Brady Kurtz has finished fourth in the world after he competed in the 2012 FIM World U16 Individual Speedway Titles (Youth Gold Trophy) in Vetlanda Sweden from July 4 to 7.
After months of preparation and successfully competing for the last three months in the Danish U16 Speedway League, Kurtz’s hopes of breaking the Danish riders’ domination of the U16 speedway world were shattered when, going into the last round two points clear of his nearest rival, he was let down by his machinery.
It was the second successive year that the title has slipped from Kurtz’s grasp following his withdrawal from the 2011 final with a recurring back injury.
“Although I am disappointed that the World Title slipped through my fingers due to engine failure, especially with the championships in my sights, to finish fourth is still great,” he said.
Kurtz may not have won the World Title, but he definitely left his mark on the Championships and was considered very unlucky not to take out the title.
The depth of the Danish youth speedway cannot be compared with any other country.
With the Danish riders dominating the World Titles for many years, the Kurtz family made the difficult decision for him to leave school and follow his dream to become a world-class speedway rider, heading to the junior speedway capital of the world, Denmark.
After winning the Australian Under 16 Speedway Championship in January this year, Kurtz qualified to compete in the World Titles for the fourth consecutive year.
His determination to do well led him to compete in the Danish Speedway League for the team Herning for the past three months were he rode as their No. 1 rider.
The top 48 riders from eight nations contested three qualifiers, from which the top 32 riders competed in one of two semi-finals.
The top eight from each semi-final formed the top 16 riders to compete in the world final.
Kurtz rode in the second qualifier and progressed to the first semi-final which he won convincingly with four first placings in front of the Danish riders.
In the final, he drew number 10 giving him two outside grids.
After four rounds Kurtz was two points clear of the other riders with one ride to go.
Feeling the World Title was within reach, Kurtz rode around the outside of the third and second riders ready to chase first place when his bike stopped.
This gave Kutrz no points and pushed him out of the top three podium spots.
Kurtz was devastated, but his sportsmanship was commendable as he congratulated the top three riders whom he has become good friends with over the past four months.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my three months competing in the Danish U16 League and my time with the amazing Jensen family (Al, Yvtte, Rasmus and Trina) in Denmark,” he said.
“I have made lifetime friends in Denmark and many of the riders are keen to visit me in Australia in the future.
“I am very grateful to the Jensen’s and mum and dad for supporting me and giving me this opportunity of a life time.
“I would also like to thank Cowra Council for the sporting donation and my sponsors, especially Scott Brown from Scott Brown Flooring Bathurst for making the trip to Sweden to support me and not to forget Cally and Lenny Hodder who also flew from Australia just to cheer me on.”
The World Teams event was cancelled due to heavy rain.
Kurtz was obviously well-respected by the Danish riders and their families as they showered him with gifts prior to his departure from Denmark.
Kurtz is now in the UK staying with his brother Todd who rides in the British Speedway League with Premier League club Plymouth and Elite League Poole.
On his return to Australia, Kurtz will compete in several amateur meetings in late August concentrating practice on his 500 speedway bike in preparation for becoming a senior rider at the end of September.