Berwick speedway star Leon Flint qualifies for the World Under-21 Championships

Leon Flint celebrates in the Macon pits with dad Gary and mechanic Lubos VrtacekLeon Flint celebrates in the Macon pits with dad Gary and mechanic Lubos Vrtacek
Leon Flint celebrates in the Macon pits with dad Gary and mechanic Lubos Vrtacek
Berwick speedway ace Leon Flint held his nerve to qualify for the World Under-21 Championships.

The former Prior Park and Berwick Academy pupil dropped just three points from his five races in the qualifying event at Macon, France, on Saturday evening.

That put him into a three rider run-off with the first two qualifying for the three round SGP2 Series which begins at Malila in Sweden on Friday (June 14).

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In what is his last year in the age group, the 2022 British under-21 champion led until the final bend of a frantic run-off which ended with Dane Mikkel Anderson crashing out.

Flint, who remains a Berwick asset despite moving from the Bandits to Glasgow during the winter and also rides for Birmingham in the British Premiership, was awarded second behind another Dane, William Drejer.

He appeared as a wildcard in the competition two years ago, scoring nine points in Cardiff.

“I’m buzzing,” was his reaction immediately after the run-off.

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“One of the reasons I made the move from Berwick during the winter was to race more on the continent at weekends and really focus on what was my last attempt at SGP2.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and sponsors, and I’m really pumped and concentrating on getting things right for Friday.”

Flint was the only British qualifier from the three rounds held on Saturday, indeed only the second Brit to qualify by rights in the three years of the competition.

It capped a hectic period for the rider which saw him finish second to Sam Hagon in the British Under-21 Championship, breaking the Glasgow track record on his way to the final.

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He has also signed for Wlokniarz Czestochowa in the Polish under-24 league and in the eight days leading up to the Macon meeting he raced Championship fixtures for Glasgow at Edinburgh and Redcar, the under-21 final at Glasgow, for Birmingham in their KO Cup semi-final home and away against Ipswich, and Czestochowa’s fixture against Krosno.

“It was a lot of miles and quite a few hours in airport terminals, but totally worth it to reach the SGP2,” he said.

Flint will also expect to play a full part in GB’s bid to win the team competition when the SGP2 final is held in Manchester next month.

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