Robert Lambert hopes to be on top of the world ahead of under-21 championship decider in Poland
- Credit: Ian Burt
Robert Lambert is within touching distance of becoming Great Britain's first World Under-21 champion since the turn of the Millenium.
The 18-year-old is joint series leader going into Sunday's final part of the prestigious three-round championship. And if he's still at the top of the standings come the end of the action in Gdansk, Poland – without having Max Fricke for company – the King's Lynn Stars rider will be the first Brit to follow in the dearly-departed footsteps of Lee Richardson.
'Rico', who sadly died as a result of the injuries sustained in a crash back in 2012, was the last man from the UK to lift the coveted youth title in 1999. Since then only Chris Harris (silver, 2003) and David Howe (bronze, 2002) have ensured the Union Jack flag has been raised come the medal ceremony.
Lambert, from Foulsham, has always been seen as one of the hottest prospects in England. But success this weekend would further underline that he is a potential future world champion – just like fellow Brit, two-time, and current title-holder, Tai Woffinden.
British Youth boss Neil Vatcher said: 'Robert worked extremely hard for his points in Czech Republic (round two) and was chasing the set-up all night.
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'Of course at these world finals there are no easy races, and even though at one point it looked as if he would do enough to reach the (meeting) final his 11-point tally takes him in to the last round in joint first place, which gives him a great chance. With the Grand Prix in Torun 24 hours before the event in Gdansk, hopefully some British fans can stay over and try to witness Robert clinch a world title.'
The former Reepham High School pupil scored 11 points in Pardubice last time out having chalked up a 19-point runner-up haul in the competition's 2016 opener at Lynn.
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Krystian Pieszczek sits one point behind the Norfolk hopeful and Australian Fricke and has home-track advantage going into this weekend's showdown.
Fellow Brits Josh Bates (17 points) and Adam Ellis (10) look unlikely to be anywhere near medal contention.
Lambert made his senior Lynn debut in the Elite League as a 16-year-old. He stil rides for the club in the top-flight and also competes for Newcastle Diamonds in the second-tier Premier League.
If he gets his hand on the gold medal, he'll be the Stars' first World-Under 21 title-winner since Australian Darcy Ward in 2009.