The Beursfoon KTM team clocked two victories at the second round of the Dutch Open Championships at Mill. Ivano van Erp claimed his first career victory in the 85cc small wheel class and and Kay De Wolf walked away with the laurel in the 85cc class. Scott Smulders also had a strong outing, and finished third in the first heat. Alas, a crash in the second heat ruined a potential podium finish for him. Sem Beijer showed his mettle in this top company and finished 18th in the first heat. A crash in the second heat kept him to 25th.
Despite the bad weather leading up to the race, the track was in good condition, and a large number of riders reported for duty. It was Ivano Van Erp’s debut race in the 85cc small wheel class, and Sem Beijer, Scott Smulders and kay de Wolf flew the team’s flag in the 85cc class.
After clinching the 65cc big wheel title, Ivano van Erp was keen as flint to move up to the 85cc small wheel class. He immediately made his presence known with a fourth fastest qualifying time. In the first heat, he launched his Eurol- lubricated KTM to the holeshot. After his lightning start, there was no stopping him, and he rode to an impressive heat victory on debut.
Another good start in the second heat, gave Ivano a good platform, but an early crash left him with some work to do. He showed his mettle under pressure, recovering to fourth, which was good enough for the overall victory.
The Beursfoon KTM team has a strong presence in the 85cc Big Wheel class, with three riders flying the team colours. With an entry of 65 riders, it was important to qualify well, and the qualifying session was split into two groups. Sem Beijer posted the 16th fastest time in group one and made his way to the final. In his first race, he had a troubled start, but rode well, to recover from 32nd spot to 18th.
A better start in the second heat gave hope for a better result. A crash spoiled his progress, though, and he had to be content with 25th in the heat. The combined results yielded him 21st overall for the day.
Scott Smulders underlined that he is one of the top riders in the series with a fourth qualifying time. He still had to get used to his new racing bike, and felt he could do even better with some more time on the bike. A decent start in the first race slotted him straight into the top 10. He rode strongly, making positions lap after lap, which resulted in a very gratifying third place. “I rode better in the first race than during the qualifying and I am very happy with that,” he remarked.
An even better start in the second race launched Scott into seventh place. He rode a steady race to get to fourth. “I was getting closer to the third placed rider, but made a mistake on the tabletop. Two grooves slowed into one, and it caused me to crash. I bashed my knee against the handlebar, which was quite painful.” Despite the pain, Scott battled on, but he had lost a lot of time, and was stranded on 36th spot. “Overall I finished 17th, which disappointed me. A podium finish was possible. I’ll go all out for it next time,” he lamented.
Kay de Wolf proved early on that he meant business with a pole qualifying time, almost three seconds faster than the second placed rider. A confident start launched him into fifth in the first race. “Everyone was racing hard, and I had to pull my best rabbit out of the hat,” he recalls. He steadily worked his way forward, and once in the lead, there was no stopping him. He eventually won the race with a 13 second margin.
A similar start in the second race augured well for another good result for Kay, and so it proved to be. He won this race as well, and of course claimed the overall honours.
The team will be focusing on training and tests to improve the riders’ starting techniques. The view is now on the European championship races with the first event in Denmark coming up soon. Rasmus Pedersen has gone to Italy and will remain there for a few weeks to prepare optimally for his home round of the European championships. This will be his last year in the 85cc class, and he has decided to focus on the best possible results in the European championships.
The Beursfoon KTM team will line up for the next round of the Dutch Open Championships (85cc Small Wheels and 65cc) in Varsseveld this coming weekend. On Sunday the “big” boys of the 85cc Big Wheel class will be in action at Axel.