Mischo Erban Wins the Qualifying Race
Mischo Erban leads a group in the morning practice session. Photo Marcus Rietema
Bathurst, Australia - Newton's Nation featured a full day of qualifying races to determine the starting positions for tomorrow's big race. Competitors were placed into two 64 man brackets based on yesterdays qualifying times.
Those who earned an odd numbered position (1, 3, 5, etc) were placed in one bracket and those who earned an even numbered position (2, 4, 6, etc) were placed in another. Traditional four-man heats were contested with the top two riders advancing. Each bracket was run down to the final four positions and then the top two finalists from each bracket were placed in a final heat to determine qualifying positions 1-4. Those who were eliminated early were placed into an additional "Repacharge" or last chance race. The final four riders from that race earned starting positions 61-64 in tomorrow's big race.
The Odd Final works their way through Forrest's Elbow. Photo Marcus Rietema
After a hard afternoon of racing the four finalists of the Odd Bracket came down to Christoph Batt, James Kelly, Dillon Stephens and Nicolas Robert. Stephens took the lead off the line and held it through Forrest's Elbow. As the exited the corner Batt and Kelly worked in tandem and ran down Stephens. Batt won the Odd Bracket with Kelly finishing second. Robert was also able to run down Stephens to finish third.
Silva leads Martin, Erban and Tongue in the Even Final. Photo Marcus Rietema
The Even Final came down to Mischo Erban, Alex Tongue, Douglas Silva and Kyle Martin. Silva jumped into the lead off the start using his monster push. Martin was second, Tongue third and Erban fourth. Erban had consistently sat in third after the start and then ran his opponents down to win each of his preliminary heats. This was the first time he was fourth. Erban made his move on Tongue as they entered the Dipper. As they rode through Forrest's Elbow, it was Silva in the lead followed by Martin, Erban and Tongue. Erban made his move as they flew down the Con-Rod straight picking off Martin first and then Silva to win the Even bracket.
Kyle Martin and Douglas Silva in a drag race down the Con-Rod Straight. Photo Marcus Rietema
To determine who would get the pole position for tomorrows final race, an Odd-Even Final was contested between Batt, Kelly, Erban and Silva. Once again Silva jumped into the lead and once again it was up to the others to run him down. Erban was fourth off the start and in text book fashion, used the draft to perfection picking off each of his rivals to earn the pole. Batt finished second followed by Batt, Kelly and Silva at the line. It was an incredible race that had downhill skateboarding fans around the world going crazy. It should prove to be a foreshadow of a great race tomorrow.
Batt Wins the Top Ten Shootout
Christoph Batt breaking the track record in the Top Ten Shootout. Photo Marcus Rietema
The final event of Saturday's jam packed day of racing was a shootout between the top ten qualifiers from yesterdays timed qualifying run. The finalists were Christoph Batt, Mischo Erban, Louis Pilloni, Torbjorn Sunde, Patrick Switzer, Dougla Silva, Dillon Stephens, Mikael Jensen, Matt Kienzle, and Alex Tongue. Each of them would make a single timed run against the clock and the one with the best time would earn $1000.
Alex Tongue went first and jumped out into the early lead with a time of 60.586.Kienzle, Jensen, Stephens and Silva all tried but failed to be him. Finallly Switzer laid down a quicker time of 60.503 to take the lead. He would withstand attempts by Sunde and Pilloni but when Erban made his run, Switzer was knocked off the thrown with a time of 60.311. Erban's time put him in the lead with only Batt left to go and also broke the two-year old track record held by Silva. Finally it was Batt's turn and he looked rock solid carrying huge speed through Forrest's Elbow and maintaing a tight tuck all the way down Con-rod to the finish. Batt's time of 60.230 was the fastest of the day and broke Erban's short lived track record.
All in all, it was an amazing day of racing. The best part was that it was only qualifying and tomorrow we get to see another head to head battle for the biggest purse in the history of downhill skateboarding. Make plans to join us here at www.IGSAworldcup.com as we cover all the action live beginning at 9:00 am Australian Eastern Standard Time.
Open DH Skateboarding Odd Qualifying Race Results
Open DH Skateboarding Even Qualifying Race Results
Open DH Skateboarding Top Ten Shootout