Denmark’s Kenneth Kruse Hansen stands at the top of the FIM Long Track World Championship standings after winning the first Final of the 2022 series in a hot and sunny Rzeszow on Saturday. This is a track which Hansen enjoys and, unbeaten in his qualifying races, he was clearly the best rider in the field using the grippy outside course to his advantage. He carried this form into the final to take top place on the podium and carry 21 points forward into the next round.
After a great battle between Stanislaw Burza and Chris Harris it was the local favourite who took second place with the Brit in a creditable third place. Burza put his track knowledge to good use and repeated his performance of last year. If he can continue this form on the unfamiliar sand and grass tracks he could provide Poland with its first Long Track medal.
Despite machine problems Harris managed to qualify for the Last Chance Final where he had to fight his way through the field, passing Hynek Stichauer on the last bend. He met a similar situation in the final where he missed the start from the unfavoured gate 3 and had to fight his way through to lead Mathieu Trésarrieu and Martin Malek to the chequered flag. Malek continued his good form and his time of 66.5 in Heat 12 was the fastest of the meeting.
Both the World Champions in the line-up had a night to forget. Surprisingly Romano Hummel the defending champion finished at the bottom of the classification after suffering several costly machine failures despite using both of his available bikes. Lukas Fienhage also failed to reach the final stages after a heavy fall whilst leading Heat 4 seemed to affect his remaining rides.
Theo Pijper salvaged some Dutch pride and finished in 5th place thanks to a win in the Consolation Final ahead of Finland’s Tero Aarnio.
Full results can be found by following this link
The next round of the championship will take place in Mühldorf, Germany on 3rd July.