Bilbao/Karlsruhe. After two GP victories in Riesa/Germany and Malaga/Spain Kevin Gallas (21) got the Hattricks and won in Bilbao his third GP in a row. Sensational: He is only missing 4 points to the Junior World title.
Right in the first practice session of the day the young German confirms his top form with the fastest time in his group.
In the timed qualifying the young talent puts down a fabulous time in his first hotlap – 44,772 – more than three seconds faster than any other rider in his class. To compare: with that time he would have been 8th in the prestige class.
One thing was clear at that moment: the track already looked technical and demanding during trackwalk, but the combination of obstacles and the loose unpredictable surface would challenge the riders concentration. Some of the higher obstacles were rutted even after practice and really physically demanding to conquer. The physical condition would be the deciding factor in Bilbao, that was clear.
Heat 1: After a decent start Gallas passed the first obstacle in third place while the rest of the field got stuck there. At the end of the first lap Gallas passed his rivals and got into the lead – and kept it till the chequers. With a gap of almost 30 seconds to Juszczak and 41 seconds to Flanagan he extended the lead over his competitors.
Heat 2: This was the fate race of this world championship. Gallas had to start from second row. The first obstacle was blocked due to the first corners carnage. While trying to find a way through the pile of riders in front of him his bike got stuck with two others so bad, that the three the race dead last. At the end of the first lap Flanagan was in fifth place, Gallas and Juszczak 9th and 10th. Then Gallas fell in the rocks so bad that he could only remount with the help of a Marshall. But Flanagan and Juszczak also showed nerves and did mistakes. Although Gallas did two more mistakes he got into 7th position at the end of lap five while Juszczak and Flanagan dropped back to 10th and 11th. In lap 6 he passed a bunch of riders to get in third and kept that position to the end. He almost made up the gap to the first two but ran out of time. This incredible performance that challenged Gallas’ physical condition to the max brought him the nickname ‚El Gigante‘. With his 3rd place he extends his championship points lead because Flanagan and Juszczak couldn’t use the opportunity and only finished 9th and 7th.
Heat 3: The chance of clinching the title one round early was still there. Gallas started out of the first row again, got good out of the gate and passed the first log combination in first. Without losing focus he rode lap-by-lap, picked start lines while lapping the others and rode basically his own race. When he crossed the chequers he lapped the whole field. Juszczak got 4th and Flanagan 11th.
‚El Gigante‘ got the hattrick and his third GP vitory, but missed out on the Junior World Championship title by 4 points.
With a comfortable lead of 56 points Kevin Gallas is on the home stretch and can stay relaxed until the Final race on the Easter Saturday in Sweden.
Kevin Gallas: „This was the hardest and most demanding track I’ve ever ridden in a GP. I’ve underestimated it while trackwalker. But due to my hard and intense training the last few weeks here in Spain I could use my physical condition in the last two races. I think I showed that I am ready and I cannot wait to bang bars with the big boys in the prestige class – no matter how this championship ends. With my comfortable lead I can continue my training on this high level – thanks to the support of my main sponsor Grenzgaenger and my sponsors MH Motorräder and Endurides by Marko Prodan – and travel to Sweden without any pressure on the Easter weekend.“
Photo Credit: Mihai Birca
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