EMX Quad European Championship: Mclernon takes GP win, as Walker puts one hand on 2024 European Championship

EMX Quad European Championship:
Mclernon takes GP win, as Walker puts one hand on 2024 European Championship

The fourth round of the EMX Quad European Championship at Tor Motocrossowy Gdansk, Poland, delivered another intense and competitive racing mixed with tough conditions for all the European riders.

Race 1

Roaring from the gate and throwing it sideways to block the path for any challengers, Patrick Turrini stormed into an early race lead, claiming the holeshot, ahead of Mark Mclernon and Marcus Thomsen, with the leader of the championship, Harry Walker, nipping at the heels. A seemingly impatient Harry Walker would look to place his Yamaha in any gap that opened in front of him and, in some cases, attempted to prize open any potential gap that would see him move further up the order. Coming into this weekend, Manfred Zienecker was second in the championship, and this is a position he would love to hold onto, however, with Turrini leading the way, it was going to be a tall order.

A rather disastrous start for the Norwegian of Tarald Hellebust saw his Yamaha wheels-up in the opening couple of laps and this would see him forced to retire from the race. At the opposite end of the pack, Turrini sought about extending his leading margin over the hard-charging Mclernon who, throughout the course of the season, has been knocking at the door of the top five positions, and to see him fighting well inside the rostrum positions is a welcome sight to say the very least. Walker, using the talent and skill that saw him take the British national championship last year, looked to take the position occupied by Thomsen, however, what was not taken into consideration was the defending prowess of the Norwegian.

Mclernon was still only a couple of seconds behind the reigning European champion as we tipped into the latter half of the event, however, that last push that was needed was difficult to find as Turrini hit all his markers and made no mistake in his race lead – this kind of metronomic display has seen him claim multiple Italian national championships, as well as the European title last year.

Into the closing stages of the race, the 2 laps remaining board was thrown aloft and Turrini knew that he had done everything he needed to do in his hopes of retaining the crown in 2024, as Mclernon simply appeared to have no answer for the performance of the young Italian from San Remo. Thomsen would use of defensive skill to hold onto the final podium position ahead of the odds-on favourite for this year’s championship, Harry Walker, however, as the old saying goes “it isn’t over, until it’s over”. It was clear in the post-race interview that Thomsen was ready for the fight, as he intends to contest the final round of the season and, more importantly, the 2025 campaign.

Race 2

In Race 2 of the EMX Quad European Championship Elbows were most certainly out as the gate dropped once more as the racers slithered into the first turn, and this time around it was Mark Mclernon, the man who took second position in the opening race, who took the holeshot on his Yamaha. Turrini undoubtedly, would be laying out his plan to take a perfect 50 points away from round 4 of the championship in his efforts to retain the European title sitting in second position, but he had to keep his wits about him as his main championship rival was almost riding pillion in the opening stages of the race.

Frustratingly for the likeable German rider, Manfred Zienecker would not see the end of the opening lap which would absolutely put a dent into his chances of holding onto second position in the standings, ahead of Turrini. We must mention the #3 rider of Oliver Sansom who did not take part in the opening race, but was well into the top ten positions in the first half of the race which was a very well-received positioning for the oldest rider in the field, who has not had the easiest time recently both on and off the circuit.

Only a few weeks ago, Mclernon had mentioned to us that he promised he would win a race this year and, after taking victory in the qualifying race he clearly had a taste for the first position as he was emulating Turrini from the first race, and that is to say that he was confident in his riding, and was making no mistakes at the head of the pack. That being said, it soon became a 12-wheeler at the head of the field as the laps ticked by, with both Turrini and Walker eating into the advantage that Mclernon had built up. The single-track nature of this circuit, especially in these conditions, would lend itself to unorthodox challenges being considered by Turrini in his efforts of overcoming the race lead.

From the naked eye, it would have appeared that Turrni was sizing up Mclernon for a late-race challenge, but drama was to unfold once more as Turrini would run off the course! It appeared to be a mechanical issue for Turrni and, he more than anyone else I suspect this year, will know all-too-well that mechanical reliability is vital when it comes down to claiming major points. While this took place, Adam Tucek would also have his Honda thrown into the air, wheels-up, and this would call time on this particular race for the Czech rider.

The 2-lap board signalled the closing quarters of this race and, in spite of an elbows out battle earlier in the race, the good friends of Mclernon and Walker would soon have some daylight between themselves and, it may have only been 0.7 seconds, but this would be the difference between Walker becoming champion, and having to wait until the final round of the season in La Colla, as the gap becomes 49 points, with 50 left on the table.


Race 1 top five – 1. Patrick Turrini, 2. Mark Mclernon, 3. Marcus Thomsen, 4. Harry Walker, 5. Manfred Zienecker.

Race 2 top five – 1. Mark Mclernon, 2. Harry Walker, 3. Marcus Thomsen, 4. Roman Gwiazda, 5. Joakim Granli.

Overall top five – 1. Mark Mclernon, 2. Harry Walker, 3. Marcus Thomsen, 4. Patrick Turrni, 5. Roman Gwiazda.

FIM Europe Motocross
EMX Quad European Championship