2021 FIM Long Track World Championship
Final, 28th August 2021, Rzeszow, Poland

The FIM Long Track Championship has a new hero. 22-year-old Romano Hummel from the Netherlands held his nerve in Rzeszow to resist a strong challenge from Martin Smolinski and secure his first Long Track gold medal.

Heavy overnight rain had threatened to affect the meeting, but the skies cleared in time to allow a delayed morning practice and the track was in good condition when racing started.

Hummel whose early career promise had been limited by injury was aware of the need for good starts at this track where passing would be difficult. He rode steadily throughout the meeting with only gearbox trouble causing a retirement in Heat 14. A win in the Last Chance race gave him qualification to the Final and a guarantee that he could not be overtaken.

In a severely restricted season this was the second and final round so giving more importance to the points secured at the first event in Marmande. Smolinski had suffered a nightmare meeting in France collecting only 9 points and was always going to face an uphill struggle to regain the title he last won in 2018. Despite a heroic effort where he was beaten only once during the meeting, he was unable to recover the points difference and had to settle for the silver medal.

2020 champion Lukas Fienhage with a low score in Marmande, faced the same problem as Smolinski, but his 15 points here will ensure his inclusion in the 2022 series.

Local Wild Card Stanislaw Burza finished in third place in the Final and has already qualified through the Long Track Challenge for a full season next year.

Theo Pijper had enough points to secure 3rd place overall his best result in a long career. It guarantees him a place in 2022 series which will be his 25th consecutive season in FIM Long Track Championship finals.

Chris Harris was the best of the British riders with a solid performance apart from a fall in heat 10 whilst chasing Franc and Smolinski. His fourth place overall is his best performance in the championship. James Shanes finished in a disappointing 14th place, but his mind may have been on other matters as he had become a father for the first time only four days earlier.

Final Classification Scores:
1. Romano Hummel     (Netherlands)         32
2. Martin Smolinski     (Germany)        30
3. Theo Pijper         (Netherlands)         24
4. Chris Harris         (Great Britain)         23
5. Dimitri Bergé     (France)         21
6. Lukas Fienhage     (Germany)        20
7. Josef Franc         (Czech Republic)    19*
8. Hynek Stichauer    (Czech Republic)    19

*Franc beat his fellow countryman Hynek Stichauer in a run off for 7th place overall.

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