Hot Friday, hot track and some hot times in FIM-E qualifying at the NitrOlympX
After heavy downpours at the start of the day, the persistence of the teams and track crew gave two completed sessions to start of qualifying at the NitrOlympX, Hockenheimring, Germany.
In FIM-E Top Fuel Bike Rikard Gustafsson proved to be consistent and fairly quick on his blown Puma RG Engineering machine – heading both qualifying sessions with a best of a 6.048/243.94 in the second. This puts the championship leader 3 tenths of a second ahead of Mikko Rajaniemi with a 6.373 who is closely followed by Warpspeed team mates Stuart Crane 6.562 and Mark Smith 6.648. Eric Richard is also deep into the sixes with a 6.786, Rene van den Berg less so at 6.942 on an early shutoff and Thomas Pettersson and Mike Olie wrap up the eight bike field for now.
The FIM-E Super Twin field has Marcus Christiansen (who else?) low in both sessions with a best of 6.434/214 from the Torkster.de backed injected bike. Marko Lantto carried over a 6.925 from the first session to drop into second spot a squeak ahead of Martijn de Haas at 6.964. There is a fair bit of room for improvement tomorrow to lower the bump spot significantly.
The no bar entries in FIM-E Super Street Bike had a bit of a struggle to dial-in to the startline during the first session with a number of snafus and busted runs. At the head of the pack after that was Mathias Bohlin, but his second session 6.929/214.27 was a bit closer to where he wanted to be and maintained his provisional pole seat. Daniel Donat Lencses (6.934 after a confused first pass), Jake Mechaell (6.984/218.08) and championship leader Alan Morrison Jnr (7.022) made up the top quartet at the end of the day.
A healthy nine bikes made qualifiers in FIM-E Pro Stock Bike so tomorrow is going to see some bump spot action. Currently on top of the pile is Martin Newbury with a 7.289 while championship leader Bertrand Maurice is in second (7.424) with Charalampos Bousinis in third with a 7.754.
After much of the summer off, the FIM-E Juniors make a welcome return to their Cup action in Germany and there’s some very close to dial-ins already been recorded, with Brad Morrison (at +0.032s), Jaxon King (+0.059s), Hollie King (+0.067s – plus bonus plaudits for some epic burnouts from a Jnr), Richard Willcox (+0.075s) and Harry Isaacs (+0.088s) all being very close indeed.
Text and photo: Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes