Two races on Sunday and no cigar for Etienne Bax/Nicolas Musset
Following their dominant display in the opening race on Saturday, it was hard to see who might get close to Vanluchene/Bax in the next two outings.
The first GP of 2021 had thus far been and outstanding success with swarms of eager fans lining the track and seeking out those precious autographs and souvenirs at presentation time. There had been a good showing by the local Czech teams so far this weekend, and that looked set to continue as the gate formed for the Sunday opener.
The European Quad Championship had also changed the track contours slightly, always and extra challenge to conquer.
Race Two – Wet conditions at the start of the day certainly helped to keep the track in good condition, if a little muddy. It’s all in a day’s work for sidecar moto-crossers, and as the rain eased, the conditions improved as the day unfolded. Etienne Bax and Nicolas Musset were once again hampered by a slower start and were playing catch-up from the get-go.
The young guns Marvin Vanluchene and Julian Veldman were at it hard on the opening lap, with Veldman’s CPD Mega looking sharp. He was one of those riders who had taken advantage of the closed season to come to the Czech Republic and train in the National Championship. As we all know, there is no substitute for time on the bike in actual racing mode, and he and Ondrej Cermak make a good pairing.
The scrap between Veldman and Vanluchene had the crowd on its toes, with Bax establishing himself in third place as he tried to close them down.
Behind him there was another intense scrap involving Kert Varik/Lari Kunnas, Willemsen/Lebreton and Van Werven/Van Den Bogaart.
It was a stunning victory for Julian Veldman/Ondrej Cermak much to the delight of the locals supporters, with Vanluchene just one second adrift at the flag.
Bax/Musset completed the podium, although Etienne was visibly disappointed he had not been able to close the other two down. The Czech fans were entertained with two of the own making the top ten.
Result – 1/ Julian Veldman/Ondrej Cermak, 2/ Marvin Vanluchene/Robbie Bax, 3/ Etienne Bax/Nicolas Musset, 4/ Kert Varik/Lari Kunnas, 5/ Daniel Willemsen/Rodolfe Lebreton,
6/ Gert van der Werven/Robbie Bax, 7/ Justin Keuben/Niki Debruyne, 8/ Jan Boukal/Pavel Boukal, 9/ Koen Hermans/Glenn Janssens, 10/ Lukas Cerny/Bastien Chopin
Race Three – There was no stopping former Champion Vanluchene in this one. He and Robbie Bax looked absolutely supreme on the drying track. Again, he resumed battle with Veldman/Cermak, and try as they might, there was no catching the leaders.
Once more, Etienne Bax was working for a living, locked in a scrap with tough Estonian Kert Varik. He and Lari Kunnas make a fine team and the Estonian has always been a hard man to pass. The fortunes of British crew Jake Brown/Joe Millard did not get further than a race one result. Despite showing good speed, they were not to score in the final two races. Bax was further plagues with a collapsing sidecar wheel, so he lost out to Varik, and settled for fourth. All in all, this was a great weekend for the young guns, and Etienne Bax has gone away with a firm resolution to up his game for the next GP. Oss in the Netherlands will be a very different ball game, and one he could easily win.
Dayresult – 1/ Vanluchene/Bax, 2/ Veldman/Cermak, 3/ Varik/Kunnas, 4/ Bax/Musset, 5/ Hermans/Janssens, 6/ Willemsen/Lebreton, 7/ Boukal/Boukal, 8/ Leferink/Beleckas, 9/ Keuben/Debruyne, 10/ Heinzer/Schelbert.
Standings - 1/ Vanluchene 72, Veldman 69, Bax 58, Varik 51, Willemsen 47, Hermans 43, Boukal 39, Cerny 38, Heinzer 32, Van Werven 29.
Full standings are shown on this website
Round Two with three more races comes from Lange, Estonia September 25-26th.