Lotte van Drunen of the Beurspro KTM team had her share of trouble during the second round of the EMX85 European Championship selections at Velke Uherce in Slovakia. Van Drunen was headed for second place in heat one until her chain derailed, and in the second race, a crash robbed her of a better result.
Lotte loved the spectacular track of Velke Uherce. It offered many elevation changes and beautiful, challenging jumps, which only a few of the 85cc riders managed to clear all the way through. Lotte was second in the first free training, and underlined her strong showing with a third fastest time in the pre-qualifying practice. She lit the rockets at the start of the qualifying race, and claimed the holeshot. She battled to find a good rhythm, though, and lost the lead. After regrouping, she started challenging the leader. She put a wheel aside on a few occasions, but just could not make the pass, and finished second.
After a good warm-up session on Sunday morning, Lotte lined up for race one. She almost took the holeshot, closing out the first lap in third place. She put pressure on the second-placed rider as the race wore on, and with two laps to go, she moved up a spot. With half a lap to go, though, disaster struck as her chain derailed, probably from having picked up a stone. Lotte hastily refitted the chain herself, and managed to save a 15th place finish. Disappointed does not adequately describe how she felt as she returned to the paddock.
Lotte got the holeshot in race two, but lost a spot during the first lap. She managed to open up a gap on the third-placed rider, whilst keeping the leader in check. An unfortunate crash dropped her to eighth, but she quickly remounted and worked her way back up to fifth. After a few laps, she managed to close a gap of some seven seconds to the third – and fourth placed riders. Unfortunately, time ran out for her to make the passes, and she finished fifth.
Lotte was not happy at all with the results, although her riding itself was sublime. She has demonstrated, though, that she can take setbacks in her stride and still salvage points from a bad situation.