The ADAC MX Masters motocross championships is a magnificent series that draws kudos from across the racing world. The events are well organized, attract good entries from top level riders, offer exciting racing, and the surrounding activities are simply out of this world. It is no wonder, then, that the races attract the spectators in their droves. The riders have fan groups that follow them from race to race, and every race has local race fans pouring through the gates. Not only is the on-track action great, but the events score high in the enjoyment stakes for a number of other reasons, such as rider interaction, product displays, and , of course, the ubiquitous beer tent, good for music and laughs and good times.
The 2012 swan song event took place, as has become the norm, at Holzgerlingen. Some perfect late summer weather was just what the doctor ordered, and the on-track action did not disappoint either. The Masters class title had already been raked in by Marcus Schiffer, but a fierce battle was still raging for the second spot in the final rankings. Bodo Schmidt Racing standard bearer Romain Febvre was in with a good shot, coming into the event a few points ahead of Czech Rider Filip Neugebauer. It often is the case that he who chases has the best cards in hand – the pressure is somewhat less, and the follower can more readily employ “nothing to lose” tactics.
Romain is not one to wait for results to come to him, though, he actively goes out and hunts them down. He proved this in no uncertain fashion by posting the second fastest qualifying time in his group on his KTM, just half a second shy of MX1 GP campaigner Xavier Boog. He repeated the feat in the warm-up session, against all comers, giving ample indication of his intentions. His prospects received an early hammering, though when he came off the start less than optimally in race one. This left him in ninth position, whilst Neugebauer was several positions to the good. Romain built on his race from his bad initial position, and worked his way up to fourth. Significantly, Boog allowed Neugebauer to go through into second position at the end of the race, which, as it turned out, would be significant.
It was an all or nothing race for the second spot in the championship as the bikes lined up for the last time in the 2012 season. This time, an even worse start compromised Romain’s chances significantly. He rode like a man possessed, and within a few laps he was back in fourth position. He was homing in on Neugebauer and in the process posted the second fastest lap time of the race, but time ran out for him and Neugebauer crossed the line ahead of him.
With two fourth places on the day, Romain was credited with fourth overall for the event. Neugebauer had made six points good on the day, and this left the two protagonists on equal points in the championship. The nod for the second overall ranking went to Neugebauer, however, by dint of the better last result.
Romain was obviously disappointed with how the day turned out. ” I am really disappointed that it did not turn out better for me today,” he remarked. “I enjoy this series tremendously and was really going all out for second position in the championship. I appreciate the wonderful support that I have had from Bodo Schmidt and his team during the season. I have really learned a lot, and this has helped me in advancing my career.”
The team’s young protagonists, Henry Jacobi and Calvin Vlaanderen, were flying the flag in the Youngster Cup class. Henry’s race weekend came to an unfortunate early end when he broke his finger during and early training session, a
Calvin fared better against the forces of fate in the injury stakes. After qualifying in seventh position, he had to recover from the most dreadful of starts in the first race which left him second to last. He did so with his normal dose of enthusiasm, and hauled himself up all the way to sixteenth position.
Racing on a 125cc machine against the 250cc brutes of most of the opposition. Calvin was always going to have an extra work load on his shoulders, particularly so on a track such as this, where the four stroke machines hook up much better and put their power down to optimal effect. Under the circumstances he did well to bring his bike home in 15th position in race two, which brought him his best ever overall result in the class.
With the domestic season now done and dusted, the team will prepare Romain’s bike to the nth degree for his final GP foray of the year next weekend at Teutschenthal