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Ferran Cardús got the 2017 defence of his Spanish RFME Flat Track title off to a flying start with a solid victory at the Valencia quarter mile, coming home with a 3.3 second advantage over Gerard Bailo (Suzuki Català) and Franc Serra (Honda ART).
Cardús - just back from riding three rounds of the American Flat Track series in the Singles class - showed that his experience riding in the USA has perfected and smoothed his style and was dominant in Valencia. He was quickest in qualifying, won both his heats and took the lead from Bailo with a ride around the outside on turn three on the first lap of the main.
The excitement in the Pro Main was supplied by Bailo and Serra, who battled for second during the entire race. Bailo held off Serra to take his first Spanish National podium with a hard-fought second place.
Fourth place went to Italian Francesco Cecchini. The three-time FIM World Flat Track Cup Champion, doing his first ride in a Spanish National, was pushed hard for the entire 16-lap Main by his Honda ART team mate, Adrian Garín.
Completing the top ten: 6: Marc Capdevila, 7: Víctor Alguacil, 8. Sergi Sánchez, 9. Vincent Navarro, 10: José Antonio Moyano.
Master Class: Navarro Slips Past Massano at the Flag
Vicent Navarro (Suzuki Grau) took the first win of the year in the Master Class (for riders over 30) just managing to ride around the outside of veteran Lluís Massana (M42 Dirt Track Team) on the final lap. Massana, still recovering from a serious crash in 2016, stayed down low to close the door on Navarro but could not hold off his attack around the outside on the exit of the final corner of the final lap.
Class champion Guillermo Cano (Suzuki Grau) was third and was in the battle for most of the way until he ran wide on the exit of turn four. These same three, Navarro, Massana and Cano clashed in their heats with the wins going to Massana and Cano. This promises to be a thrilling season-long battle.
The trio were followed home by Martí Puigrodon, Ignasi Sorribes, Lluís Perruca and Jorge Frean.
Next Stop: Rancho Canudas
Round two and three of the Spanish Nationals will be held at Rancho Canudas (Casserres, Barcelona) on the 27th and 28th of May. On Saturday night the riders will race under the lights on the quarter-mile oval and then on Sunday a day race on the new Rancho Canudas TT track.
Ferran Cardús, Pro Winner: "I hope the rest of the season is like this! Right from the beginning the bike was working and the team did a great job. We were a little worried about how the track would hold up due to the sun and heat, but we had no real problems. We won and everything went perfectly".
Vicent Navarro, Master Winner: “I´m really happy with how things went for us today in the Master class. I felt comfortable on the bike from the beginning. The bike gave me confidence and I felt confident about making passes. I had fun out there coming back from a mediocre start. After I caught Massana I had to figure a way around because he was defending well on the inside, but I was able to get around the outside on the last lap and passed him just at the flag".
Results Round 1 | Circuit Valencia
1. Ferran Cardús
2. Gerard Bailo
3. Franc Serra
4. Francesco Cecchini
5. Adrián Garín
6. Marc Capdevila
7. Víctor Alguacil
8. Sergi Sánchez
9. Vicent Navarro
10. José A. Moyano
11. Carlos Espinosa
12. Genís Gelada
13. Guillermo Cano
14. Elia Gibert
15. Ovidi Ramón
16. Sergio Rojo
1. Vicent Navarro
2. Lluís Massana
3. Guillermo Cano
4. Martí Puigrodon
5. Ignasi Sorribes
6. Lluís Perruca
7. Jorge Frean
About Spanish Flat Track
The RFME Spanish Flat Track Cup, the first Spanish National Championship for flat track racing, is now starting its second season. The calendar consists of five races. The series offered Spanish fans in 2016 their first opportunity to see American-style flat track racing on full quarter-mile tracks and to witness TT racing. Rules are based on American Flat Track and, as in the United States, the Dunlop DT3 is the official tire. More information at Flattrack.org.