Fricke wins Fourth U21 Australian National Title
Max sent a strong message about his intention to defend his World U21 Title by winning his fourth Under 21 Australian Championship in 5 years at Kurri Kurri on 28 January with a maximum score of 18 points. This win secures him one of only two spots allocated to Australians to contest the World U21 Championship and his title defence will become one of his main focusses in 2017.
Max stamped his authority on the event after blazing through his heats unbeaten before seeing off last year’s winner, Jack Holder, Jaimon Lidsey and local Josh Pickering in the final.
“This was a perfect end to my Australian racing season” said Max. ”I was a bit disappointed in 5th place in the Senior Australian Title with mechanical problems in the last round compromising my overall standing but this makes up for that a bit. Because it’s my last year in the U21 category I really wanted to win it to match the record of only two other riders to have ever won four U21 Australian Titles” he explained. ”It’s really cool to be named alongside the likes of Leigh Adams and Chris Holder who are huge names in this sport and I feel honoured to join them.
“Although I’ve been racing as a senior since turning 16 there is still an Under 21 category which I am eligible to ride in until the end of this year. I’ve had a lot of success at this level and it’s good to finish my Australian Under 21 career on such a high” he concluded.
Max will again be very busy in 2017 after renewing his contracts with his ROW Rybnik team in the Polish PGE Ekstraliga and his Rospiggarna Elite League team in Sweden. There is still some uncertainty surrounding the future of his UK based Premiership League team Belle Vue but Max is hoping this will be sorted shortly to enable a return to the Manchester based side in 2017.
Being the U21 World Champion and also being named the “2016 Discovery of the Season” in the Polish PGE Ekstraliga after some very strong performances means there will be a lot of pressure on Max to maintain the form he displayed last season however, he’s not too worried about this. “Each year I have been steadily improving and I’ve made some pretty good progress in my career. Having stepped up to the top level of racing with my UK, Polish and Swedish clubs means that I get to race against the best riders in the world on a weekly basis. I’ve beaten all of them at one time or another and this gives me the confidence to continually push myself.
“Racing against these guys is the best way to improve my racing and I’m looking forward to getting started again in March” said Max.
Max will be participating in the Darcy Ward benefit meeting in Queensland on 11 February prior to having a short break before heading back to Europe at the end of February to commence his preparation for the upcoming European season.