FIM-E fields chase points and records at the NitrOlympX this weekend

This weekend sees the Rico Anthes Quartermile at the Hockenheimring burst into life from its yearlong slumber as the German venue hosted the FIM-E tour as part of the NitrOlympX. Often a favourite of the European season with bumper crowds and diverse entries from across the continent, this year’s edition will have a major influence on the championship destinations after rainouts at the previous two events in Sweden.

Top Fuel Bike

After Neil Midgley’s crash a couple of weeks ago at Tierp Arena, the 2023 title appears to be in Rikard Gustafsson’s hands baring mathematical improbabilities. With a healthy lead over the rest of the field, the battle appears now to be focussed on the remaining event honours and overtaking Midgley for second spot. With eight teams on the entry list for the NitrOlympX, including the returning funnybikes of Stuart Crane, Mark Smith, Eric Richard and Mike Olie, tour stalwarts Rene van den Berg and Thomas Pettersson and what we think will be a final FIM-E event of the year for Finn Mikko Rajaniemi, the field will be all run in eliminations but don’t be too surprised if some personal bests fall by the wayside if conditions permit.

Super Twin Bike

A healthy ten teams on the entry for the event will mean tight and potentially quick qualifying. The field will also be looking to take out runaway points leader and oh so consistent Dane Marcus Christiansen and the injected bike although the odds heavily favour Speedy’s Racing team securing their fourth FIM-E title in a row during the event. The rest of the field is very stout, including Finns Vesa Lipponen (first into the fives on a twin), Samu Kemppainen, Marko Lantto and Juha Hintukainen (resident in Sweden but regularly competing on both sides of the Atlantic), Czech favourite Roman Sixta, the Belgium duo of Chris van Nimmen and Marc van den Boer, a resurgent Martijn de Haas from the Netherlands and not forgetting Germany’s own Christian Jäger at one of his all too infrequent appearances on the European scene.

Super Street Bike

If the championships in Top Fuel and Super Twin appear to be a done deal, Super Street Bike certainly isn’t, bringing the NitrOlympX into sharp focus. At the head of the bunch, Alan Morrison Jnr is just about an eliminations round ahead of 2022 champion Dániel Donát Lencsés who is similarly ahead of Mathias Bohlin, with Mogens Lund and Ross Morrison ready to make moves behind the top trio. Clemens Walleit and Ricardo Grauer will be giving the home crowd something to cheer on, while Peter Ostlund, Mark Hope, Margot Schmidt, Krisztián Jász, Erich Gruber, Stephen Mead and Aggelos Semertzidis add to the multinational flavour of the meeting and will be looking for event honours and PBs. A spoiler for both event honours and making a mess of the hopes of the championship contenders could be Jake Mechaell, fresh off a seriously quick PB last weekend at Santa Pod.

Pro Stock Bike

A season high nine entries in Pro Stock which is very much a haulmark of the central European location of the event. Championship-wise it looks as if it is in Bertrand Maurice’s hands baring unforeseen circumstances (but stockers can be temperamental beasts so maybe expect the unexpected). Last season’s champion Martin Newbury is in experimental mode this year, and will be joined by compatriot Martin Bishop and Dutch racer Aswin le Noble. The Greek duo of Pavlos Sidriopoulos and Charalampos Bousinis and Maurice’s fellow French Jerome Rougemont and David Simon join the tour for the first time. Home interest will be focussed on Jörg Lymant on the only V-Twin in a field of Suzukis.

Junior Drag Bike Cup

Second event of the year in the Junior Cup series and the entry has very much a British flavour with Richard Willcox leading the charge after the Main Event back in May. Accompanying him on the trip over the Channel are last year’s Cup holder Hollie King, Jaxon King, Harry Isaacs, Alia Lester, Brad and Leah Morrison with the Dutch duo of Geeuwke Siersema and Anouk Burgering trying to prevent British dominance.

Qualifying is Friday 25th and Saturday 26th with eliminations schedule for Sunday 27th August. Livestream will be available here:

Text and photo: Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes

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