VICTORIA’S Max Fricke is the best Under-21 speedway rider in the world after he took out the final round of the 2016 World Under-21 Championship in Gdansk, Poland on Sunday, October 2.
With just one point separating first and third places heading into the deciding round of a three round series, Fricke needed a strong finish to secure the title for the first time.
After a slow start to the finals series in England in June, Max, and England’s Robert Lambert were all in the title hunt along with Poland’s Kyrstian Pieszczek as they headed into the final round at Pieszczek’s hometown track in Gdansk.
“I had a bit of a crash in the first round, which wasn’t exactly my fault, but I managed to salvage what I could from the meeting and was eight points down which doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but being speedway, it was a fairly significant gap,” Max recalled.
“Fortunately, I had a good night in the second round in the Czech Republic. Things went my way and I was more or less the fastest on the night,” he added.
“I won all my heats and my races and accumulated some valuable points and ended up on leading the championship on equal points with Robert Lambert heading into the final round,” the current Australian U21 champion added.
“It was quiet tense and exciting going into the last round,” Max, who ended up winning the championship by six points over Pieszczek, added. “It’s a pretty big thing winning the title,” Max said after his victory. “I think last year I ended up fifth or sixth overall,” he added.
“I’ve got one more year in the Under 21’s next year. I’d like to be able to win it again if I decide to do that and competing in Speedway FIM World Championships is a big goal for the future. Everyone strives to be a part of that one day,” he said.
The season isn’t over for Max as he contests the final for the Belle Vue Aces in the Elite League as they take on Wolverhampton with the final leg taking place on Wednesday night, October 5.
“To be honest, we suffered a pretty big defeat in the first leg. We have had a pretty good season all year. Wolverhampton are strong at home and we have our home leg next.
“We’re 18 points down but if we get a bit of good luck, and pull back as much points as we can, hopefully, it’ll be a close meeting,” he added.
Max will return home on October 13, where he has again been named as a reserve rider for the 2016 Australian SpeedwayGP at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium on Saturday, October 22. “It would’ve been nice to get a wildcard, but the way the wildcard is picked, I didn’t fall into the right category.
“With a bit of luck, I might get a go but we’ll see how it all pans out,” Max added. On winning the world title, Max added: “To be world champion is a dream come true for everyone who rides speedway so this is surreal.”
You can follow Max via his official Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/Max-Fricke-Racing-467069560024985/?fref=ts.