EMX Quad European Championship:
Saar dominance is thwarted by re-ignited Tvaraen
Second seasonal round for the EMX Quad European Championship. The race took place in Loket, in the Czech Republic.
As has been the case throughout much of the previous two seasons, Saar grabbed an early lead, with Tvaraen in second place and a flying Jan Brhel in third. This, however, was very short-lived as a mistake by Tvaraen saw Brhel take punishment, and crash out of podium contention, a great shame to what would have been a promising showing from the young Czech. Cappuccio used this to his advantage, and soon found himself in second place, being hounded by a resurgent Tvaraen, who had fell-victim to the red mist. Tvaraen swiftly passed Cappuccio and, with one goal in mind and adrenaline coursing through his veins, soon set about devouring the five-second advantage that Saar had built up in the meantime. Halfway into proceedings, and Tvaraen was right with Saar, almost riding pillion in fact! Soon enough, it became evident that Tvaraen was much stronger in the first quarter of the lap, with Saar managing to edge away in the remainder of the lap. Despite this, Tvaraen made a daring move for the lead, using a line that no one else throughout any of the sessions had sampled and, quite literally, jumped into the lead. Saar responded by clinging onto his rear fender for the remainder of the race. While this dramatic and frantic action was taking place up front, Cappuccio was feeling the pressure of Rik Haverdil and Joakim Granli, neither of which wanted to relinquish the final podium spot. With just two laps reamining, Saar once again took up the running, and led Tvaraen for all of half a lap, before Tvaraen found an opening, and placed his Yamaha firmly in the lead once more. Such was the pace of the diving duo that, by race end, they had built up an enormous 59-second advantage over Cappuccio!
Across the line they came, and after 25 minutes +2 laps of racing, all that separated Tvaraen from Saar was +0.444! In parc ferme after their incredible battle, their full respect for one another was proudly on display, as they shook hands and embraced after one of the greatest Quad races seen in the European championship. Cappuccio would join them on the podium, after fending off the challenges of Haverdil and Granli.
Early in the race, it was once again Saar and Tvaraen fighting for the lead, with the remainder of the pack vying for the final podium position, right from the get go. Saar’s holeshot placed him perfectly ahead of Tvaraen, and he managed to fend off the hard-charging Norwegian for the first half of the race. Haverdil found himself in third place, with Cappuccio, Granli and Roks for close company. Brhel and Sansom were both, unfortunately, absent from this race. Brehl had suffered injury to his shoulder and elbow in the incident in race 1, and Sansom had called it a day and gone back home. At mid-race distance, a slight mistake from Saar saw him lose the lead, and instead find himself five seconds behind Tvaraen; a gap that he would not close throughout the latter half of the race. Haverdil made a small mistake at the same time in the race, and this saw him drop down to fifth place, behind Roks and Granli. The battle for the final podium battle was a fierce one, and the pressure was soon evident as Granli found himself upside-down in the dirt and, therefore, out of podium contention. In the closing stages of the race, Haverdil seemed to have had a second-wind, as he found a space, and slotted himself back infront of Roks, a position he would not relinquish for the remaining portion of this second encounter. Tvaraen claimed victory, his second of the weekend, by an astonishing margin of over 20 seconds, ahead of a despondant Saar, and a beaming Haverdil. Further down the order, Granli managed to secure a top 10 finish after his unforced error, behind local rider Jakub Kostelecky.
The big question for the EMX Quad European Championship, prior to the third and final race getting underway, was can Tvaraen take a clean sweep? Could he be the fastest qualifier, and win all three races? Well, 25 minutes + 2 laps of frantic action would soon give us our answer. Once again, the holeshot went to Saar, with Haverdil ahead of Tvaraen, as they hit the rolling jumps for the first time. Tvaraen soon deposed the CRQF rider to claim second place, and attempt to track down the Estonian. Further down the order, we had an enthralling battle for ninth place, consisting of Kasper, Roks, Tucek, Granli and Kostelecky, which would rage on for the duration of this final race. Tucek would eventually lose a couple of positions, as a result of a small mistake towards the top end of the circuit. The Honda rider soon regrouped, and put up a great challenge in his charge up the timing screen, however, it was to no avail as Kasper and Roks had managed to put a considerable margin between themselves, and the rest of the group. Back at the front, Saar was back to his unstoppable self, opening up the gap over Tvaraen who, despite his best efforts, could not overcome the 20+ second deficit that was now between him and Saar. The battle for fourth place was a relatively lonely one, however, still as exciting as ever, with Haverdil defending fourth place from Cappuccio, all the way up to the flag. The young German proving once again, that he has the speed to fight for the top five, as well as the podium placings. Greeting the chequered flag, to take the win for the first time this weekend, was the 4-time European champion, and this meant that his collective sum of 69 points was enough to claim 2nd overall in the results. Tvaraen came across the line in a respectable second place, and this saw him edge Saar out of the gold-medal position, with a total of 72 points. We saw three different riders finish third place in the races, and this time it was Gwiazda who claimed 20 points.
1. Christopher Tvaraen
2. Kevin Saar
3. Rik Haverdil