Scott Beaumont 4X ProTour Round 3 Val Di Sole, Italy
06.05.12 The 4X ProTour in 2012, simply keeps getting better and better. On Saturday, the huge crowds of over 5,000 fans witnessed some of the best racing 4X has ever seen.
After a fantastic result foer me at the opening round of the Schwalbe Euro 4X Series 2 weeks ago in Germany where I made the finals and finished 3rd, I came into this race full of confidence and looking for another podium result.
The weekend began in qualifying. Val Di Sole is one of my favourite tracks in the whole world. It is long, high speed and wide. It gives riders a chance to calculate their passes and plan lines. I was seeded 4th, so had to wait and watch the others go down before my run near the end. In my qualifying run I used some wide lines and carried speed well. I knew on the last straight it was a good run, but as I crossed the finish line, I went into 1st place with just 3 riders to go. I was faster than Kamil Tatarkovic - the next rider, so had a guaranteed top 3 quali run. Prokop then went quicker and so did Slavik, so I ended up 3rd which I was stoked with. A great start to the weekend, but I wanted to transform the quali run into a result.
Onto the racing. I had gate pick all night which would really help. In the first round I took gate 1. I made a great start and won that race from start to finish. No problems and felt great. In the second round I was against Lucas Mechura. I knew that from practice his gates were strong. I took gate 1 again and Lucas went for 3. As I thought he got to the first turn just ahead of me. I tucked in behind him on the top half, but felt faster. So on the big turn after the pro line I failed the corner and carried good speed to overtake him on the next straight. I took the win and felt really quick on the lower sections.
So I was now in the quarter finals. In the quarter there was lots of action again. I was against Lucas Mechura, Jakub Hnidak and Piotr Paradowski. I got the snap but got cut off in the first turn. Hnidak led from Mechura and I found myself in last. On the 5th straight, I got the power down and passed Paradowski, then in the 5th turn went around the outside of Mechura. The crowd went crazy and I transferred to the semis with Hnidak.
So it was time for the semi finals against Prokop, Hnidak and Premek Tjechman. Prokop got the snap and got through the first turn clean. Hnidak crashed out on the loose surface and I moved into second. Prokop was gone in the lead but an interesting game of cat and mouse developed with me and Tjechman. On the fourth turn I swung wide, gifting the inside to Tjechman, but then cut back up the inside on the exit. We touched bars on the exit as we battled, but I got a good drive and moved to the final with Prokop.
So i had made it to the main final. Amazingly numbers 1,2,3 and 4 from qualifying were in the final. We cant remember this happening in years of 4X racing, so a bit of history in Val Di Sole. Slavik took gate 1, Prokop 3, I then chose 4 leaving Beckeman on 2. A few mind games on the start from these guys for sure. The gate dropped and Slavik got the holeshot. Prokop tried to cut back on the first turn but couldnt quite get passed Slavik. I railed the first turn and moved into third. I got on Prokops back wheel but just couldnt find a way past him. The order remained to the finish with Slavik taking his 3rd win out of 3 in the 2012 4X ProTour. Prokop was 2nd, I finished 3rd and Beckeman 4th.
The race in Val Di Sole was an overwhelming success and we are stoked with how everything went during the weekend.
The 4X ProTour now heads to Fort William in Scotland for the 4th round this week. Practice is Thursday 7th June, Qualifying is Friday 8th June and the racing will take place on Saturday 9th June. Fort William is always an amazing venue for 4X with crazy fans, wild track and always lots of surprises. I cant wait.