Top Three do battle in Stelpe Qualifying
Piladzu Mototrase in Stelpe, Latvia, is a well established and professionally run motocross complex boasting excellent facilities, and a good reputation for running world-class events.
Overnight rain had given the track a good damp base, although with weather conditions set fair, this sandy terrain had plenty of time to change its characteristics.
Official Grand Prix length circuits give lap times approaching two minutes, with the 1670 metres of Stelpe no exception. Both Etienne Bax/Nicolas Musset and Daniel Willemsen/Robbie Bax posted times in the 1 minute 53 second bracket in their first practice session, with Valentin Giraud/Elvijs Mucenieks eclipsing them both in Group “B”.
Pre-Qualifying saw Willemsen/Bax narrowly outshine his compatriot Etienne Bax/Musset, with the Belgian/Latvian duo of Vanluchene/Kurpnieks ahead of the young Dutchman Julian Veldman, and Ben Van Den Bogaart fourth
In the second group there were no real surprises, with Giraud demonstrating his authority ahead of the Belgians Dierkens/Rostingt, and the Czech Cermak brothers in close attendance. Britons Brown/Millard were also in touch early on, and leap-frogged the Czechs in the closing stages. Baltic nations were also strong in the shape of the Latvian pair of Daiders/Stupelis, and Estonians Varek/Miil. This was already shaping up as a resumption of the huge fight between the top three crews with just thirty-one points splitting them.
In baking hot conditions we were underway, with the old master Willemsen grabbing the holeshot. With twenty-minute plus two laps ahead of him, pacing himself would be crucial. His opening flying lap was three seconds faster than second placed Veldman/Van Den Bogaart with Etienne Bax in fourth. Hermans/Van Gaalen were fifth but the top six were all very close.
Four laps in, and Bax was on the heels of Vanluchene, and you just got the sense it was only a matter of time before he was through. Sure enough, within moments, he took both Vanluchene and Veldman, to then set about bringing down the eight second gap to Willemsen.
Brett Wilkinson/Dan Chamberlain retired from eighth place on lap eight, so it would be last chance saloon for them again.
Despite setting the fastest lap of the race and closing, Bax was still too far adrift of Willemsen, with the leader holding his nerve, and his position to the flag.
The large crowd cheered wildly for the Latvians Daiders and Stupelis as they formed up, and then the gate was down.
The Cermak brothers hit the front, but there was a train behind them, the top six crews all within four seconds, with Valentin Giraud/Elvijs Mucenieks in fourth.
Three laps completed and Giraud was hunting down the Czech crew, who were absolutely flying. On lap five, Stuart Brown and Joe Millard made it through to take fourth and the chase was on.
Ahead of them, Daiders/Stupelis had extra inertia from the the cheers of the partisan crowd, but Brown kept the pressure on. Van Werven/Van Der Putten came next ahead of the Finnish Kunnas boys.
The gap at the front opened to seven seconds on lap eight, with Brown looking intent on getting past the Latvians. As it happened, the challenge faded slightly, with the British crew taking a strong fourth.
Into the last few laps, and Giraud had firmly established his place, with Tomas and Ondrej Cermak looking safe, if that can ever be said, in second.
Giraud's winning margin at the flag was approaching sixteen seconds, so he was a happy man, and looking forward to the Grand Prix with some relish.
A brilliant ride by the Cemaks gave them a prime choice for the grid and high hopes for a good result.
From Barry Nutley
I want an account
Sign up now and choose your membership for the whole season, or just a single event.
Watch the best from World Sidecarcross Championship!
HIGHLIGHTS, INTERVIEWS, LIVE COVERAGE, BONUS MATERIALS and more.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR WSC TV PLATFORM
By using and/or visiting this website, including all content, you signify your agreement to these terms and conditons. APO Multicam, s.r.o. may modify or revise these Terms and Conditons at any time. Nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to confer any third-party rights or benefits.
WSC TV PLATFORM
These Terms and Conditons govern your use of the WSC TV Platform. By visiting, browsing or other using the WSC TV Platform you agree and accept these Terms and Conditions.
In order to access some features of the WSC TV Platform, you have to create a WSC membership account. By creating you account, you have to provide accurate and complete information. You are also responsible for the activity on your account and account password should be secured. You must inform APO Multicam support immediately of any breach of security or unauthorized use of your account.
WSC TV Platform PERMISSIONS and RESTRICTIONS
All media available at WSC TV Platform including audio, video, texts and graphics – „content“ - is protected by copyrights, trademarks and other proprietary rights of APO Multicam.
APO Multicam is providing WSC TV Platform only for your personal entertainment and all usage of WSC TV Platform is for private, non-commercial viewing. You agree not to distribute in any medium any „content“ without APO Multicam, s.r.o. prior written authorization. Your agree also not to alter, modify or otherwise exploit, in whole or in part, any of the „content“ available through WSC TV Platform, exept as you are expressly authorised to do so by the legal owner.
SERVICE INTERRUPTION AND CONNECTION
APO Multicam reserves the right to discontinue or modify, temporarily or permanently, WSC TV Platform without advance information. Your agree, that APO Multicam will not be liable to you or any third party for any interruption or modification of the availability of WSC TV Platform.
The quality of WSC TV Platform display may vary from device to device and may be affected by location, the bandwith and/or speed of your internet connection. You have the responsibility for eventual internet charges. Please check your local internet provider.
We may terminate or restrict your access to the WSC TV Platform without compensation or notice if you are in violation of any of these Terms and Conditions.
SUBSCRIPTION AND PAYMENT
By submitting your completed registration form and clicking the "Pay Now" button you are sending us Your binding offer to conclude a subscription contract with APO Multicam. You must have internet access, a valid e-mail and provide us with a valid credit card. You can find the specific details regarding your subscription at any time by logging in on the WSC TV Platform and clicking on Your Account. You agree that your subscription is for individual use only and your subscription is limited to only one stream at a time.
APO Multicam bills your credit card with each selected event or season fee, depending on the subscription. The „One-Event“ (race weekend) or „Season“ rate for your WSC TV Platform is displayed in the ordering process as a total price (total price of one-event or seasonal services including taxes).
If you cancel your subscription, cancellation will be effective immediately – this means that you will have continued access to your subscription for the remaining paid period, but you will not receive a refund.
WARANTY, LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
You agree that your use of WSC TV Platform shall be at your sole risk. We are not liable for any errors or omissions, interruptions or defects in WSC TV Platform any availability or delivery (including without limitation whether caused by interruption, deletion, delay in operation, transmission, communication line, errors, computer virus or other harmful code or script).
You must be 18 years of age to become a member of the WSC TV Platform. Individuals under the age of 18 may utilize the service only with the involvement of a parental guardian.
We do not guarantee continuous, uninterrupted or secure access to the WSC TV Platform and service may be interfered with other factors.
APO Multicam, s.r.o. reserves the right to modify these Terms and Conditions without advance information.
This agreement will be governed by the laws of Czech Republic.