in August and his three Heat wins singled him out as a contender and when it really counted in the Grand Final when the major points were on the line, he came up slightly short in fifth.

Runner-up in 2022 after leading the title fight into the last Final of the campaign, Italy’s Matteo Boncinelli (GASGAS) was solid if not spectacular in Belle Vue as he raced to sixth on a night when the wet weather might well have brought back painful memories of last year’s finale in Boves where crashes cost him the crown.

British racer Jack Bell will be looking to improve on his tenth position at Belle Vue in round 1.

With thirteen nations from four different continents represented on Sunday afternoon, Debrecen has a true international flavour which can only develop as the series progresses. Racing in the Perenyi Pal Salakmotor Stadion is due to get under way with the opening Heat at 15:10 local time.

Following the Debrecen event the series will continue the following Saturday (16 September) at Boves in Italy before heading to Pardubice in the Czech Republic on 23 September. It concludes on 8 October at Morizès in France.