Bodo Schmidt's crew was there in full force, with Aleksandr Tonkov and Hugo Basaula flying the flag in the MX Masters class, and Stefan Ekerold doing duty in the Junior Cup races.
Aleksandr demonstrated in no uncertain terms that he was in the mood for action when he posted the fifth fastest qualifying time, barely a second off pole position. Hugo responded with a strong performance of his own, and qualified in ninth position. Down in the busy bee section of the 85cc Junior Cup, Stefan Ekerold did all he could to gain some limelight for himself as well, and posted the third fastest time, also less than a second off the front.
WIth a good qualifying performance in the bag, Bodo Schmidt's band of merry men had a restful night in preparation of SUnday's race activities. Alexandr extracted the most out of his outclassed 250cc machines in the start of race 1 in the Masters class, and when the herd of grunting buffalo rounded the first corner, he was seventh. A mistake on the very next lap dropped him to 12th, and on this particular track, passing was not an easily-accomplished affair. Nevertheless, he displayed all of the fighting spirit that he is known for, and regained a top 10 spot before the race ended. Hugo had somewhat less of a lightning start, let's say for purposes of illustration that he had a flashlight start, and he had to plow forward from 22nd position. He gained a good few spots, and crossed the line in 16th spot eventually.
Aleksandr discovered one of the immutable laws of physics in race two. ONe might think that a near 100kg motorcycle, piloted by a skilled rider is fairly stable in flight, and so it normally is, unless its flight path intersect with that of a similar other combination. The combination then assumes all the willingness and ability to fly of a boat anchor, especially if said other combination managed to drop down right on your hand. THus it came that Aleksandr's second race lasted considerably shorter than the allocated time as the wounded rider repaired to the pits to nurse his injury. Hugo had a far better start and occupied a spot just outside the top 10, but the onset of arm pump later in the race forced a relaxation of the pace, and he crossed the line in 13th position.
Down the the manic 85cc class, Stefan Ekerold was the victim of bad starts. In his first race he had to dig deep within himself to move forward from an unusual start that left him barely inside the top 20. He strained every sinew of bike and body in his efforts, and finally improved his position to seventh. As if the excitement of race 1 were not enough, the youngster loaded an even bigger burden onto his shoulders in race two with a start that left him 28th. There was clearly a lot of work to do, but he got stuck into it with all the enthusiasm of youth, and made rocket-like progress through the field. His ride coming from behind went largely unnoticed, but surely it was the ride of the day in the class, as he improved from 28th to 9th during the course of the day.
The day was certainly not all moonshine an roses for the crew, but that's the realities of racing. In a day that presented every kind of challenge, Hugo and Aleksandr finished 15th and 16th respectively in the Masters class, and Stefan was less than entirely happy with his 7th position overall in the 85cc Junior Cup. Aleksandr and Hugo are currently in 15th and 22nd positions in the championship standings respectively, and Stefan is still strongly placed in fourth position in the ultra-competitive Youngster Cup class.
The coming weekend is a big one for the team. The youngster in the team, Tim Gajser and Stefan Ekerold, will be headed for France for the junior world championships. Tim has recently recovered from an injury, but has been putting in the laps to be in optimum form for the event.