Flying start to the 2018 EDRS Pro Nordic MC season at Tierp Arena
The 2018 EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship kicked off with the Tierp Internationals at Tierp Arena, and what a season opener it was. Numerous personal bests, a record bump spot in Super Twin Motorcycle, stunning 5.8-second runs for Rikard Gustafsson in Top Fuel Motorcycle, Mogens Lund’s first 6-second run in Super Street Bike, close racing, surprise winners in several categories, and also important for a great drag race event, perfect weather and track conditions. All qualifying and eliminations results were published on the Dragracingeurope.eu 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 during the Tierp Internationals at Tierp Arena.
Looking at the best competition in the 2018 EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship kick off at Tierp Arena, you’ll have to start with Super Twin Motorcycle.
On Friday Hans Olav Olstad immediately set the pace with a stunning 6.319 seconds. But that was only the start of record setting qualifying sessions and eliminations in this spectacular category.
On Saturday Vesa Lipponen stormed to 6.315 seconds to claim the number one qualifying position.
Marcus Christiansen was the third rider in the 6.3-second zone with 6.39 seconds, with last year’s winner Anders Hörnström fourth with 6.48 seconds. A very strong Lasse Leponiemi, a back to form Samu Kemppainen, a surprise Trond Jostein Høiberget and last year’s runner up in the title race Roman Sixta also broke the 7-second barrier, and so the Tierp Internationals had a record bump spot with an 8-bike field in the 6 seconds.
As Olstad suffered crankshaft damage in qualifying, Svein Olaf Rolfstad stepped in as first alternate. The Norwegian rider surprised with a stunning 6.42 seconds, the quickest run in the first round, to defeat Høiberget. Hörnström ran into problems and was defeated by Leponiemi, while Kemppainen pulled a red light, handing the win to Christiansen.
After a winning 6.75 seconds in the first round against Sixta, Lipponen improved to 6.45 seconds in the semifinal to defeat his countryman Leponiemi. In the other semifinal Christiansen improved to 6.37 seconds and advanced to the final in a bye run as Rolfstad ran into problems.
In a thrilling final Lipponen reset the lowest elapsed time of the weekend to 6.307 seconds to defeat Christiansen (6.41 seconds) and take a well-deserved win.
The Rikard Gustafsson show
In Top Fuel Motorcycle Rikard Gustafsson rocked the place with a stunning 5.84 seconds on Friday. But there was more to come as the Swede improved to 5.81 seconds in Saturday qualifying. With this elapsed time Gustafsson moved up to the sixth spot in the list of all time quickest Top Fuel Motorcycle riders in the world!
Sverre Dahl was the second rider in the 5-second zone with 5.92 seconds, while Jan Sturla Hegre claimed the third qualifying position with 6.15 seconds.
A good qualifying is no guarantee for a successful race day, and that was proved in the first round on Sunday. Hegre and Dahl both ran into problems and were defeated by the Funny Bikes of Thomas Pettersson and Peter Andersson.
Gustafsson proved that a Top Fuel Motorcycle can be consistent as well, as after a 6.07-second run in the first round, the number one qualifier defeated Pettersson in 6.08 seconds, to claim the Tierp victory with a 6.06-second run in the final against Andersson.
First 6-second run
In Super Street Bike Mogens Lund was the happiest man on earth after breaking the 7-second barrier for the first time. Last year the Dane was very close several times, but in Friday qualifying Lund stormed to 6.98 seconds and is now one of the happy few with a ‘6’ in SSB in Europe.
But there were more great runs and personal bests, proving that Super Street Bike steps up to a new level once again this season. Vesa Ruhanen claimed the second qualifying position with 7.12 seconds, while Mathias Bohlin improved to 7.17 seconds and finished qualifying in third position.
Anders Blanck recorded 7.30 seconds and was the number four, while Robert Nilsson’s 7.34 seconds handed him the number five qualifying position.
But the happiest Nilsson was Bianca, as the rookie SSB rider made her first 7-second passes to finish qualifying in tenth position with 7.66 seconds.
In eliminations there were some more riders who improved on their earlier performance. Alex Hope, the number seven qualifier with 7.51 seconds, stepped up to 7.37 seconds to defeat Bianca Nilsson in round one, to improve to 7.25 seconds in the quarter final to defeat Ruhanen, the number two qualifier.
Bohlin proved his consistency with a 7.15 seconds in round one, a winning 7.17 seconds against Kimmo Pulakka in the quarter finals, to stop the advance of Hope in the semifinals with a great 7.14 seconds.
On the other side of the elimination ladder Robert Nilsson improved to 7.23 seconds to defeat Blanck in the quarter finals, and had to face Lund in the semifinal. In a great and even more exciting race than expected, Nilsson improved once again to a great 7.18 seconds, but as Lund recorded his second 7.13 seconds of the day, the reigning champion from Denmark advanced to the final.
Lund was of course the clear favourite to win the race, but the Dane suffered some problems and as Bohlin saved his best run for the final with 7.13 seconds, the victory went to the Swedish rider.
Pro Stock Motorcycle didn’t have the race weekend the riders and fans of this great category were looking for. Two riders had to withdraw their entry due to lack of parts, one couldn’t even start in qualifying and when Kenneth Holmberg suffered severe gearbox problems and couldn’t take part in eliminations, there was only one rider left. Reigning champion Thomas Lysebraate Olsen made the most of this situation by running steady 7.1-second runs with a 7.12 seconds as his best of the weekend.
From ninth to a win
In Super Comp Bike Anders Gerdtsson was the number one qualifier in the 12-bike field with 8.51 seconds, with Peter Svensson in second position and Thomas Nordin third.
In eliminations Gerdtsson almost recorded the perfect 8.5-second index with 8.507 seconds to defeat number four qualifier Tomas Jonsson and advance to the final. On the other side of the elimination ladder number nine qualifier Ulf Fridolfsson surprised with wins over Rasmus and Peter Östlund to secure a place in the final.
In the final Gerdtsson had the better reaction time, but was then surprised by a quicker Fridolfsson and so the number nine qualifier took the win and the biggest trophy.
In Super Gas Bike Jani Blom claimed the number one qualifying position, with reigning champion Iiro Reinola second and Jami Oksanen third.
In the first round of eliminations Blom was way too quick in this 9.5-second index category as the Finn recorded 9.28 seconds, handing the win to Ellen Ødegaard. On the other side of the elimination ladder semifinalist Reinola was too quick as well with 9.44 seconds, and so Oksanen advanced to the final.
In the final Oksanen was away first and although Ødegaard was a bit quicker, the Finn crossed the finish line first and took the win.
Per Bengtsson was back on The Beast as reigning EDRS Pro Nordic MC Super Twin Motorcycle champion Tommy Grimes had to withdraw due to health issues. Bengtsson was only testing the bike, but here the Swede had to balance the bike to keep it away from the center line.
For the right position of the wheelie bar of a Pro Stock Motorcycle every millimeter is important
And once again, many wheelies, in Super Street Bike
but also in Super Gas Bike
Samu Kemppainen in his well-known pose, front wheel in the air almost until the finish line.
Roman Sixta is packing the chutes, an indispensable part of the safety equipment of modern Top Fuel and Super Twin Motorcycles.
Alex and Mark Hope, all the way from England to take part in the EDRS Pro Nordic MC Super Street Bike category. They must be brothers, even their sitting position is the same
Teemo Kettula goes up in smoke at the start line.
Kim Hilander and Ida Zetterström waiting in the lineup for the things to come.
In August we will be back for round number four. Finland and Norway first.