fim sidecar motocross world championship

Varik/Kunnas take race one victory and series lead by one point


Morning warm-up was the first sighting of the Lange track for the two French latecomers, and that was all they would get before the gate dropped for race one. The temperature had cooled significantly since yesterday with overnight rain settling both the weather and the track. It was in near-perfect condition ahead of the two races. There was universal sympathy for young Julian Veldman who was beginning his recovery in hospital with a broken collarbone and the added complication of a punctured lung. Glenn Janssens, Julian’s passenger was very sad and downbeat about the way things had turned out. That crash had certainly placed a renewed focus on title opportunities for Gert van Werven and Marvin Vanluchene.

Additionally. Justin Keuben would not race, as his stand-in passenger for the weekend Kostas Beleckas broke his wrist in qualifying. This was a weekend to forget for many of the teams, but the crowd was big and enthusiastic.

Race One – There is nothing to make the hairs on the back of your neck more than a full grid of sidecars thundering into turn one, inches apart.

Etienne Bax got the holeshot chased by Marvin Vanluchene and Kert Varik.

Amazingly, Koen Hermans/Nicolas Musset lined up behind Bax/Cermak and slotted into fourth. Gert van Werven held fifth with another great start by Heinzer/Betschart placing them next. Lap two and Vanluchene/Bax were in front, determined to score big points, and uplifted by overall victory in Lommel. The top four were easing away from van Werven with a real battle going on behind between Brett Wilkinson/Joe Millard and Daniel Willemsen/Rodolphe Lebreton. Seven laps completed saw Hermans right on the back wheel of Varik/Kunnas with local support very vocal for the Estonian. The next lap and Varik had found something from somewhere. He was within touching distance of Etienne Bax/Ondrej Cermak and meant business. Then he was past the championship leader and stealing three points from him.

Next lap and he had closed on Marvin Vanluchene with the crowd and local commentator going mad. After twenty minutes of racing, Vanluchene had pulled away a slight lead. Still Varik/Kunnas hung in there, knowing they were ahead of Etienne Bax/Ondrej Cermak, and therefore improving the title situation. Hermans/Musset dropped away in fourth, but Gert van Werven was simply not close enough to capitalise. Then sensationally, Kert Varik was in the lead much to the acclaim of the crowd. With Bax in third, Varik moved into the title lead and that was going down very well with everyone here in Estonia. After a bad start, young Britons Dan Foden and Nathan Cooper were up to twelfth with compatriots Wilkinson/Millard eighth. At the flag, Kert Varik and Lari Kunnas took victory and the series lead.

Result – 1/ Kert Varik/Lari Kunnas, 2/ Marvin Vanluchene/Robbie Bax,

3/ Etienne Bax/Ondrej Cermak, 4/ Koen Hermans/Nicolas Musset,

5/ Gert van Werven/Ben Van Den Bogaart, 6/ Gert Gorejev/Kaspars Stupelis,

7/ Brett Wilkinson/Joe Millard, 8/ Tanel Reesna/Sten Niitsoo