EMX Quad European Championship:
Walker and Turrini share victories in mixed conditions at Cusses Gorse
Pictures copyright: WSC
After last weekend’s race in Ireland, fourth and next to last round of the EMX Quad European Championship has been hosted at Cusses Gorse Circuit in Aylesbury, Great Britain.
A fine drizzle hovered over the Cusses Gorse circuit prior to the race which dampened the track almost perfectly, but did not dampen the spirits of the British crowd as local riders #7 Harry Walker and #919 Mark McLernon taking the second and third gate pick, with the Italian #15 Patrick Turrini having first choice, opting for the inside gate.
The gates slammed down and 21 riders stormed uphill toward the tight left-hand turn, with #5 Dafydd Davies claiming the holeshot with a marginal advantage over McLernon. Turrini slotted into third ahead of Walker, and #96 Murray Graham, having a better day than yesterday, finding himself in seventh as the riders completed the first lap.
McLernon experienced ever-increasing pressure as Walker carved his way through his opponents and took the lead of the race from McLernon. From this point, Walker opened up the advatange by setting his fastest lap of the race on lap 3 – 2:03.580. Throughout this period, third-placed Davies was under ever-increasing pressure from Turrini and #58 Christopher Tveraen. Despite his best efforts, Davies lost position to both Turrini and Tveraen.
With the Italian and Norwegian having clear track in front of them, they increased their pace in the pursuit of McLernon, who was unable to match the pace of the race leader. Heading into the mid-point of the race, all eyes were firmly set on the battle for second place.
Throughout the preceding laps, both Turrini and Tveraen were closing the gap between themselves and McLernon, however, it was on lap 6 and 7 when the crowd were treated to a spectacular battle between McLernon, Turrni and Tveraen. The Italian was certainly looking to put a pass on McLernon, however, he did not anticpiate the fantastic defense that McLernon was to put up as he positioned his machine in all the right positions to keep ahold of his second place, with Tveraen ready to take any oportunity to move past, should it come his way. Lap 8 saw both riders move in front of McLernon, but by this point, Walker was already 8 seconds in the lead.
Turrini soon found his groove, and commenced his mission of chasing down Walker, but with only five laps remaining, it seemed as though it was too much of a challenge. What was not taken into consideration, was Turrini’s sheer speed and determination, which saw him close the gap with every passing lap. Further down the order, #91 Adam Tucek moved up to sixth position ahead of Graham due to, what appeared to be, a missed gear from the Briton.
The clock struck zero and the two-laps remaining board was shown, with the gap having been reduced to 2.5 seconds between Walker and Turrini, with the #15 machine lapping quicker than Walker by 1.5 seconds, on the twelfth lap. This set the scene for what would be an incredible last lap between the Brit, and the Italian. The middle section of the circuit is where Turrini gained the most amount of time and, on the final lap, there were only a couple of bike-lengths between the leading duo! Much to the delight of the local crowd, Walker reappeared, soaring through the air to take victory over the determined Turrini, to claim the victory by 0.794 seconds, with Tveraen rounding off the podium to take 20 valuable points.
Tucek crossed the line in a respectable sixth position, however, failing to pass the post-race sound test meant the Czech was penalised 5 positions, and was eventually credited with 11th position.
Pre-race favourites Walker and Turrini both made impressive starts, with the experienced Italian taking the holeshot ahead of Walker, and fast-starting Dafydd Davies keeping a watching brief in third. As ever, there was drama throughout the opening lap, with the luckless Murray Graham having to retire from the race due to his rear-left wheel coming off of the machine, and #41 Jan Brhel also retiring through, what appeared to be, a mechanical issue. In the latter half of the opening lap, it was local man and race one victor Harry Walker who skilfully took the lead from Turrini, and immediately looked to increase the advantage.
From the outset, Tveraen, in fourth position, had Davies in his sights and used the skill that took him to four European Vice Championships to manoeuvre past Davies on the fourth lap. The leaders by this point were fighting hard over control of the race, with Walker leading Turrini by less than one second! Their lap times were already down to 2:15, with Tveraen looking to join the duo. Adam Tucek and the young Estonian #741 Karl Robin Rillo were racing frantically, but on lap seven Rillo swooped ahead of the Czech rider, and would not be challenged throughout the remainder of the race.
Over the coming laps, the attention was on the fight for the lead, with Turrini stalking Walker in front of the supporting British fans. Turrini appeared to be struggling with vision in the wet conditions, and soon removed his goggles which resulted in a slight gap appearing between himself and the leader, but Turrini fought on and was soon back with Walker, eager to get passed the Brit.
On the eleventh lap, Turrini stormed around the outside of Walker to claim the race lead, with Tveraen in third position, slowly but surely, reducing the deficit between himself the Walker. Try as he might, Walker has no response to the pace of Turrini, as he set the fastest lap of the race, 2:15.343, in his efforts to increase the margin at the front of the race. Rillo was now ahead of Tucek but he was not close enough to Dafydd Davies, resulting in him finishing the race inside the top five – a welcome result after the 13th place finish in race one.
The two-laps remaining board was shown to the 13 circulating riders, and Tveraen was the man on the charge in his attempts to close the gap between himself and Walker, in second position. Backmarkers were now coming into play and, despite a slight loss of time for Turrini, his gap was large enough that he was not challenged in his pursuit of race victory.
Turrini knew he had enough of an advantage over Walker to take the victory as he punched the air in jubilation, with Walker crossing the line to complete the race in second place, and Tveraen once more rounding off the podium with another third position. Dafydd Davies was once again inside the top-five with his fourth place, and Rillo completed the race comfortably in fifth position.
Overall top five
- Patrick Turrini, 47 points
- Harry Walker, 47
- Christopher Tveraen, 40
- Dafydd Davies, 34
- Adam Tucek, 25
- Patrick Turrini, 163 points
- Karl Robin Rollo, 146
- Jan Brhel, 109