Crane, Christiansen, Mechaell, Lymant and King lead Saturday qualifying

The opening day of the season for the bulk of the FIM-E teams at Santa Pod Raceway saw some of the usual suspects on top of the initial qualifying sheets, mixed in with an eyebrow raiser or two.

In FIM-E Top Fuel Bike, Stuart Crane and the Warpspeed Funny Bike currently leads the way with a 6.4246/209.86 on his only qualifying effort, a shade ahead of Eric Richard who is in PB territory with a 6.4388/215.85 with his Funny. The theoretically quicker nitro bikes have had mixed fortunes with Rene van den Berg lighting it up on a fiery 6.4 effort for third spot and Rikard Gustafsson is at fifth with a 6.630 (behind Mark Smith’s Funny Bike at 6.6158). Sixth and seventh on the current ladder at Mike Olie (PBing in fine style with a 6.7368/202.56) and Thomas Petterson looking to improve on a 7.1344.

After a surprising interaction with a filter in the opening session, Marcus Christiansen eased to a 6.3003/209.15 to lead FIM-E Super Twin with Marko Lantto in second with a 6.8442/183.59. Chris van Nimmen (7.4141/154.79) and Roman Sixta (an ailing 9 second pass) round out the top four qualifiers with Marcus van den Boer on the outside looking in.

FIM-E Super Street Bike has Jake Mechaell sitting on top of the pile by some distance with a  6.7976/216.88 ahead of the Morrison brothers (Alan Jr second with a 6.9380/206.11 and Ross with a 6.9513/212.09), and Kristian Jasz (6.9874/210.99) rounding out the top quartet. With twelve bikes aiming for a spot in the eight bike field for race day tomorrow’s qualifying, depending upon the weather for which the forecast isn’t that great, could be tight.

Jorg Lymant leads the FIM-E Pro Stock Bike field with a second session 7.1312/184.35 which represents the German’s best on his Buell (and bouncing back from a transmission breakage in the first session). Lymant is just ahead of Bertrand Maurice’s 7.1770/185.83 and they are the only seven second runners out of the five current qualifiers.

The FIM-E Junior Drag Bikers are into their sixth qualifying session and Hollie King remains in the number one spot with her +.0209s (on a 8.33 dial-in) from yesterday.

Text and photos: Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes

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