Martin Smolinski took a major step towards a medal place in this year’s FIM Long Track World Championship with a superior performance in The Netherlands on Sunday. Spectators numbers may have been limited by the soccer World Cup Final but those who attended were treated to a display of courage and determination by the German on a sunny afternoon in Roden.
Smolinski never looked troubled as he shrugged off the injury he sustained in his horror crash in La Reole, to reel off a spectacular 28-point maximum om the huge Roden track and take his total for the series to within 6 points of the current leader Dimitri Berge. Second in the Final was reigning champion Mathieu Tresarrieu, who retains his second place in the Intermediate Classification but only two points ahead of Smolinski. Josef Franc from Czech Republic continued his consistent form taking third place in the Final and keeping his podium hopes alive as the series enters its final stages.
Despite securing the European title and winning the major Bastille Day meeting in Marmande on Friday, Dimitri Berge did not enjoy the best of fortune in Roden and failed to qualify for the Final, leaving with his lead intact but considerably reduced.
It was a mixed afternoon for Britain’s James Shanes who reached the final but failed to add to his score after a poor start. Fellow Brit Richard Hall had his best meeting of the season moving up into eighth place, but Chris Harris again suffered machinery problems with two retirements restricting his score.
Leading scorers after 3 rounds are:
1. Dimitri Berge (France) - 63
2. Mathieu Trésarrieu (France) - 59
3. Martin Smolinski (Germany) - 57
4. Josef Franc (Czech Republic) - 52
5. James Shanes (Great Britain) - 45
6. Bernd Diener (Germany) - 35
7. Theo Pijper (Netherlands) - 34
8. Richard Hall (Great Britain) - 31
The competition remains in The Netherlands where the penultimate round will take place in Eenrum on 19th August.