Smolinski wins FIM World FIM Long Track at Herxheim as Shanes Takes Top 5
Local hero Martin Smolinski laid down a marker for his 2018 World Long Track Championship hopes with a strong display to win the first final in Herxheim, Germany. Heavy morning rain had threatened the meeting and the start was delayed for over one hour as the weather improved.
Images courtesy of FIM Track Racing
Despite this, a large crowd was present and although racing was affected by the state of the track during the early stages, there was a distinct improvement as the surface dried out during the afternoon. Smolinski had looked to be the fastest rider on show and without mechanical troubles would have been unbeaten. However in his first race a broken chain caused him to retire, then in his Semi-Final his silencer came adrift and he was disqualified. He made no mistake in the final taking the lead over Demitri Bergé on the first lap and extending his lead for the rest of the race.
The British riders also experienced only limited success except James Shanes who lived up to his reputation with a hard earned 17 points, unfortunately retiring from the Final with mechanical problems. Chris Harris suffered a few problems after a promising start, but Richard Hall recovered from poor beginnings to achieve a top ten finish.
With four more Finals still to race for, there will be opportunities for fortunes to change before the climax of the series at the end of September. Consistency will be the watchword and riders will be aware of this as they reflect on the results of this exciting first meeting.