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Race Report

FIM-E NitrOlympX, Hockeneimring, Germany

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The 2017 NitrOlympX on the Rico Anthes Quarter Mile at the fabled Hockenheimring in picturesque Rhine Valley as it winds its way through Baden-Württemberg, Germany was a bit of a barn-burner. The track surface was in fine condition, particularly for race day and the weather was conducive to quick times in all of the professional FIM-E classes, although a short shower curtailed qualifying on the Friday afternoon. Big crowds and great racing delivered up a pretty spectacular event to kick off a frantic four weeks as we head towards the culmination of the European season.

FIM-E Top Fuel Bike

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The quickest of the four FIM-E bike classes contested at the NitrOlympX, Top Fuel Bike saw Rikard Gustafsson back in action after swapping out the new for the old in terms of crank layout with the RG Engineering Puma after being bedeviled with oiling problems earlier in the year. The revision worked pretty well, with low qualifying honours picked up after a 6.147, the top speed of the meeting with a final session 6.158/244.69 (making the Swede the third quickest rider in TFB history), taking the FIM-E speed record on a 6.086/240.72 (just missing out on the back-up for the earlier faster run), setting event low ET with a 6.044/239.56 in the semi-finals where he was on a solo. On the other side of the ladder Stuart Crane benefitted from a bye when Rene van den Berg was a no-show with the Eurol-backed fuel bike after a combination of severe tyreshake popped the chute off the line and the resultant extra load causing issues with the motor internals. The final match-up saw Gustafsson handing Crane almost three tenths at the lights but blasted past the British nitrous bike with a 6.107/238.25 to a 6.929/192.05 from the Warpspeed rider. With championship contenders falling by the wayside to give Rikard a boost in the points with one event remaining in the FIM-E series, it was a pretty good weekend with only his first five second ticket left on the table, but it’s coming.

FIM-E Super Twin Bike

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The Super Twins had a new face leading the field with Dane Marcus Christiansen blowing his personal best away with a stunning 6.572/216.06 from the very differently configured (the basic chassis setup is more akin to a Pro Stock Bike than most of the fuel Harleys with the motor way up front) Basement Performance machine. The short field gave Christiansen a competition bye at the semifinal stage, whilst reigning champion Martijn de Haas (6.738/210.34) defeated Roman Sixta (6.861) at the same stage. Unfortunately, Christiansen’s motor expired after a troubled burnout prior to the final; de Haas taking the win with a 6.795/210 solo which gives the Dutch rider a chance at a third class title in a row.

FIM-E Pro Stock Bike

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The stockers had a bumper seventeen entries trying to make the cut, with sixteen gaining a time slip and thus into a four round eliminator for the first time this season. Åland’s Fredrik Fredlund made the best of the conditions, leading qualifying by two tenths with a 7.090/189.71, taking the class speed record with a 7.078/191.45 mph ticket in the opening round of eliminations, setting class low ET with a 7.059 in the quarters. At the semi-final stage Fredlund stretched the speed record further with a 7.097/191.53 to handily cover Len Paget’s ailing eight second pass. On the other side of the ladder a resurgent Alex Hope worked his way to the final defeating Greece’s Charalambos Bousinis with a 7.320 to Bousinis’s 7.735. Fredlund dropped slightly off his earlier pace to a 7.105 to the Brit’s 7.406 in the final, although Hope was far from downhearted as just getting to the final after a couple of days of woes was good enough. When Fredrik is in this kind of mood it is difficult to look beyond a seventh title.

FIM-E Super Street Bike

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28 bikes for the Super Street Bike Cup representing eleven countries (isn’t it time to make this a full championship class?) had Rick Stubbins low with a 7.034/204.97, Mogens Lund second with a 7.041/208.07, current champion Garry Bowe 7.047210.17 (top speed) in third and incoming points leader Franklyn Borg at fourth with a 7.063 at only 186.95mph. With such a strong field it was something of a surprise for the ladder to deliver Stubbins and Lund into the final of the 16 bike elimination ladder. Bowe had dropped out as the result of a staging issue in the quarter-final stage against Graham Balchin in an all British match-up, with Hungary’s Daniel Donat Lensces accounting for Borg at the same stage. Lund had arrived at the semi-final stage with a string of consistent 7.0s including a new PB of 7.008/209.88 and using a 7.038/207.81 to defeat Balchin, and Stubbins was on similar pace with a 7.090/204.54 accounting for Lencses. Come the final it was the Brit that held it together with a 7.013 taking the honours whilst Lund slowed to an 8.865 thanks to gearbox gremlins. Both will be challenging for the points come September at Santa Pod.

Remaining FIM-E 2017 Championship dates
7th – 10th September Euro Finals, Santa Pod Raceway, UK

View points standings on the Points page.

Words and bike pictures Ivan Sansom and Rose Hughes. Thanks to TSI Timers (Europe) for access to the timing data.

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