The Tierp Internationals had it all

The EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship kicked off the 2017 season with the Tierp Internationals at Tierp Arena, and what a season opener it was. Drama, close racing, surprising winners in several categories, and last but not least, great weather conditions after the rain plagued 2016 season. The qualifying and eliminations results were published on the Dragracingeurope.com website during the event, and all details can always be reviewed in the excellent live coverage on Eurodragster.com. In this article we give a short review and pay attention to some other interesting things that happened in the EDRS Pro Nordic MC classes at Tierp Arena.

In Super Twin Motorcycle Tommy Grimes stunned the crowd with an excellent 6.41 seconds elapsed time on his second run and claimed the number one qualifying position.

Roman Sixta from the Czech Republic once again proved the great form he showed at the end of last year and the start of this season by claiming the second position with a great 6.65 seconds elapsed time.

Petri Mattsson was the strong number three with another great 6.73 seconds, while Svein Olaf Rolfstad needed his third run to dive into the 6.80 seconds and jump into the fourth qualifying position. Behind Greger Johansson (6.92 seconds), Anders Hörnström (6.94 seconds) was the last rider in the 6-second zone. For Hörnström it was only the beginning of great things to come.

In the meantime there were big problems for reigning EDRS Pro Nordic MC champion Samu Kemppainen as the Finn was only eighth qualifier, behind Vidar Ravnsborg, but doing just enough to qualify for eliminations.

Hörnström was getting better to grips with his new, ex-Jay Turner Super Twin, ‘Charlie Brown’ in eliminations. The Swede stormed to 6.77 seconds to defeat number three qualifier Mattsson in the first round and saw Sixta run into problems in the semi-final. On the other side of the elimination ladder Kemppainen had problems again and was defeated by Grimes in the first round.

But in the semi-finals it was ‘The Beast’ that had problems as well and Grimes saw Johansson take the win. In the final Hörnström improved once again, and with a new personal best of 6.66 seconds he claimed the win against Johansson’s 6.94 seconds in the first race with his new combination.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

There was drama in Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying when reigning EDRS Pro Nordic MC champion Kalle Lyrén crashed at the finish line during qualifying, just at the moment the Veidec rider had retaken the #1 position with a great 7.03 seconds elapsed time. Lyrén suffered some bruises and a painful hand and ankle, but looking at the speed of 300 km/h it could have been far worse. The safety equipment protected the rider from bigger damage. Lyrén remained in the number one qualifying position but of course he couldn’t take part in eliminations.

After a one year break Robert Karlsson was back with a strong 7.04 seconds to claim the number two qualifying position.

Kenneth Holmberg’s bad luck finally came to an end as the Swecomposite rider stormed to a great 7.11 seconds, making him the number three qualifier, just ahead of Timo Savolainen (7.15 seconds) and Thomas Lysebraate Olsen (7.25 seconds).

As Savolainen pulled a red light in the first round, Olsen advanced to the semi-finals, where the Norwegian rider had a bye run into the final. For Karlsson it was the opposite, as the former EDRS Pro Nordic MC champion had a bye run in the first round and saw Holmberg go red in the semi-finals.

Karlsson was the clear favourite to take the win in the final, but the 2015 champion slowed down to 7.35 seconds, while Olsen improved to 7.26 seconds and raced to his first victory in the EDRS Pro Nordic Pro Stock Motorcycle Championship.

Top Fuel Motorcycle

As in Pro Stock Motorcycle,  the number one qualifier in Top Fuel Motorcycle could not take part in eliminations either. In his first qualifying run Rikard Gustafsson stormed to a stunning 6.00 seconds, but the number one qualifier found some issues with the engine Friday evening and to prevent severe damage, Gustafsson decided to withdraw from eliminations. Sverre Dahl claimed the number two qualifying position with an excellent 6.03 seconds elapsed time, with Jan Sturla Hegre in third position with 6.35 seconds.

