fim sidecar motocross world championship

Thrilling Lommel three sees Bax take race one


The weather had been turbulent all weekend, ranging from hot sunshine to torrential thunderstorms. When race-day dawned, there had been heavy rain flooding the start gate area, but as the day progressed, the track became its old familiar self. Qualifying had thrown up a few anomalies, and Etienne Bax not entirely comfortable with his set-up. It was to be hoped all was well by the time the gate dropped for the opener. Ambient temperature was much lower and there was rain in the wind. The track was heavy, having been seriously watered followed by overnight rain.

Race one – When the gate dropped the charge to turn one went the way of Etienne Bax/Ondrej Cermak from Kert Varik/Lari Kunnas.

Next up was the Willemsen/Lebreton 111 outfit followed by Koen Hermans and Nicolas Musset.

Julian Veldman was down in six, but not for long. He quickly deposed Daniel Willemsen and on lap three was up to fourth. Stuart Brown/Josh Chamberlain were in sixth place ahead of Marco Heinzer/Reudi Betschart and Marvin Vanluchene/Robbie Bax.

Veldman was lapping fractionally quicker than anyone else, so it might just be a matter of time before he caught the leaders. Ten seconds split the top four crews with five laps gone, so it was close at the front.

Brett Wilkinson/Joe Millard, current British Championship leaders, got the better of Brown Senior and started to close in on Willemsen.

Vanluchene was up to eighth, but progress beyond that was slow, as Hermans moved past Varik, throwing him into the claws of an advancing Veldman.

Still Bax led, with Veldman now into third and Wilkinson/Millard into fifth ahead of Willemsen. Stuart Brown dropped out of contention behind Marvin Vanluchene, who on lap eight, was closing in on Wilkinson.

Bax’s lead was now ten seconds, and he meant business. Veldman/Janssens were now right with second placed Hermans/Musset, as Mike Hodges/Jack Wilkinson moved into the top ten. British crews were doing well, until Brett Wilkinson went missing, and Jake Brown departed the scene on lap seven, his shoulder injury still not totally fixed.

Veldman in second place had taken two seconds out of Bax’s lead but was running out of time. He trailed by eight points coming in, so needed to nibble away at Bax if possible. Gert Van Werven was way down the order in ninth place.

Lap thirteen and it was game on as Veldman closed to within four seconds of the leader Bax. Amazingly, the gap had widened again next time around, so Etienne Bax/Ondrej Cermak were holding their own here just when they needed to. Kert Varik held a strong third, far enough ahead of Hermans and Vanluchene not to become stressed.

That is how it finished, with Veldman dropping back, giving Bax a comfortable winning margin. He extended his series lead by three points.

Result – 1/ Etienne Bax/Ondrej Cermak, 2/ Julian Veldman/Glenn Janssens,

3/ Kert Varik/Lari Kunnas, 4/ Marvin Vanluchene/Robbie Bax, 5/ Koen Hermans/Nicolas Musset, 6/ Marco Heinzer/Reudi Betschart, 7/ Daniel

Willemsen/Rodolphe Lebreton, 8/ Stuart Brown/Josh Chamberlain,

9/ Tim Leferink/Kostas Beleckas, 10/Gert van Werven/Ben Van Den Bogaart.