The organizers nearly pulled of their master stroke in providing the riders with a very decent track in spite of torrential rain ahead of the race. Nearly, because brief showers spoilt the fun for spectators. However a little mud never hurt any passionate dirtbiker, and a good time was had by all.
E-MX Race of Champions
The prestigious E-MX Race of champions provided plenty of surprises this time. Former Belgian MX2 champion Jens Getteman was on fire during time practice and in his semi. Days before his KTM debut in the MXGP class in Matterley Basin, Getteman showed a remarkable BMX-inspired ability to get the most out of his KTM Freeride-E. The fact that Getteman had beaten both Yentel Martens and Kevin Wouts made him an obvious favourite for the title.
Kenny Vandueren looked strong too. He won the first semi-final, followed by Marvin Van Daele and Jorn Zoetekouw. After a great start Jorn Zoetekouw dominated the final while Wouts made an impressive comeback. Kevin bounced back from 7th in the start to 2nd, relegating Martens to 3rd.
Jorn Zoetekouw: “Big fun today and a big surprise for myself to win here. When I saw the entry list for the E-MX Race of Champions I would never have thought about winning! My goal was to reach the final, but the win was more than expected. Of course I’m used to racing the KTM Freeride-E as well. Still I rode the perfect race in the final: I took the holeshoot and I was able to control from start to finish.”
Kevin Wouts: “I never rode with an electric motocross bike before so this was the perfect introduction! I really enjoyed the racing. The suspension and power delivery are quite a bit different from the KTM I usually ride. However the concept of the bike is amazing, bottom end power is pretty impressive too. Next year I will go for the win!”
Yentel Martens: “It always gets a little time to get used to the electric bike but I was having a blast. And it’s always nice to be on the podium of course. I think it would be awesome to have some more of these electrocross races! For me the biggest change is to adapt to having both brakes on the handlebars.
Straight forward and back
Zoetekouw, riding for the Dutch eeXparc team, was not the only electrocross specialist to make a name for himself. Supercross veteran and European FMX pioneer Jimmy Verburgh proved he still has what it takes when it comes to highly technical and short races. Verburgh made the semi-final of the inaugural ‘Straight forward and back’ one versus one. True to form Jens Getteman reached the ‘Straight forward and back’ final. However another eeXparc rider, Kay Ebben would go on to win! Former MX3 GP rider Jilani Cambré finished third.
Both Zoetekouw and Ebben regularly race on the KTM Freeride-E underlining the fact that although this new discipline is very familiar to motocross it helps to specialize if you want to shine at the E-MX Race of Champions!
Bultaco Brinco stars in E-Cyclocross
Cycling-mad Belgium is also the place where cyclocross rules in winter time. But how much more fun is it to race a cyclocross-style track on an electric motobike? Double CX world champion Niels Albert, experienced pro riders Vincent Baestaens and Jan Denuwelaere were among the happy few to find out in the E-Cyclocross race. Allowing riders both to pedal and to use the throttle the Bultaco Brinco wowed riders and the crowd with their punch. Allowing speeds of up to 60 km/h the Bultaco Brinco definitely demanded respect. Eventually Baestaens took the win, he was joined on the podium by mountainbiker Jimmy Tielens and Stijn Hofman.
Niels Albert: “That was something else (grins)! In spite of the weather I had a great time in the E-Cyclocross race. Riding the Bultaco is a pretty unique experience. It’s not a mountainbike and I ride some motocross for fun so I can compare, but it’s not a motorcycle either! The Bultaco Brinco is something entirely new so you need to learn a bit how it works best for you. Once you get used to it you’re hooked.”
E-MX Race of future champions
All-time MX hero and the first ever E-MX champion Stefan Everts had come to Zolder in a supporting role. Stefan proudly witnesssed son Liam, current leader in the EMX85 North West series, winning aboard the potent little Kuberg bikes. However victory didn’t come easy with Yoran Moens putting up one hell of a fight. Troy Verburgh finished third.
Complete results: http://www.mylaps.com/en/events/1283105