Another good weather day was forecast along with a good track on which to race. Qualifying had pointed the way to how things might pan out here, but nerves were running high among the men at the top.
Marvin Vanluchene and Nicolas Musset had lifted eighteen victories from their first twenty races in all competitions, having been defeated yesterday for only the second time. They had a bad start in qualifying and had to fight through. They also came up against an “on-form” Koen Hermans and Ben Van Den Bogaart, as well as a return to old ways for the reigning champions and qualifying race winners Etienne Bax and Ondrej Cermak.
Justin Keuben and Dion Rietman can now also rank among the elite with their consistently fast performances and another race win yesterday. Throw into the pot Daniel Willemsen and Aivar de Wiel who were also fast in qualifying, and we had a good cocktail. All these factors, plus the unknown from the chasing pack, were bound to be unsettling for those fighting at the top.
The traditional rider’s presentation was preceded by a moving tribute to Rene Boon, a former GP passenger, mechanic, and veteran racer who tragically lost his life in an accident one week ago in Kramolin. Family and friends held flares during the one-minute silence as messages of condolence were shared. All here at WSC add their heartfelt sympathy to those sentiments.
Race One –The gate dropped, and the hole shot sprint was on. Into the first left it was Justin Keuben/Dion Rietman who pipped Etienne Bax/Ondrej Cermak to the spot, with Gert Van Werven/Robbe de Veene and Tim Prummer/Jarno Steegmans chasing hard. Brett Wilkinson and Joe Millard were up there too with Vanluchene/Musset on their heels.
Keuben was having a clear run, and that was key. All behind were getting filled in, whilst his vision was clean.
Lap three and Van Werven was in second, having passed Bax/Cermak. Vanluchene/Musset were coming, pulling Koen Hermans/Ben Van Den Bogaart with them.
Hermans was on a mission and fought his way through the leaders. By lap seven, he had moved to the head of the race, having passed them all, pulling Bax with him as they both passed Keuben. Hermans was lapping a second faster than Bax, so that gap would now grow.
Marvin Vanluchene moved to fourth, and at the half-way stage was threatening Keuben/Rietman. This was sidecar motocross in the sand at its best.
Bax still trailed Hermans by five seconds but was staying in touch.
Despite setting the fastest lap early on, Gert Van Werven had slipped to eighth behind Prummer, Leferink and Wilkinson who was now back in fifth.
Dan Foden and Ryan Humphrey had battled from the back of the grid and were up to tenth ahead of Willemsen/de Wiel and the Lielbardis boys.
With six minutes left on the clock plus two laps, Hermans lead was eight seconds as he and Ben Van Den Bogaart looked untouchable.
Vanluchene’s challenge had faded as he was overtaken by Brett Wilkinson/Joe Millard when the hard Brits moved up one more place to fourth. They were seven seconds behind Keuben/Rietman, but then suddenly they were out with a problem. Unbelievably with just two laps remaining, their race was over having fought for twelve laps.
Into the final tour and Hermans had it won from Bax/Cermak, with Keuben/Rietman holding third place. Dan Foden/Ryan Humphrey collected a magnificent sixth place after coming from Last Chance qualifying.
Result – 1/ Hermans/Van den Bogaart, 2/ Bax/Cermak, 3/ Keuben/Rietman,
4/ Vanluchene/Musset, 5/ Leferink/Lleferink, 6/ Foden/Humphrey,
7/ Sanders/Rostingt, 8/ Van Werven/de Wiel, 9/ Willemsen/de Wiel,
10/ Prummer/Steegmans, 11/ Lielbardis/Lielbardis, 12/ Mulders/Van Deutekom, 13/ Wijers/Van Der Putten, 14/ Van de Lagemaat/Van Hal,
15/ Van Daele/Beleckas.
Race Two – The track preparation was perfect between races, and it was all ready for the off as the gate formed. Marco Heinzer/Reudi Betschart had failed to make it to the line for race one due to fuel problems, so would they be out this time?
Brett Wilkinson and his team had been busy fixing their clutch problem, keen to salvage some decent points to protect their sliding championship position.
Keuben again took the lead from the gate chased by Day Sanders having one of his best starts for a while. Next came Koen Hermans and Daniel Willemsen with Tim Prummer and Etienne Bax following.
Marvin Vanluchene once again did not get a good start, but Hermans was flying and soon up to second place. One lap later he was in the lead and charging.
Dan Foden/Ryan Humphrey once again were going well, as indeed was the forty-three-year-old Carlo Van Duijnhoven having only his second race in eight years. He was in ninth place with a host of good teams behind.
On lap seven, Sanders was still holding third, as Keuben went missing, moving everyone up one place, but Bax was closing so the writing was on the wall.
Brett Wilkinson, having seemingly cured his clutch problem, was down in sixteenth but also digging in for a long fight back.
Amazingly, the German Prummer sat fourth ahead of Vanluchene, and seemed to be maintaining the pace. He had crashed but recovered in the opening race, so was making amends here.
Lap nine and Etienne Bax had moved second almost within sight of Hermans. It was not to be however, as Hermans/Van Den Bogaart were devastatingly fast and had pulled a thirty-second lead by lap twelve.
With two laps left, the scene was set for a resounding overall victory for the Hermans/Van Den Bogaart machine, and what a machine it was.
Wilkinson had recovered to almost a top ten slot, so all was not lost, with Sanders having the ride of his life to follow Vanluchene home ahead of Prummer.
The Lielbardis boys made sixth place theirs after first passing Tim Prummer then getting caught by Van Werven/de Veene, so they would be happy with that in their first full GP season.
Result –1/Hermans/Van den Bogaart, 2 /Bax/Cermak, 3/ Vanluchene/Musset,
4/ Sanders/Rostingt, 5/ Van Werven/de Veene, 6/ Lielbardis/Lielbardis,
7/ Prummer/Steegmans, 8/ Willemsen/de Wiel, 9/ Leferink/Leferink,
10/ Foden/Humphrey, 11/ Wilkinson/Millard, 12/ Van De Lagemaat/Van Hal,
13/ Wijers/Van der Putten, 14/ Prunier/Prunier, 15/ Chanteloup/Chopin.
Updated Championship points will be here on the standings section of this website.
The TV highlights show will be ready to view in a few days, so stay with us here for that, with updates and all the news as it happens on www.fimsidecarcross.com
From Barry Nutley »
Vous devez être connecté pour poster un commentaire.