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Batt Qualifies On Top

Batt
Christoph "Battman" Batt sits on top of the time sheets at Newton's.  Photo Marcus Rietema


Bathurst, Australia - Christoph Batt, who missed most of the 2011 season due to a shoulder injury, uncorked an impressive 1:01.495 qualifying run to earn the number one qualifying position for this weekends Newton's Nation World Cup race.

The big rider from Switzerland beat a top notch field that includes nearly every skater who finished inside the top 10 of the 2011 IGSA World Cup Series.  2011 World Champion Mischo Erban was second.  Erban was the number one qualifier at Newton's in 2010 but elected not to race that year in the treacherous wet conditions.  Today he showed his speed once again letting everyone know that he is here to win.  

 

Erban Sunde
Mischo Erban leads Torbjorn Sunde through Forrest's Elbow during practice.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Louis Pilloni qualified in the number three position with a time of 1:02.074.  The Sector 9 rider from Southern California looked quick all day and will be a legitimate contender on Sunday.  Torbjorn Sunde from Norway was fourth with 1:02.109.  The Norwegien is geting faster and faster and this was quite possibly his strongest qualifying performance to date against a very deep and talented field.

Pilloni
Louis Pilloni qualified in the number three spot.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Reigning IGSA World Cup Series Champion Patrick Switzer rounded out the top five with a 1:02.137 run.  Afterward he said he could have braked a bit later but feels he will have a hard time catching riders like Batt and Erban with their heavier weight.  The larger riders seem to have an advantage carrying momentum on the long Con-Rod straight that leads to the finish.

Switzer
Patrick Switzer qualified in the fifth spot.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Other notable skaters who finished inside the top ten include Douglas "Dalua" Silva in sixth, Dillon Stephens in seventh and last weeks Mt. Keira World Cup winner Alex Tongue in tenth.  There were a few surprise riders making it into the top ten including Norwegien Mikael "Kula" Jensen and Aussie Matt Kienzle.

Dalua
Douglas Silva qualified in the number six spot.  Photo Marcus Rietema

Today was the only timed qualifying run that the downhill skaters will make.  The top ten qualifiers will go into a final top ten shoot out tomorrow where they'll race against the clock one more time with the winner taking home $1000 cash. 

With qualifying complete, the field will now be split with the odd numbered qualifiers going into one 64 man bracket and the even numbered qualifiers going into another.  These qualifying races will be held tomorrow with the top 32 finishers from each qualifying race advancing into Sunday's final.  The qualifying races promise to be wild and exciting.  You'll be able to catch all the action live here at IGSAworldcup.com.

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