Dreams will come true – and be shattered – this coming Sunday (17 September) when the 2023 FIM Long Track World Championship reaches an adrenalin-charged climax with the sixth and last Final of the series staged at Mühldorf in Germany.

In one of the closest conclusions in the long and illustrious history of the championship, just one point separates the two front runners with Britain’s Chris ‘Bomber’ Harris leading Germany’s Martin Smolinski following five furiously fast Finals.

The pair have been engaged in battle since the opening Final in Herxheim in Germany back in May. Harris’ campaign did not get off to the greatest of starts when he failed to progress beyond the Last Chance race while Smolinski – who was champion in 2018 – won four of his five Heats before a faulty spark plug put him out of the Grand Final.

Harris roared back into contention in Ostrów in Poland one month later when he claimed a career-first Grand Final win which lifted him to fourth in the title fight, just one point away from a three-way tie for the championship lead that Smolinski shared after finishing second in the Municipal Stadium.

The forty-year-old British rider won again at the third Final of the year held at Marmande in France in July to move into a one-point series lead, but Smolinski continued to shadow him and another runner-up finish saw him sitting second at the halfway mark of the championship.

A storming second at the fourth Final at Scheessel in Germany in August allowed Harris to extend his lead to three points over Smolinski who kept the damage to a minimum with third. The thirty-eight-year-old then pulled back two crucial points at the fifth Final at Morizes in France at the start of this month when he finished second, one place ahead of Harris.

While the focus will be on the battle between Harris and Smolinski on Sunday afternoon with no other riders still in with a mathematical chance of the title, there is a supporting cast of fast and talented riders who will all be aiming to sign off on the top step of the podium.

Czech rider Josef Franc, 2021 champion Romano Hummel from the Netherlands and dynamic Dane Kenneth Kruse Hansen have all tasted victory this year and Britain’s Zach Wajtknecht, who is currently third, will be disappointed if he fails to win at least once this year following his back-to-back victories in 2022.

Fans will also be happy to see Dave Meijerink in action. The Dutchman started the season as a wild card rider in Poland and while his results have been inconsistent, twice this season he has finished just one place off the podium.

Smolinski is from Munich so will enjoy true local hero status in Bavaria on Sunday, although Harris has built a very successful career racing a long way from home and he has made no secret of the fact that he likes the Mühldorf track. Everything is in place for an epic finale, with the eventual top six placed riders in this year’s series receiving automatic qualification for the 2024 championship.

The tapes are scheduled to go up on the first Heat at 14:00 local time with the action available as a Pay-Per-View broadcast via a livestream package on the Tapes Up TV channel.