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Onwards to Rudersberg! 2023 FIm World Sidecarcross Championship Round 13 – Preview

Onwards to Rudersberg! 2023 FIm World Sidecarcross Championship Round 13 – Preview

As in 2022 when it played host to the finale, the Rudersberg track in south-eastern Germany will certainly influence the outcome of this year’s FIM World Sidecarcross title chase, before the teams head for France in the last round of 2023.

Preview by Barry Nutley – Images courtesy of WSC

Last year, Rudersberg saw a nail-biting end to the season when Etienne Bax and Ondrej Cermak vanquished Estonian Rival Kert Varik and Finnish passenger Lari Kunnas. On that occasion, Bax and Marvin Vanluchene took a win and second place apiece, with Vanluchene getting the overall verdict.

If history should repeat itself, it will be a dark weekend for the defending champions striving to establish dominance over the Belgian/French team who have carried the red plate week after week.

Vanluchene/Musset have shown a steely determination this year, with strong starts at most rounds combined with consistency and reliability.

Bax and Cermak’s shaky start to the season with his big crash in Spain caused them to be on the back foot from the word go, fighting opponents who seized the opportunity with both hands, never letting the defending champions off the hook.

Always looking for the competitive edge with the technology, and keen to further the development of the sport, Etienne Bax must be applauded for trying an alternative front-end set-up for the new season, but that decision, whilst taken for all the right reasons, could be the one which ultimately costs him the title. However, he has recovered from bigger setbacks in the past, and will fight until the very last turn of the wheels over the final four races of 2023.

There is now another scrap emerging below the top two with Koen Hermans and Ben Van Den Bogaart slipping back towards newly crowned British Champions Brett Wilkinson/Joe Millard. The gap is forty-five points, and whilst it is a long shot, Wilkinson must surely begin to hope third place could be theirs.

They in turn are a mere fifteen points ahead of the Lielbardis twins who have hit form at the right moment, whilst acutely aware of Justin Keuben/Dion Rietman sitting just five points further back in fifth. Dion is still recovering from Loket, so his place will be taken by super-sub Rodolphe Lebreton now free, as Jarno Steegmans rejoins Tim Prummer.

The top ten is completed by Sanders/Rostingt, Prummer/Steegmans, Heinzer/Betschart and Gert van Werven/Robbe de Veene.

Then comes an array of talented teams, all of whom have shown real class this year, such is the strength in depth of this championship.

The season has already been a long one with two rounds still to go, and all connected with this amazing travelling show are feeling the strain. But the end is in sight, and it will almost certainly go down to the wire with just four races left.

Marvin Vanluchene will leave nothing to chance and keep doing what he is doing, whilst Etienne Bax will once again draw on that seemingly limitless reserve of experience and energy to close the gap.

We will be there in Germany to capture what will be yet another epic Grand Prix weekend moving towards the end of a fascinating and thrilling season.

Current Standings