The fourth round of the FIM EMX Quad European Championship, held at Cusses Gorse over the weekend of Saturday the 29th and Sunday the 30th of July, has been declared a resounding success by all involved.
Zip Racing PAR Homes’ rider Harry Walker took an impressive win and second place to finish second overall on the day.
Hosted by the Waterlooville Motorcycle Club and run in conjunction with the British Sidecar MX GP, the racing across all classes kept the crowd on their feet. With over half the EMX Quad field made up of British riders, there was much for enthusiastic onlookers to cheer.
This is the largest Quad race event to be held in the UK for many years and the competitors didn’t disappoint.
Report issues by FIMsidecarcross.com:
A fine drizzle hovered over the Cusses Gorse circuit prior to the race which dampened the track almost perfectly but did not dampen the spirits of the British crowd as local riders #7 Harry Walker and #919 Mark McLernon took the second and third gate pick, with the Italian #15 Patrick Turrini having first choice, opting for the inside gate.
The gates slammed down and 21 riders stormed uphill toward the tight left-hand turn, with #5 Dafydd Davies claiming the holeshot and a marginal advantage over McLernon. Turrini slotted into third ahead of Walker, and #96 Murray Graham, having a better day than yesterday, found himself in seventh as the riders completed the first lap.
McLernon experienced ever-increasing pressure as Walker carved his way through his opponents and snatched the lead of the race. From this point, Walker opened up the advatange by setting his fastest lap of the race on lap three – 2:03.580. Throughout this period, third-placed Davies was under ever-increasing pressure from Turrini and #58 Christopher Tveraen. Despite his best efforts, Davies lost positions to both Turrini and Tveraen.
With the Italian and Norwegian having clear track in front of them, they increased their pace in pursuit of McLernon, who was unable to match the pace of the race leader. Heading into the mid-point of the race, all eyes were firmly set on the battle for second place.
Throughout the preceding laps, both Turrini and Tveraen were closing the gap between themselves and McLernon, however, it was on lap six and seven when the crowd were treated to a spectacular battle between McLernon, Turrni and Tveraen. The Italian was certainly looking to put a pass on McLernon, however, he did not anticpiate the fantastic defense that McLernon was able to put up as he positioned his machine in all the right positions to keep hold of his second place, with Tveraen ready to take any oportunity to move past, should it come his way. Lap 8 saw both riders move in front of McLernon, but by this point, Walker was already an astonishing eight seconds in the lead.
Turrini soon found his groove, and commenced his mission of chasing down Walker, but with only five laps remaining, it seemed as though it was too much of a challenge. What was not taken into consideration, was Turrini’s sheer speed and determination, which saw him close the gap with every passing lap. Further down the order, #91 Adam Tucek moved up to sixth position ahead of Graham due to, what appeared to be, a missed gear from the Briton.
The clock struck zero and the two-laps remaining board was shown. The gap out front had been reduced to two and a half seconds between Walker and Turrini with the #15 machine lapping quicker than Walker by one and a half seconds on the 12th lap. This set the scene for an incredible last lap between the Brit, and the Italian. The middle section of the circuit was where Turrini gained the most amount of time and, on the final lap, there were only a couple of bike-lengths between the leading duo.
Much to the delight of the local crowd, Walker reappeared, soaring through the air to take victory over the determined Turrini, to claim the victory by 0.794 seconds. Tveraen rounded off the podium to take 20 valuable points.
Tucek crossed the line in a respectable sixth position, however, failing to pass the post-race sound test meant the Czech was penalised five positions, and was eventually credited with 11th position.
The heavens opened between races 1 and 2 and the circuit drenched in typical UK style. The wet conditions were set to throw a spanner in the works for many of the riders.
Pre-race favourites Walker and Turrini both made impressive starts, with the experienced Italian taking the holeshot ahead of Walker, and fast-starting Davies keeping a watching brief in third. As ever, there was drama throughout the opening lap, with the luckless Graham having to retire from the race due to his rear-left wheel coming off the machine, and #41 Jan Brhel also retiring through, what appeared to be, a mechanical issue. In the latter half of the opening lap, it was local man and race one victor Walker who skilfully took the lead from Turrini, and immediately looked to increase the advantage.
From the outset, Tveraen, in fourth position, had Davies in his sights and used the skill that took him to four European Vice Championships to manoeuvre past Davies on the fourth lap. The leaders by this point were fighting hard to control of the race with Walker leading Turrini by less than one second! Their laptimes were already down to 2:15, with Tveraen looking to join the duo. Tucek and the young Estonian #741 Karl Robin Rillo were racing frantically, but on lap seven Rillo swooped ahead of the Czech rider and was not challenged throughout the remainder of the race.
Over the final laps, the attention was on the fight for the lead, with Turrini stalking Walker in front of the supporting British fans. Turrini appeared to be struggling with vision in the wet conditions, and soon removed his goggles which resulted in a slight gap appearing between himself and the leader, but Turrini fought on and was soon back with Walker, eager to get passed the Brit.
On the 11th lap, Turrini stormed around the outside of Walker to claim the race lead, with Tveraen in third position, slowly but surely, reducing the deficit between himself and Walker. Try as he might, Walker had no response to the pace of Turrini, as he set the fastest lap of the race, 2:15.343. Rillo was now ahead of Tucek but he was not close enough to Davies, resulting in the Welshman finishing the race inside the top five – a welcome result after the 13th place finish in race one.
The two-laps remaining board was shown to the 13 circulating riders, and Tveraen was the man on a charge in his attempts to close the gap between himself and Walker, in second position. Backmarkers were now coming into play and, despite a slight loss of time for Turrini, his gap was large enough that he was not challenged in his pursuit of race victory.
Turrini knew he had enough of an advantage over Walker to take the victory as he punched the air in jubilation, with Walker crossing the line to complete the race in second place, and Tveraen once more rounding off the podium with another third-place position.
1. Patrick Turrini, ITA, 47, 2. Harry Walker, GBR, 47, 3. Christoper Tveraen, NOR, 40, 4. Dafydd Davies, GBR, 34, 5. Adam Tuček, CZE, 25, 6. Karl Robin Rillo, EST, 24, 7. Sem Ende, NED, 23, 8. Layrynas Mikalauskas, LIT, 22, 9. Murray Graham, GBR, 21, 10. Jordi Niclas Gieler, GER 20.
Championship positions (after 4 rounds):
1. Turrini 163, 2. Rillo, 146, 3. Jan Brhel, CZE, 109, 4. Mikalauskas, 103, 5. Kacper Mieszkowski, POL, 99, 6. Dafydd Davies, GBR, 68, 7. Rasmus Sõna, EST, 59, 8. Gieler, 59, 9. Walker 49, 10. Mark McLernon, GBR, 48.