The rookie, and former European Open 65cc Champion, Kay Karrsemakers, was lightning quick off the line and took a super sweet holeshot before coming up short on the first tabletop and being nudged back to third by Japan‰Ûªs Joe Shimoda and Estonia‰Ûªs Meico Vettik.
The Japanese star, who funnily enough rides a European brand bike, KTM, was feeling it out here in Russia as he pulled a gap right away. While Shimoda was relishing his time out front, complete with some serious leg swag over the jumps, Meico Vettik, Maksim Kraev and Rene Hofer tried to catch him.
It only took two laps for the poleman, and recently crowned European EMX85 Champion, Rene Hofer to check in for work, and he wasted no time in putting Vettik and Kraev out of business.
In Japan, kids only race one moto a day, and that race is only 10 minutes plus 1 lap long, so it wasn‰Ûªt extremely unusual to see Shimoda eventually fade, although it wasn‰Ûªt because of his fitness that he dropped back to tenth. He later informed us that he had a flat front tire, which left him finishing way back in nineteenth.
Once the Austrian star, Hofer took the lead, it was goodnight nurse as he charged away to win by 31 seconds over Vettik.
Out of nowhere, Russian Aleksandr Shershnev emerged with two laps to go and passed a bunch of guys to cross the line in third ahead of fellow Russian‰Ûªs Maksim Kraev and Nikita Petrov.
In the final race of the day, Rene Hofer pretty much had the title locked down before the gate had even dropped. The Austrian has been phenomenal this year, winning every 85cc race he has entered, so it came as no surprise when he took the lead from the holeshotter, Meico Vettik, on lap two and won the final moto to complete his mission of world domination.
Meanwhile, Japan‰Ûªs Joe Shimoda seems to be the next Akira Watanabe. The young Japanese star has got such a rad style on the bike. He knows how to launch the jumps, with a stylish tap of the rear brake to bring everything into check. It looks awesome. Shimoda was buried in the pack on the opening lap, but didn‰Ûªt let it phase him, he soon made his way into second and cleared out on Shershnev who was dropped back to third.
Behind Hofer and Shimoda, who were clearly the two fastest riders today, a furious battle was waged between Shershnev, Vettik, Svyatoslav Pronenko and Maksim Kraev for third. The four-some were wheel-to-wheel for the entire race, any mistake was costly, and that mistake came from Shershnev on the final lap.
Hofer took the checkers, which couldn‰Ûªt have come at a better time since Shimoda started putting in his fastest laps of the race in the closing stages. Nevertheless, the Austrian got the job done with Shimoda just under 3 seconds adrift. Pronenko pulled out all the stops on the final lap to get Vettik for third, while Kraev rounded out the top five.
Rene Hofer was just as dominant as he was a month ago in Loket, Czech Republic. Another double moto victory saw him claim yet another gold plate. Meico Vettik put in a 2 ‰ÛÒ 4 performance for second overall with Russia‰Ûªs own Maksim Kraev going 3 ‰ÛÒ 5 for third.
85cc Junior Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 24:37.294;
2. Meico Vettik (EST, KTM), +0:31.634;
3. Maksim Kraev (RUS, KTM), +0:36.304;
4. Nikita Petrov (RUS, KTM), +0:44.359;
5. Kristians Freimanis (LAT, KTM), +0:53.863;
6. Dante Hyam (AUS, KTM), +0:57.294;
7. Nikolay Kornev (RUS, KTM), +1:03.352;
8. Noel Nilsson (SWE, KTM), +1:04.821;
9. Souya Nakajima (JPN, Yamaha), +1:10.354;
10. Kay Karssemakers (NED, KTM), +1:11.133.
85cc Junior Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 24:20.859;
2. Jo Shimoda (JPN, KTM), +0:02.949;
3. Svyatoslav Pronenko (RUS, KTM), +0:35.836;
4. Meico Vettik (EST, KTM), +0:36.107;
5. Maksim Kraev (RUS, KTM), +0:51.647;
6. Dante Hyam (AUS, KTM), +0:55.928;
7. Nikolay Kornev (RUS, KTM), +0:57.037;
8. Nikita Petrov (RUS, KTM), +1:06.261;
9. Noel Nilsson (SWE, KTM), +1:08.640;
10. Kristians Freimanis (LAT, KTM), +1:12.409.
85cc Junior Overall Top Ten:
1. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 50 points;
2. Meico Vettik (EST, KTM), 40 p.;
3. Maksim Kraev (RUS, KTM), 36 p.;
4. Nikita Petrov (RUS, KTM), 31 p.;
5. Dante Hyam (AUS, KTM), 30 p.;
6. Nikolay Kornev (RUS, KTM), 28 p.;
7. Kristians Freimanis (LAT, KTM), 27 p.;
8. Svyatoslav Pronenko (RUS, KTM), 25 p.;
9. Noel Nilsson (SWE, KTM), 25 p.;
10. Jo Shimoda (JPN, KTM), 23 p.
European Open 65cc Cup