The second round of the Pro Tour made history of a different kind. It can only be described as the wettest 4X event ever staged!
Round 2 of the 2012 4X Pro Tour took place in Szczawno Zdroj, Poland on 5 May. The day began with practice on Saturday morning. The sun was shining brightly through blue skies and 30 degree temperatures got the day off to a perfect start. The fun began during qualifying. Late entries from the Mechura brothers meant that they went early in the qualification runs. The new format of reverse qualifying meant that Lucas Mechura set the early fastest time and then had to wait for the other big guns to do their runs. With 12 riders to go, the heavens opened. The horrendous conditions forced the commissaries to pause qualifying in case the lights were hit by the lightening. The top 12 seeded riders sheltered in the start hut and once the rain had eased 15 minutes later, the call was made to resume qualifying. The track had turned from dusty and high speed, into a sheet of glass, with it being near impossible to stand on the track. The times from the final 12 riders were all over the place as the riders slipped down the track. The biggest casualties were World Champion, Michal Prokop and Dutch rider Joost Wichman, who both crashed out of the seeding run and would not qualify for the main event. Even in these conditions, there was a very impressive ride from Tomas Slavik, who set the third fastest time!
With the rain was now set in for the night, it was heavy and going to make the track tough for all the riders. Scott Beaumont, Michal Mechura, Milan Mysik and Blake Carney suffered crashes on the slippery surface. In the second round there were more crashes and mistakes by Scott Roberts, Premek Tejchman and Nathan Parsons. With the weather eliminating some of the top riders by the quarter finals, the door was wide open for anyone to seize the opportunity.
The womens final was full of excitement as Katy Curd got off to a great start and lead the race through the first turn. Despite Celine Gros, the fastest qualifier, being hot on her rear wheel through turn 2, it wasn’t enough. Katy established a big lead, which she held to the finish line.
In the men’s small final, Jacub Hnidak made a great start and led the race from start to finish to give him his best result ever at a world 4X event.
Tomas Slavik had been unbeaten all day and the mens final was no exception. Despite a fantastic challenge from Riha, who was right behind Tomas at the ‘S’ bends, it wasn’t enough to deter him from taking the win.
Despite the conditions, the night produced some awesome racing by all the riders and showed that no matter what the conditions are for 4X, the show always goes on.
The next round of the 4X ProTour will be held at Val Di Sole in Italy on June 2. Who is going to stop Tomas Slavik?
For the full race results and more information visit the Pro Tour Website.