Giraud out for revenge in Strassbessenbach
The beautiful rolling farmland that is the Strassbessenbach motocross circuit will echo to the crackle of two-stroke and the thunder of four-stroke engines this weekend 15/16 July, as the World Sidecar Motocross Championship comes to town for the eighth round of what so far has been a dramatic, sometimes controversial, but always wildly entertaining series.
No fewer than six nations are represented in the top eight positions in the standings, underlining the strength in depth on the entry list.
After being handed the red plate as series leader by the FIM fuel ruling against Etienne Bax and Daniel Willemsen, Frenchman Valentin Giraud had a torrid time in the sands of Belgium, and promptly lost out again. He now sits just six points behind Bax/Musset, with Willemsen/Robbie Bax a further twenty points behind him. The Championship is already past the half-way stage and barring catastrophe, it looks almost certain that one of these three crews will be crowned champion.
The grassy climbs and drops will be much more to Giraud and his passenger Muceniek's liking, and their Dutch opponents will not have the same advantage as they had in their favoured sand-pits.
The next five crews are split by just forty-seven points, and with twenty-five points up for grabs in each race, there is everything to play for.
Stuart Brown and Joe Millard lead the charge for Great Britain, ahead of Belgians Marvin Vanluchene/Haralds Kurpnieks and the Latvian duo of Daiders/Stupelis. Brown will definitely benefit from the harder track surface, as will the young Czech pair of Tomas and Ondrej Cermak who sit in eighth place.
One thing is for sure, with three hard meetings in as many weeks, everyone will look forward to sitting back and resting come Sunday night. But first, there's work to do.
So – bring it on!
From Barry Nutley