The pleasures of a hedonistic life at the spa is of course the furthest thing from the mind when race weekend approaches. The 2012 world championship season is now reaching its mature stages, and there are lots cards on the table that must be scooped up, as the world championship top men vie for thebest possible championship positions.
Tanel Leok is well-acquainted with this track, and has ridden to a race podium at the venue before. The venue holds no mysteries to him, therefore, and as he swung a first leg over his Rockstar Energy-backed Suzuki for the first time on the weekend, there was a grim determination about him to pull the best possible performance out of the bag. After rounding the circuit with the eighth fastest time during pre-qualifying, he recovered from a less-than-ideal start to finish 12th in the qualifying race.
The Estonian Express proved that he still had ample speed in his armory when he topped the board during Sunday morning’s warm-up practice. The points are, however, distributed during the races, and it was there where his focus shifted. A mid-pack start created a substantial workload for him in race one, and this track is not particularly given to plentiful passing opportunities. He struggled for the longest time to find a way past Rui Goncalves, jabbing this way and that, but the Portuguese rider is a veteran campaigner himself and knows all the tricks in the book of making himself and his bike as wide as a municipal bus. Tanel had to be content, therefore, with 12th in the race.
A far better start in race two lobbed the Estonian into the thick of the action. He had an air of determination about him, and fended off all comers. The leading group was buched together, and Tanel was never quite out of touch with the riders vying for the last podium spot. He finally crossed the line in sixth, a tad over 11 seconds behind the winner, and just five seconds shy of the final podium spot.
The second race gave the Estonian ample reason for good cheer. He was in the thick of the leading battle, and a handsome points haul bolstered his total tally significantly . He has maintained his record of scoring points in every single heat of the championship thus far, and still occupies 8th spot in the world standings.
- All GP Results
THE BATTLE WITH GONCALVES RAGED THROUGHOUT RACE DAY
Pic by Suzuki-racing.com
COLOURFUL AND FAST
Pics by Suzuki-racing.com
TANEL DID SLACK DOWN OT A MORE SEDATE PACE ON OCCASION
(Pic – Leon Van Der Lee_
Reporting by Tinus Nel