Written by MIKE WOOD Tuesday, 08 May 2012 00:00
Following a non-start the previous week,the 2012 IMBA MX European Championships are now firmly up and running after the opening round of both the IMBA MX2 and Ladies title races were held in Lindknud,Denmark on Sunday.
Yes,the potential points haul of the AMCA Team Great Britain riders was restricted by a series of mechanical problems and spills,but nobody could question their fantastic effort and commitment.In the deep,black Danish sand,Scott Mathia was to finish as top Brit with 15th overall in MX2 whilst Shane Holmes took 17th,Paul Neale 18th and Lewis Abbott 20th.Despite being the sole British female competitor,Leonie Smith got home 15th overall in the IMBA Ladies contest following a typically gutsy performance which saw her also earn 15th spot finishes in both motos.
The IMBA MX2 contest was to be rather dominated by the Dutch and Danish sand-track Experts who filled the top nine places in the final overall standings.Going onto bag maximum points,Dutchman John Cuppen made his intentions perfectly clear by leading the opening moto of the season from gate to flag.Making their full IMBA debuts, both Lewis Abbott and Paul Neale made strong starts in moto one,holding early 7th and 11th places respectively with Shane Holmes 12th and Scott Mathia 14th.Suffering from frustrating fuel injection problems on his KTM,Holmes eventually dropped back to a 23rd place finish after stopping.Top Brit in the opener was to be Abbott in a fine 11th, just one place ahead of Mathia with Neale getting home in 20th.
Unable to resolve his mechanical gremlins,Holmes was aboard his spare bike for moto two as the rapid Cuppen again led all the way ahead of his Dutch teammates Ralph Hubers and Maikel Brands.Fastest Brit away was again South Coast based Abbott in 8th with Holmes gunning his number two bike hard in 10th as Neale was charging in 15th and Mathia held 18th.In what was to prove to be a tough moto for our Brits,Abbott then crashed on lap eight dropping back to 22nd,Neale was T-boned by a German rider before stalling and Mathia fell,going down the leaderboard to 25th.On completion ,Holmes was the highest Brit finisher in a fine 9th with Neale,Mathia and Abbott all working very hard to recover and earn respective 15th,18th and 21st places.
The fortunes of the brave,battling Brits were not to unfortunately improve for the final Lindknud moto.Forced to use a borrowed bike,Holmes then had to stop when a brake lever worked itself loose!!.Despite those problems, Shane still finished 18th.First man home for Team AMCA Great Britain was a very determined Mathia in 13th spot as Neale took 20th.For Abbott,moto three was to be rather disasterous,falling on turn one he blasted back to 13th only for his Kawasaki to then grind to a halt!!.
With Cuppen dominating the IMBA MX2 racing,Nicky van Wordragen then made it a memorable weekend for the Dutch MON Federation by bagging both moto wins in the IMBA Ladies contest.Indeed in the Ladies racing,Dutch riders filled six of the top eight placings.
RESULTS IMBA EUROPEAN MX2 CHAMPIONSHIP(ROUND ONE)
MOTO ONE(TOP TEN) 1 John Cuppen(Holland) 2 Chris Pol vd(Holland) 3 Ralph Hubers(Holland) 4 Andreas Jorgensen(Denmark) 5 Christian choler(Denmark) 6 Davey Janssen(Holland) 7 Maikel Brands(Holland) 8 Jarno Derks (Holland) 9 Erik Stig Hansen(Denmark) 10 Marcel Machler(Germany) British Placings 11th Lewis Abbott 12th Scott Mathia 20th Paul Neale 23rd Shane Holmes.
MOTO TWO 1 Cuppen 2 Hubers 3 Brands 4 Scholer 5 Pol vd 6 Derks 7 Jorgensen 8 Hansen 9 Holmes 10 Tim Wirtz(Germany) Other British placings 15th Neale 18th Mathia 21st Abbott.
MOTO THREE 1 Cuppen 2 Scholer 3 Janssen 4 Hubers 5 Derks 6 Brands 7 Jorgensen 8 Pol vd 9 Roberto Dalla Bona(Italy) 10 Riccardo Vitaliani(Italy). British placings 13th Mathia 18th Holmes 20th Neale 28th Abbott.
OVERALL 1 Cuppen 180 points 2 Hubers 151 3 Scholer 146 4 Pol vd 138 5 Brands 134 6 Jorgensen 129 7 Derks 127 8 Hansen 109 9 Janssen 106 10 Dalla Bona 90 British placings 15th Mathia 83 17th Holmes 78 18th Neale 68 20th Abbott 66.
IMBA EUROPEAN LADIES CHAMPIONSHIP(ROUND ONE)
OVERALL(TOP TEN) 1 Nicky van Wordrangen(Holland) 120 points 2 Brenda Wagemans(Belgium) 108 3 Catja Rasmussen(Denmark) 97 4 Lianne Muilw ijk(Holland) 97 5 Kelly Oossanen(Holland) 88 6 Mandy Koning(Holland) 84 7 Danielle van Kempen(Holland) 74 8 Fiona Lauwen(Holland) 74 9 Joan Anderson 72 10 Jessica van de Velden(Belgium) 68 British placing 15th Leonie Smith 52 points.
Report by Mike Wood