Bax and Musset crowned 2021 Champions in Oss
Following a brilliant opening race, which he dominated, Etienne Bax/Nicolas Musset were very focussed as the final race-day dawned.
Three points split the top three, with Bax and Marvin Vanluchene dead level on points. This was going to be the closest title race in history, and the entire weekend was broadcast live across the live stream. The rider’s presentation took place in grey, chilly conditions, but there was no mistaking the tension and enthusiasm in the air.
Race Two – If you thought Etienne Bax and Nicolas Musset could not repeat their feat of yesterday, you would need to think again. Their approach was almost a carbon copy of race one on Saturday. Marvin Vanluchene/Robbie Bax led the initial charge up the regraded start straight, but the reigning champion had them in his sights. Bax/Musset were very fast on this track looking smooth and confident. Julian Veldman had a better start this time around, so it was also looking like a good result for them. He and Ondrej Cermak stayed very much in touch, but Bax’s superior speed took him past Vanluchene into the lead. Given the points situation, that was the last thing the red plate holder needed to see.
Five laps in and things had settled with Bax/Musset opening a small gap over Vanluchene, and Veldman dropping back a little. Next came Van Werven/Van Den Bogaart from Hermans/Janssens. Varik/Kunnas were seventh with Jake Brown Joe Millard eighth.
The British crew were having a much better weekend in Holland and had mentioned the left-hand sidecar became an advantage as the race wore on.
This would appear to be the case, as they were eventually to work through to sixth at the flag. Van Werven/Van den Bogaart were strong this time with a fifth, with Koen Hermans and Glenn Janssens nailing Veldman/Cermak three laps from the end. This would take them further backwards in the points, whilst Bax/Musset moved ahead by a slender three-point margin over Vanluchene/Bax.
Result –.1/ Etienne Bax/Nicolas Musset, 2/ Marvin Vanluchene/Robbie Bax, 3/ Koen Hermans/Glenn Janssens, 4/ Julian Veldman/Ondrej Cermak, 5/ Gert van Werven/Ben Van den Bogaart, 6/ Jake Brown/Joe Millard, 7/ Kert Varik/Lari Kunnas,
8/ Davy Sanders/Rodolphe Lebreton
Race Three – Koen Hermans/Glenn Janssens took the hole shot from Vanluchene/Bax.
There was a late charge into the second turn by Veldman/Cermak and they overshot. The result was to tip Vanluchene over and capsize their own outfit. Even Etienne Bax was caught up in it but got away smartly to chase Hermans down for the entire race.
Bax/Musset were on target for the title and were not about to let the chance slip away.
Lap four and Jake Brown/Joe Millard had moved from sixth on lap one to fourth place with five minutes remaining.
The track had dug out very badly with deep ruts on all the bends, but Bax/Musset rode it to perfection. Hermans played his usual game of growing in strength and rode a great race at the front. The title was going Bax’s way, with Veldman recovering from twenty-second on lap one to thirteenth on lap twelve. Into the closing stages and Hermans had a four second gap from Bax, with Vanluchene holding onto third.
When the two-lap board came out and Bax was home and dry with second place. All the top names were in the mix with Vanluchene conceding defeat to a stronger force.
Never in the history of the series has there been such a close finish.
Veldman blew it with that turn two crash, so he would take third in the title chase for his best ever result.
Result – 1/ Hermans/Janssens, 2/ Bax/Musset (Champions), 3/ Vanluchene/Bax,
4/ Brown/Millard, 5/ Varik/Kunnas, 6/ Keuben/Rietman, 7/ Heinzer/Schelbert,
Full results and standings are listed in the results/standings section on this website
from Barry Nutley