Ervin Krajčovič (KTM) missed the podium for the first time this season, but the charging Czech rider still managed to extend his series lead at the third of this season’s five Finals to decide the 2023 FIM Flat Track World Championship – staged today at Boves in north-west Italy – after his main title rivals failed to capitalise.
With the event postponed from yesterday afternoon following torrential rain during the second block of Heats, all results from Saturday were cancelled out and the riders regrouped this morning with a clean score card.
The TT course with an infield section represented a major change to the more conventional oval circuits used for the opening two Finals of the championship in Great Britain and Hungary and the technical track clearly suited Italian rider Elia Bartolini (Yamaha). Making his season debut in the series, the twenty-year-old – who’s better known as a Moto3™ competitor – started off with third in his opening Heat and backed this up with two seconds and a win before racing to victory in the Grand Final.
Matias Lorenzato (Zaeta) has been steadily building since the championship got under way at the start of August. Finishing seventh in Manchester and matching this result second time out at Debrecen one week ago, the Argentinian claimed a pair of victories in his Heat races before following Bartolini home to take the second step of the podium.
Australia’s Jarred Brook (Husqvarna) has also struggled at times to make his presence felt this season, but he fired himself back into contention with a fighting third in the Grand Final after he too claimed two wins during the Heats.
The track layout called for a change of format in Boves with only the top six riders after the four blocks of racing transferring directly to the Grand Final and following the sixteen incredibly closely contested Heats it was American ‘Slammin’ Sammy Halbert (GASGAS) with three wins and a third who qualified on top ahead of Brook, Menno Van Meer (Honda) from the Netherlands, Lorenzato, Krajčovič and defending champion Gerard Bailo (KTM) from Spain.
The remaining two places in the eight-rider Grand Final were determined by a Last Chance Heat contested by riders lying from seventh to fourteenth which Bartolini won ahead of Britain’s Tim Neave (Yamaha) who was showing great form with two Heat wins before making the main points-paying race for the first time this season.
While none of the series regulars had an answer to Bartolini’s pace in the Grand Final, Lorenzato’sresult sees him leap up the standings from sixth to third with a total of fifty points, seven behind Krajčovič who was sixth in Boves.
Bailo was seventh at the track where he clinched the 2022 crown and despite recording his worst finish of the season, he currently sits three points behind the leader in second in the championship.
Boves was not a good day for home hero Matteo Boncinelli (GASGAS) and round one winner Ondřej Svědík (Yamaha) from the Czech Republic who started the day tied for second with Bailo. After finishing sixth in his first Heat the Italian did not come out for another race and Svědík, despite showing good form early on, failed to progress past the Last Chance Qualifier.
While Van Meer and Neave recorded their best finishes so far this year in fourth and fifth, Halbert’s hopes of climbing the leaderboard ended prematurely when he was disqualified from the Grand Final.
Riders now have one week to prepare for the fourth Final at Pardubice in the Czech Republic on Sunday 23 September before the championship concludes on 8 October at Morizès in France.