Behind the three Top Fuel Motorcycles the three Funny Bikes of reigning champion Thomas Pettersson and both Peter Anderssons were in fourth, fifth and sixth position.

Peter Andersson (number six qualifier) had two bye runs into the final, where he had to face Dahl, who defeated Pettersson in the other semi-final. Dahl on his Top Fuel Motorcycle was of course the clear favourite, but the Norwegian rider crossed the center line and was disqualified, handing the win to a surprised Andersson.

Super Street Bike

After the Tierp Internationals, EDRS Pro Nordic MC Super Street Bike looks like it will have one of its best seasons ever. Mogens Lund stormed to a new personal best of 7.06 seconds to claim the number one qualifying position, and also repeated his quick numbers several times in eliminations.

But we also need to consider Robert Nilsson’s 7.12 seconds and Anders Blanck’s 7.20 seconds, handing these two riders the number two and three qualifying position. Vesa Ruhanen was the leader of a group of four riders in the 7.3-second zone.

The Finn was fourth with 7.32 seconds, reigning EDRS Pro Nordic MC SSB champion Henri Kolehmainen fifth with 7.33 seconds, former champion Björn Friström sixth with 7.36 seconds and Mathias Bohlin seventh with 7.37 seconds. Less than a year ago this elapsed time would have been good enough to be in the top three.

There were no major upsets in the first round of eliminations. Lund recorded another 7.06 seconds in the first round and almost repeated that a third time with a 7.08 seconds win in the quarter final. In an extremely close quarter final Ruhanen was the next rider to dive into the 7.1 seconds with a 7.17 seconds win over an also improving Kolehmainen (7.25 seconds).

As Nilsson and Blanck made no mistakes either, the top four qualifiers were all in the semi-finals. As expected Lund was too quick for Ruhanen and advanced to the final, but in an extremely close semi-final (7.381 vs 7.380 seconds) Blanck defeated Nilsson on a holeshot. Although Lund didn’t have his best run of the day in the final, the 7.22 seconds was enough to beat Blanck’s 7.39 seconds and take the win.

Super Comp Bike

In Super Comp Bike Nichlas Sverin led the field into eliminations with 8.504 seconds, almost recording the perfect 8.500 seconds elapsed time. Emil Östlund was second, Tony Andersson third and reigning EDRS Pro Nordic MC SCB champion Bianca Nilsson fourth. However eliminations were a different story for most of the favourites. Nilsson had an 8.47 seconds break out in the first round and was out of competition.

Sverin advanced to the semi-finals but was then defeated on a holeshot by number twelve qualifier Kimmo Rantala, as the Finn had already beaten number three qualifier Andersson in the quarter finals. Emil Östlund didn’t make any mistakes and was the only rider from the top four qualifiers to advance to the final. There he had to face Rantala, and once again the Finn surprised, as he defeated Östlund and took the win.

Super Gas Bike

With Iiro Reinola and Magnus Pollack, Super Gas Bike had only two competitors at Tierp, and so it was decided to let them race each other three times in eliminations. In qualifying Reinola was the closest to the 9.5-second index, but in eliminations the Finn had problems with wheelies and so all three races were won by Pollack.

Wheels up

In Super Street Bike, Super Comp Bike and even Super Gas Bike, the non-wheelie bar categories had great problems keeping both wheels on the  ground. Spectacular but not the quickest way to reach the finish line. Only a few of them are in the pictures below.

You can do it on one wheel, but Kathrine Wagenius proved she can fly and also race without wheels on the ground.

But it could be worse, as SGB rider Iiro Reinola proved with this launch. The Finn came back with both wheels on the ground and no harm done.

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Champions 2017
Jan Sturla Hegré, NOR - Top Fuel MC
Tommy Grimes Jr USA - Super Twin MC
Thomas Olsen, NOR - Pro Stock MC
Mogens Lund, DEN - Super Street Bike
Emil Östlund, SWE - Super Comp Bike
Iiro Reinola, FIN - Super Gas Bike
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