Twenty-five riders representing nine different nationalities are primed for the second edition of the FIM Flat Track World Championship that opens this weekend (Saturday 21st August) with Final One and the series’ first ever visit to Germany.
Competitors are already en route to the 400 metre Speedway around twenty-five kilometres from Frankfurt in the district of Diedenbergen for the curtain-raiser of a four-round series to be contested over the next eight weeks. The season-opener is part of a much-anticipated festival of two-wheeled racing whose inauguration was delayed from October last year as a result of the global pandemic. With the FIM Track Racing Youth Gold Trophy supporting in the morning and a programme of national events scheduled for the following day, fans are sure to be in for a memorable race weekend.
Among the field chasing Flat Track honours in 2021 are the three FIM medallists from last season, including reigning World Champion Lasse Kurvinen who spent the winter on the ice tracks of his native Finland and who has already been out in Germany to get some valuable laps under his belt at Wolfslake a week ago. The veteran’s closest challenger is expected to be Francesco Cecchini, who came within two laps of taking the title on home ground in Boves in 2020 before a late fall denied him the inaugural World Championship gold to add to his six FIM World Cup successes. Ferran Cardús, the TT circuit specialist and winner of last October’s Final at the Boves TT, will aim to upgrade his bronze medal to gold in 2021. Meanwhile the addition of the likes of Gerard Bailo of Spain and Wilfried Delestre of France, who both already possess an impressive international resumé, further deepens the field of contenders.
The two venues left standing on 2020’s pandemic-ravaged calendar re-claim their places for the season ahead. Italy’s picturesque province of Cuneo will again host the title decider in the second week of October, as a back-to-back immediately after the trip to Pardubice in the Czech Republic. Along with Diedenbergen as a new venue, Debrecen completes the calendar as the host for Final Two in September, the first visit to Hungary for FIM Flat Track since 2012.
LASSE KURVINEN [2020 FIM Flat Track World Champion]
“I’m really looking forward to this season’s four Rounds. Even though this rider is another year older, I feel even better than in 2020. I have ridden on ice tracks in the 450 pro class during the winter and then in the summer I have done some motocross to improve my bike fitness before starting my testing programme on the Flat Track. Now I’m looking forward to that explosion of adrenaline when the races begin.”
FRANCESCO CECCHINI [6-times FIM Flat Track Cup winner]
“Last season [losing the title] was a big blow to me, but it made me reflect on a lot of things and in many ways it has helped me to grow. This season, with four Rounds, I think it will be even tougher, but I never think about my rivals, I have to be fully focused on myself. Unfortunately, my preparation for 2021 hasn’t been the best because I suffered a serious injury to my left shoulder from a practice crash in mid-April that has stopped me from reaching one hundred per cent fitness. I suffered a dislocated and fractured shoulder, and still as recently as a week ago I was in Girona with the doctors trying to repair that fracture. But despite all of this I will do my best for a strong result even at the start of this season.”