New Zealand’s Darryll King came within a whisker of winning another world title but the Kiwi hero eventually had to settle for the No.2 ranking for 2014 when he was edged out in Sweden at the weekend.
The FIM Veterans Motocross World Cup took place at Uddevalla, Sweden – sharing the programme with round 12 of 18 in the MXGP and MX2 world championships – with Czech rider Martin Zerava going on to take the VMX glory.
While the local hero and defending champion Mats Nilsson came into the weekend as the hot favourite, the Swede ended up handing over the red plate this weekend losing out Zerava (who finished 2-1) and New Zealander King (who recorded 1-4 results).
With a full gate of 40 over-40s, the gates dropped on Saturday afternoon with four riders taking charge. It was Sweden’s Nilsson who took the early lead but soon lost it when the speedy Spaniard Francisco Garcia Vico blitzed past him a few turns later.
While the initial action belonged to Nilsson and Garcia Vico, the duo soon had bigger problems with Kiwi King and Czech Zerava also creeping in.
While the four switched placings, they eventually dropped Garcia Vico around mid race to make it a three-way for the win.
Entering the closing stages of the race, Zerava had had enough of playing games and dropped the hammer to take over the lead. After inching out ever so slightly the Czech’s hard work soon came undone when he crashed and dropped back a few seconds on King and Nilsson.
With one lap to go, King was riding sharp up front covering the insides in defense of the first moto win. Meanwhile Zerava had re-grouped and managed to use the advantage of lapped traffic to pass Nilsson with half a lap to go. While the race remained tight right through to the finish, the Kiwi, King held on for race one glory leaving Zerava and Nilsson to settle in second and third. Garcia Vico and Austrian Christoph Lackner rounded out the top five.
Elbows up and knees out, the final race of the FIM Veterans World Cup took place this morning with the Czech Martin Zerava out to redeem himself after his slip up late in the race on Saturday.
Redeem himself is exactly what he did when he got off to a cracking start and embraced the ‘pin it to win it’ method to convincingly win the second race and take his first ever VMX World Cup victory.
Meanwhile the defending champ Nilsson, who may have been feeling the heat this weekend as he lined up with compression top as his race shirt, followed Zerava around turn one with the Spaniard Francisco Garcia Vico and Italian Michele Del Bosco hot on his heels. Race one winner King clearly didn’t get the jump off the gate surfacing around eighth place early on in lap one.
While Nilsson rode an effortless second place with Garcia Vico looking comfortable in third, King began his charge. After putting a wheel in on Del Bosco for a good couple of laps yet not being able to shift the Italian from his path, King known to his fans as ‘DK’ soon drove Del Bosco wide and made a pass that would stick.
After moving into fourth, King knuckled down yet it was too little too late for the Kiwi as time ran out and he was forced to be content with fourth in race two making him the bridesmaid this year in the VMX World Cup.
With the combination of results from both races this weekend, Czech Martin Zerava went two-one to claim the 2014 FIM Veterans Motocross World Cup.
While after winning race one and salvaging fourth place in race two, the 2012 VMX World Cup holder Darryll King stood on the second step of the podium with the local legend Mats Nilsson rounding out the top three. Spaniard Francisco Garcia Vico only just missed out on the podium finishing fourth while Swedish Stefan Norström took home fifth.
VMX Race 1 top 10:
1. Darryll King (NZL, Yamaha), 24:27.941; 2. Martin Zerava (CZE, Suzuki), +0:01.159; 3. Mats Nilsson (SWE, Yamaha), +0:01.958; 4. Francisco Garcia Vico (ESP, Honda), +0:32.763; 5. Christoph Lackner (AUT, KTM), +0:37.296; 6. Stefan Norström (SWE, Yamaha), +0:46.492; 7. Brian Wheeler (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:09.263; 8. Sebastien Haenni (SUI, Yamaha), +1:19.428; 9. Sebastien Midali (FRA, Honda), +1:22.318; 10. Pascal Bal (BEL, KTM), +1:26.718.
VMX Race 2 top 10:
1. Martin Zerava (CZE, Suzuki), 23:58.744; 2. Mats Nilsson (SWE, Yamaha), +0:06.362; 3. Francisco Garcia Vico (ESP, Honda), +0:07.573; 4. Darryll King (NZL, Yamaha), +0:08.682; 5. Stefan Norström (SWE, Yamaha), +0:24.610; 6. Fredrik Werner (SWE, Honda), +0:34.982; 7. Brian Wheeler (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:36.121; 8. Christoph Lackner (AUT, KTM), +0:40.393; 9. Phil Mercer (GBR, KTM), +0:42.209; 10. Leons Kozlovskis (LAT, Suzuki), +1:01.353
VMX overall top 10:
1. Martin Zerava (CZE, SUZ), 47 points; 2. Darryll King (NZL, YAM), 43 p.; 3. Mats Nilsson (SWE, YAM), 42 p.; 4. Francisco Garcia Vico (ESP, HON), 38 p.; 5. Stefan Norström (SWE, YAM), 31 p.; 6. Christoph Lackner (AUT, KTM), 29 p.; 7. Brian Wheeler (GBR, KAW), 28 p.; 8. Fredrik Werner (SWE, HON), 25 p.; 9. Phil Mercer (GBR, KTM), 21 p.; 10. Pascal Bal (BEL, KTM), 21 p.
VMX Championship standings top 10:
1. Martin Zerava (CZE, SUZ), 47 points; 2. Darryll King (NZL, YAM), 43 p.; 3. Mats Nilsson (SWE, YAM), 42 p.; 4. Francisco Garcia Vico (ESP, HON), 38 p.; 5. Stefan Norström (SWE, YAM), 31 p.; 6. Christoph Lackner (AUT, KTM), 29 p.; 7. Brian Wheeler (GBR, KAW), 28 p.; 8. Fredrik Werner (SWE, HON), 25 p.; 9. Phil Mercer (GBR, KTM), 21 p.; 10. Sebastien Midali (FRA, HON), 21 p.