The 2022 champion may already have been confirmed but there is much for the other riders to race for when the last Final of the FIM Long Track World Championship is held in Roden on Sunday. The gold medal has been secured by Mathieu Trésarrieu through his second place in Vechta, but the remaining riders still have to fight for the silver and bronze. There is also the chance for automatic qualification to next year’s championship with a top seven finish in the final classification or to impress the FIM Track Racing Commission enough to secure a permanent wild card in 2023.
Standings after Final 5 are:
1 Mathieu Trésarrieu (France) 97 points (Champion)
2 Chris Harris (Great Britain) 72
3 Zach Wajtknecht (Great Britain) 67
4 Lukas Fienhage (Germany) 67
5 Theo Pijper (Netherlands) 53
6 Romano Hummel (Netherlands) 52
7 Stanislaw Burza (Poland) 40
8 Jacob Bukhave (Denmark) 38
Chris Harris has held second place in the title race since the early rounds but he will need to be at his racing best if he is to claim silver. He has shown some inconsistency and suffered some machinery problems during the year but his talent for passing has thrilled the crowds and kept him in a good position for the run in to the championship.
Harris will be watching the progress during the meeting of fellow Brit Zach Wajtknecht whose form in the last two finals has allowed him to climb up the classification to within striking distance of Harris. The former European champion is now only 5 points short of a second place and could prove to be a real threat.
Tied on 67 points with Wajtknecht is Lukas Fienhage, now the only German rider in contention who has recovered from his disastrous start in Rzeszow to move himself into a medal position. He had a podium place in each of the last two rounds so is a good prospect to finish in the first three in Roden where the 600m grass track at the Speed Centre could suit his style.
Injuries have again taken their toll on the line up with James Shanes, Martin Malek, Josef Franc and Max Dilger sidelined. Romano Hummel having seen his title hopes finally dashed in Vechta will be having a late fitness test before confirming his attendance here. If he is fully fit, then he will be keen to show his true world championship form and could upset the hopes of some of the other contenders. Kenneth Kruse Hansen, winner in Rzeszow has now had a successful return to track racing and will certainly be looking to impress.
There have been rumours around veteran Theo Pijper that this will be the last world championship meeting in which case he would surely like to go out on a high note. There will be much for the local fans to enjoy as Mika Meijer returns and another Dutchman hoping to see some action will be 2015 champion Jannick De Jong making his return to this competition as a Wild Card after a four year absence.
So there is much still to race for and fans can expect an exciting day of action. After morning practice, the racing at Roden will start at 13.30 CET. FIM Jury President will be Thierry Bouin and Referee Pavel Kubes.