There is nothing more exciting in our sport than to see young talent emerge and shake the establishment. We have witnessed it in recent seasons with young teams from The Netherlands and Belgium, such as Julian Veldman, Marvin Vanluchene and more recently Tim Leferink. From France we have watched good results from the Prunier brothers and there have been others too.
Never is the family connection more evident than in the sport of Sidecar Motocross, and that connection is stronger still when the team consists of brothers who grew up living and breathing the sight, sound, and smells of the sidecar cross world. Imagine the excitement of the paddock, riding as toddlers back from technical check on the platform of father’s Zabel VMC or feeling the vibration from the thundering KTM through the handlebars as you sit there dreaming that one day this will be your sport.
Take it to the next level when programmes like “Kids and Sidecars” in The Netherlands, gives those brothers the chance to make the dream a reality, and they get to race a miniature version of the bikes they have adored growing up. Then the day comes when they are of age and lining up in their first novice race as adults on a full-blown race outfit. This is the path that many fortunate young drivers and passengers have followed on the road to success.
The latest young sensations to go this route are from Latvia, just sixteen years of age and they are twins. Daniels and Bruno Lielbardis have achieved much in their young careers already. They currently lead the Latvian Championship and took their first victory just three weeks ago in the German DM in Aufenau.
As if that is not enough, they are also second in the Estonian Championship, behind the current WSC series leaders Kert Varik and Lari Kunnas.
These two juvenile sensations could well be the next generation of Latvian superstars with eyes on a world title following in the footsteps of the great Sergis/Rasmanis with five wins and more recently Kaspars Stupelis with his four titles. He helps the twins with advice and tips, but now they are in competition head-to-head in the same races, life is more difficult with coaching.
Without doubt, the most recent highlight for the brothers came last weekend in Strassbessenbach, Germany when they were second and third in the two races, giving them second overall behind none other than former World Champions Marvin Vanluchene/Robbie Bax. Behind the Lielbardis twins came a whole host of WSC regulars and top teams.
This is only the start, and I am hugely excited to see these young Latvians in action. We will all get our chance when they debut on the world scene in the next round of WSC in the Czech Republic at Kaplice and then again in Rudersberg. This wonderful sport is constantly evolving, and we are on the threshold of seeing the latest developments in the fascinating story which is WSC. Welcome team Lielbardis, we are waiting and watching.