Ervin Krajcovic (KTM) is the 2023 FIM Flat Track World Champion after the Prague-born thirty-two-year-old clinched the coveted crown this afternoon at Morizès in south-west France.
After finishing third last year the charging Czech rider has enjoyed a stand-out season with his speed and consistency paying off and he has led the field since round two in Hungary at the start of September, but today’s fifth and deciding Final of the year was no walk in the park for the former Motocross racer.
With a super-slim five-point advantage over Spain’s defending champion Gerard Bailo (KTM) heading into Morizès, Krajčovič knew he could not afford to be complacent and he left nothing to chance through his first three Heats with a full-house of wins.
In his fourth Heat he slipped to fourth, although it was still easily good enough for him to comfortably progress directly to the all-important Grand Final where the title would be on the line.
With a pair of wins in his Heat races Bailo also earned a transfer straight through and knew that if he won and Krajčovič finished outside of the top three the title was his for the second year in a row, however the twelve-rider field for the Grand Final was stacked with other talented racers who were all focussed on victory.
As it was, neither rider made it onto the race day podium, and Krajčovič’s fifth-placed finish saw him across the line one position ahead of Bailo to become his nation’s first-ever FIM Flat Track World Champion with a six-point advantage.
America’s ‘Slammin’ Sammy’ Halbert (GASGAS) arrived in Great Britain for the opening round in August as one of the series favourites and after a season of very mixed fortunes the former American Motorcyclist Association Grand National Champion and X-Games gold medallist finally claimed victory.
Dropping just a single point in his second Heat when he was defeated by last year’s number two Matteo Boncinelli (GASGAS) from Italy who also started the day with an outside chance of the title, Halbert drew on his years of top-flight racing experience to sign off from his first season in Europe with a win in the Grand Final.
Boncinelli – who was forced to progress to the main race of the day via victory in the Last Chance Heat – came home in second ahead of Australian Jarred Brook (Husqvarna) to climb to third in the points table with round one winner Ondřej Svědík (Yamaha) from the Czech Republic fourth ahead of the new and former champions.
Brook was another rider making his championship debut in 2023 and his second podium finish of the year sees him end the series in sixth, one point and one position above Halbert, as Svědík did enough to secure a fourth-placed ranking at the expense of Argentina’s Matias Lorenzato (Zaeta) who slipped to fifth after finishing eighth in Morizès.
Morizès concludes an incredibly intense season that has seen the sport of Flat Track continue to thrive as an FIM World Championship with rounds in Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, the Czech Republic and France ensuring major exposure for this fast and spectacular discipline.