Road Racing

Second round of Honda NSF100 Cup in Cheb

aboutuemAfter the first round held in Zuera (Spain) in July, the second round was held in the tight technical Kartarena circuit just outside Cheb in the Czech Republic.

By the end of the two sessions local Czech riders Martin Gbelec and Filip Salac were at the top of the qualifiers, almost a second in front of German Philip Freitag who headed the rest of the pack. The hot weather and the grippy surface were once again causing heavy tyre wear for the harder riders like Patrik Pulkinen from Finland and fresh tyres were the order of the day for the races. When the first race started all eyes were on a very relaxed Gbelec, comfortably leading the series. Already with a win in the German championship to his credit and having posted the fastest time in practice it seemed he was unstoppable in his quest to win the Honda NSF 100 Cup. However, Salac made a lightening start and raced to the front with Gbelec almost riding pillion behind him.

The two local riders soon pulled a commanding lead over the German Freitag who was in third by the end of the lap. For the next fourteen minutes the Czech riders were almost riding in formation with Salac repeatedly holding off challenge after challenge on the infield. As Geblec repeatedly put his front wheel in front the packed crowd roared, but Salac always seemed to have little extra speed from his identical Honda NSF100. However, Gbelec was playing a tactical game well above his 12 years and on the penultimate lap passed his countryman where he was not expecting it and headed into the final lap a clear leader much to the crowds delight. So as the chequered flag fell it was Gebelec from Salac with Freitag a lonely third with the rest of the pack some way off. A calm Gbelec looked as though he had hardly broken sweat, but a very disappointed Salac was quite upset that he had been outsmarted at the last minute despite riding a superb commanding race from the beginning.

Race two looked as though it was going to be carbon copy of the first with Salac leading away, but this time Freitag was much closer to the action. However, Gbelec was in no mood to hang around this time and put the pressure on early forcing Salac to make a mistake on lap three allowing him past. From then on Gbelec just put faultless laps one after the other and by mid race was out of sight of Salac who had put a safe distance between himself and Freitag. Such was Gbelec’s lead by the time the chequered flag fell he was within two bikes lengths of lapping the last placeman. The record shows he won by nearly seven seconds from Salac who in turn was nearly five seconds in front of Freitag. His two wins ensured that he took the Honda NSF 100 Cup by 56 points with Lukas Tulovic in second place and Patrik Pulkkinen in third. A delighted Gbelec collected his trophy at the conclusion of the meeting and his father Petrr said “I am very proud of my son and this is a great championship and I would like to thank Honda for making a great bike and arranging it” .

(UEM Press Release 141/2012)