The battle for the 2023 FIM Flat Track World Championship comes to a thrilling, adrenalin-charged climax this coming Sunday (8 October) when the fifth and deciding Final of the season is staged at Morizès in south-west France.
The culmination of a championship season that – just like the sport of Flat Track – has been short, sharp and incredibly intense, Morizès brings to a close two months of fierce action that started in Great Britain in early August.
Leading the charge and aiming to become his nation’s first-ever FIM World Champion in the discipline, Ervin Krajčovič (KTM) from the Czech Republic has so far displayed a highly effective combination of speed and consistency to open up a slender five-point advantage at the top of the table.
The thirty-two-year-old from Prague has been more or less a permanent fixture on the podium all season ever since he stormed to second in challenging conditions at the opening event in Manchester. A third-placed finish along with the series lead followed at Debrecen in Hungary at the start of September and although he slipped to sixth at the third final in Boves in Italy he was third again last time out on home soil at Pardubice to extend his advantage.
With twenty-five points up for grabs for the winner on Sunday, Krajčovič is by no means home and dry and the main obstacle standing between him and the title is defending champion Gerard Bailo (KTM) from Spain who clinched the 2022 crown at last year’s deciding Final.
Bailo has also shown incredible consistency to stay within five points of Krajčovič and he in turn is just seven clear of third-placed Matias Lorenzato (Zaeta) from Argentina, but no one rider has dominated in such a close and competitive 2023 season and it is telling that none of the racers currently occupying medal positions have recorded a victory this season.
Mathematically, there are another three riders who could still shatter Krajčovič’s championship dream on Sunday and two of them – Matteo Boncinelli (GASGAS) from Italy and the Czech Republic’s Ondřej Svědík (Yamaha) – have stood on the top step of the podium this season.
However, last year’s runner-up Boncinelli – who won at Debrecen at the start of September – and opening round winner Svědík will need Krajčovič to suffer serious misfortune on Sunday if they are to claim the crown while series newcomer Jarred Brook (Husqvarna) from Australia may on paper at least still be in with a chance, though with twenty points to make up he is very much a long-shot.
Of course, the leading six riders are by no means the only competitors pushing for a podium at Morizès with the best of the rest led by hard-charging Italian Daniele Moschini (GASGAS) who won last time out and former American Motorcyclist Association Grand National Champion ‘Slammin’ Sammy’ Halbert (GASGAS) who will be aiming to sign off on his debut season in the FIM Flat Track World Championship with a win.