A first turn slip-up for the FIM Flat Track World Championship leader Matteo Boncinelli in Final Three of the 2022 series cut his points advantage from six to one with two Rounds still remaining.
Boncinelli (Gas Gas) was top seed after the qualifying heats in Pardubice, beaten just once in four outings, but dropped to sixth from pole in the Final before falling at the apex of turns one and two. He remounted unhurt but three quarters of a lap behind, gaining a reward for his persistence with a pass and extra point for eleventh on the last lap.
With the previously unbeaten winner of the opening two Rounds of the campaign out of contention, his rivals diced for the opportunity to take maximum advantage. Gerard Bailo (KTM) was closest to Boncinelli on points arriving at the Speedway Stadion Svíktov following two second places, and he made a strong start from the outside but was trapped out wide as Daniele Moschini (Zaeta) claimed the holeshot.
Sébastien Jeanpierre rode a determined first lap to give chase to the leader, climbing from fourth to second: initially with a forceful move on Gerard Bailo exiting Turn Two, then charging through on Ervin Krajčovič heading back to the main grandstand. Home man Krajčovič (KTM), urged on by a sizeable crowd attending the weekend’s Czech Golden Helmet festival, dug deep to pull back clear of Jeanpierre on the outside of the Frenchman going into Turn Three on the second lap and then proceeded to hunt down Moschini. By the end of Lap Three the pair were locked level, Moschini holding firm on the inside, before Krajčovič made his own bid to claim the tight line a lap later, only for Moschini to defend the place and pull clear for victory.
Moschini is the only rider to have made the podium in all three of the FIM Flat Track World Championship’s visits to Pardubice, but this was his first Final win in the series. The 35-year-old has thus far been something of a nearly-man; often a strong scorer in the heat stages only to lose out in the high-pressure races. But after finishing sixth overall in 2020 and fifth last year, he now has a real chance of challenging for the title, as this success moves him to within two points of the overall leader.
Gerard Bailo still sits between Italians Boncinelli and Moschini in the Standings, but the Spaniard missed the opportunity to go top after dropping off the podium for the first time in 2022 at the Czech Round. Relegated to sixth at the end of the opening lap, Bailo was part of a four-rider group contesting third, well back from the top two with his fellow countryman Eric Reverté bottling up the field from fourth while Sébastien Jeanpierre consolidated third. Japan’s Masatoshi Ohmori was the man to capitalise on Reverté’s late-race lack of pace, passing bunched-up Daniele Tonelli for fifth, then making a pass on Reverté for his best finish yet in fourth. The struggling Spaniard lost two further positions in the closing stages, with Tonelli making a smooth inside overtake on Turn Four of the penultimate lap, then Gerard Bailo snatching sixth in the run to the line. Also on the final lap, Gianni Borgiotti was picked off by Boncinelli further back for eleventh; Borgiotti made the Final after victory in the Last Chance Qualifier, defending successfully against Markus Jell who was classified thirteenth on his return after missing the French Round. Francesco Cecchini (Husqvarna) and Kevin Corradetti (Zaeta) were both unable to take their places in Pardubice due to injury.
The Championship now moves on to Debrecen for the Hungarian Round, before the season finale at the Boves TT Circuit that now looks likely to be a Championship decider.