Sunday, February 14, 2010

HP motor racing, Royal Class

An entry list of 115 riders in 2006 clearly reflected the great success of this new racing class, where only road-legal motorcycles with at least two cylinders are allowed to start.

World Champion David Knight
The route is exactly that of the legendary Prologue and consists of 17.5 kilometres of full throttle action on the gravel tracks of the Styrian Erzberg. The KTM factory team meant business and its starting line-up included Enduro World Champion David Knight, former Enduro World Champion Giovanni Sala, and Dakar winner Cyril Despres.

Dakar winner Cyril Despres
Perfect conditions greeted the riders for the first race, which started at 1pm on Thursday. Lots of grip, sunshine and dust-free conditions allowed riders to keep their throttles pinned, with top speeds of over 175 km/h possible for those who dared. Simo Kirssi had set his sights particularly high this year, because he narrowly missed out on winning the 2-cylinder class last year in spite of an absolute best time in the second race.

Simo Kirssi Royal Class
Unfortunately, Simo made a braking error in the first race, came off on a bend and lost vital seconds. His renewed attack came with a perfect second race but it was regrettably too late.

top rider Simo
Even though he won the race and was the only top rider to improve on his personal time, the increasing amount of ruts appearing in the bends (caused by the effects of over 100 riders braking in almost exactly the same spot) meant that he could only reduce Knight´s lead from the first race to 1.94 seconds - and only the faster of the two races counts towards the result.

BMW rider Gerhard Forster
In third place was another KTM, ridden by Cyril Despres. The previous year´s winner Giovanni Sala took fourth place, while Chris Pfeiffer came home in fifth place, just in front of Jimmy Lewis. Guest BMW rider Gerhard Forster was eighth, while other HP2 riders included Peter Bachler in 12th and BMW instructor Andreas Rothballer in 15th.

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