TOP 10 YOUNG GUNS TO WATCH IN 2020
In our latest Top 10 list, SpeedwayGP.com editor Paul Burbidge picks out 10 under-21 stars to watch in 2020.
21 / 01 / 2020, 12:19
In our latest Top 10 list, SpeedwayGP.com editor Paul Burbidge picks out 10 under-21 stars to watch in 2020. Does your favourite make the list?
1. Dominik Kubera
After being slightly overshadowed by the form of Leszno team mate Bartosz Smektala and Wroclaw’s Maksym Drabik on the world stage, this truly could be Kubera’s season to shine.
He’s the only member of that golden trio eligible for this year’s FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship and could start as favourite.
After winning three straight PGE Ekstraliga titles with Leszno, he may also have a huge hand in the Bulls’ hopes of winning a fourth on the bounce.
2. Dan Bewley
With Robert Lambert stepping up into the senior ranks, Bewley has a massive role to play for the Lions in 2020.
This will be his final year as a junior and he has made rapid progress, earning himself a PGE Ekstraliga contract with Wroclaw, a Swedish deal at Rospiggarna and a return to Manchester side Belle Vue.
With this year’s Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Final at Manchester’s National Speedway Stadium, his heroics around the high-speed circuit could help GB lift the trophy on home shale.
3. Jaimon Lidsey
The double Australian Under-21 champion underlined his huge potential with a fifth-place finish in the Aussie Senior Championship earlier this month.
If he can build on that, Lidsey could emerge as a contender for this year’s World Under-21 title.
He will certainly be crucial to Australia’s Monster Energy SON hopes and Belle Vue’s quest for SGB Premiership glory.
4. Gleb Chugunov
The Russian shooting star is already a history-maker, having won back-to-back Monster Energy SON world titles with his country – making him one of the first Russians ever to win a senior world championship on the shale.
The Salavat-born star shares a home town with world No.3 Emil Sayfutdinov – and he could have no better role model.
Chugunov showed his potential in the 2017 Speedway World Cup as a raw rookie. If he realises it in 2020, he could join Sayfutdinov in the ranks of World Under-21 champions, and potentially get a ride as Russian SGP wild card.
5. Jan Kvech
The Czech Republic’s next bright prospect put himself up there with the world’s top juniors by finishing sixth in last year’s World Under-21s.
And at just 18-years-old, he has three more attempts at winning the big prize, as well as representing his country in the Monster Energy SON as a junior.
Kvech has penned a long-term deal with PGE Ekstraliga side Zielona Gora. That could prove a shrewd move for Falubaz.
6. Wiktor Lampart
Only Drabik and Smektala finished higher in the 2019 PGE Ekstraliga averages as Lampart enjoyed a fine season with top-flight newcomers Lublin.
His average of 1.544 puts him just ahead of Kubera (1.534) and the 18-year-old looks set to be in contention for a Monster Energy SON spot, as well as the World Under-21 title.
He also has a huge role to play in Lublin’s hopes of storming into the play-offs.
7. Michael Hartel
The German racer helped his country reach the Monster Energy SON Final, before being ruled out of the Togliatti meetings through injury.
Hartel has flown the German flag in World Under-21 and Speedway European Championship rounds and appears one of his nation’s brightest prospects alongside Lukas Fienhage.
A big season with new club King’s Lynn in the SGB Premiership would certainly speed up his development.
8. Jesper Knudsen
The Dane is the youngest rider on the list at just 15 years old, but is showing signs of having a very bright future on the shale.
He was crowned FIM Speedway World Youth champion at Holsted last season, resulting in him being nominated for a string of prizes at the Danish Motorsport Awards.
Knudsen could emerge as Denmark’s next big junior star on the world stage in the coming years.
9. Jakub Miskowiak
While his Polish club Czestochowa boasts the power of Jason Doyle, Freddie Lindgren and Leon Madsen in their top five, junior star Miskowiak could hold the key to their title hopes.
He is the man Lions will need to pile up the points if they are to neutralise the threat of riders like Leszno ace Kubera and compete for the title.
Miskowiak showed huge promise in 2019 and Czestochowa will hope he continues that progress this year.
10. Luke Becker
America’s next great hope spends his final year as a junior in 2020, but Becker is set for a big future.
He made his European racing debut in the 2016 FIM Speedway World Cup Race Off after national icon Greg Hancock stood down to give a 17-year-old brimming with enthusiasm his opportunity.
It has paid dividends with Becker going on to win SWC and Monster Energy SON races for his country. If he can continue his development with Wolverhampton in the UK, he may be the next American to fly the Stars and Stripes on the SGP stage.
Photo: Taylor Lanning