3. GP @Malpartida de Caseres (E) / Two races with drama, drama, drama……!

Race report from Malpartida Sidecarcross GP (E)

(special thanks to Chris Helms (GB) for written this awesome race report)

The third round of the 2015 Sidecarcross world championships was held at the Las Arenas circuit just outside Malpartida de Cáceres in southern Spain. The hard work and enthusiasm of the organising club was unable to attract a large entry of riders and in fact there were only twenty one teams in attendance. Because of this there was only one group on Saturday for practice and the qualifying race was only needed to determine start line positions for Sunday’s races.

The only qualifying race was won by #2 Bax/Stupelis from #5 Giraud/Musset with #1 Adriaenssen/v.d. Bogaart third. The three British crews, #3 Brown/J.Chamberlain, #10 Millard/Millard and #11Wilkinson/Kirwin finishing 5th, 11th and 14th respectively. #10 Millard slowing on the last couple of laps when his gear lever fell off.

In front of a crowd of just over 5000 the bikes left the line for the first race with Bax, Giraud and #7 v.Daele/Valcke taking the leading places. By the end of the first lap Bax was clear of Giraud with v.Daele/Valcke third. Brown was the leading Brit in sixth with Wilkinson 13th and Millard sixteenth. The defending champion, Adriaenssen, did not get away well and was down in ninth place. Adriaenssen took #111 D.Willemsen/R.Bax and Brown on lap two and set off after fellow countryman #4 Hendrickx/Mucenieks. After ten minutes he was up to fourth and chasing v.Daele. Brown was now in eighth, Wilkinson thirteenth and Millard in his wheel tracks. Three laps later Millard’s race was over when a broken water hose fitting broke.

At half distance Adriaenssen took v.Daele. The front three stayed in these positions for the rest of the race. Brown came home in fifth and Wilkinson thirteenth. Millard was the only rider to score nothing as everyone else finished the race. The second moto was all action from the start. Giraud took the holeshot from Hendrickx with Adriaenssen third and Bax fourth. Adriaenssen very quickly passed Hendrickx and set off after Giraud. Hendrickx soon came under fire from Bax. The leading Brits were Brown in sixth with Millard thirteenth and Wilkinson fifteenth.

After ten minutes the series leader was right on the tail of Giraud but he was now being attacked from behind by Bax. Over the next four laps these three were nose to tail riding at a speed that was nearly two seconds a lap quicker than anyone else. At the two thirds distance Adriaenssen made his move out jumping the Frenchman over a table top. This also gave Bax the opportunity to pass Giraud. Brown was now up to fifth and closing on Hendrickx whilst Millard was still thirteenth and Wilkinson fourteenth. On the start of lap fourteen Bax and Adriaenssen collided and while they were untangling themselves Giraud came past. Bax resumed in second place whilst Adriaenssen was back in fifth place behind Hendrickx and Brown. Following their crash Bax’s bike was now steaming from the radiator cap and with three laps to go he slowed which let Hendrickx past.

Giraud went on to take the win from Hendrickx but Bax’s engine gave up on the last lap which promoted Brown to third. Adriaenssen was fourth while Wilkinson came home thirteenth and Millard, with a shot rear damper, finished fifteenth. Even now the drama wasn’t over as Bax/Stupelis with under half a lap to go pushed their broken bike to finish line – a superhuman effort that took about fifteen minutes to complete.

They were credited with a fourteenth place but once again the interpretation of the rule about finishing a race reared its head. They certainly didn’t finish that lap within five minutes after the chequered flag so it should not have counted but as it happened it would not have changed the final result. Giraud now leads the championship by seven points from Adriaenssen with Bax a further sixteen points adrift in third. Brown is the leading Brit in fifth place. The next round is in Schopfheim (Germany) on 17th May.

Text by: CHRIS HELM (GB)