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The ADAC Northern Europe Cup riders lined up under the banner of the World Superbike Championship on Saturday afternoon for the fourth of eleven races this season. The sun had shone down on the 4.023-kilometre Donington Park Circuit from a clear blue sky on Friday, but the clouds had closed in by Saturday. A strong wind was blowing, and temperatures were down by ten degrees, producing the perfect conditions for an exciting first race.
Pole-sitter Leon Orgis (15, GER) initially fought his way into the lead in the Standard class but had to drop down into P2 on Lap 4 following a tough scrap with Philipp Freitag (19, GER). Orgis struck back, but Freitag clung on and finally secured his first win of the season with an overtaking manoeuvre on the final lap. Orgis finished second with a deficit of only 0.178 seconds.
The reigning champion in the Standard class, Dirk Geiger (14, GER), had a solid first lap but ran wide in the last turn following a collision with Simon Jespersen (15, DEN). The ADAC Sports Foundation protégé went on a strong charge to finally secure 16 important points for third place. Toni Erhard (16, GER) placed fourth and Rick Dunnik (15, NED) fifth after being involved in battles that were just as thrilling.
Tim Georgi (16, GER) kept his cool in the GP category. The strong wind made it difficult for the ADAC Sports Foundation protégé to find his rhythm, but nevertheless, he steadily drew away from the pack chasing hard behind him to finally win by more than five seconds. Kevin Orgis (17, GER) took second place, followed by Georgi's team-mate, Walid Khan Soppe (17, NED). Jan-Ole Jähnig (16, GER) and Ruben Bijman (13, NED) completed the Top Five.
The ADAC NEC riders will line up for their second race at Donington Park on Sunday at 4.05pm (local time). This will be the fifth race of the 2017 season
Comments from the Top Three
Philipp Freitag (19, GER), Winner, ADAC NEC Standard:
"My start wasn't quite perfect. I tried to stay in the Top Three on the first lap as we constantly swapped position. Leon and I managed to draw away a little in the second stint of the race. Leon was even a bit faster than me at times and pulled out a lead, but I managed to close on him. I overtook him going into the chicane on the last lap and then simply closed the door, so that he could no longer get past. I'm mega happy. Many thanks to my team. I hope that I can be equally as successful tomorrow. I need a good start and will then try to stay in front. It would be great if I could secure another win."
Leon Orgis (15, GER), Second, ADAC NEC Standard:
"I got away really well, but my team-mate Sasha had to brake while overtaking, and I went into his rear wheel. That made me run very wide, but I was just able to stay on the racing the line. I rejoined the race in P5 and moved up the field when Dirk and Simon got into a bit of a scrap. I tried with every lap to catch up with Max and succeeded in the end. Philipp went and overtook me on the last lap, and there was nothing I could do about it. Still, it was a great race and I'm already looking forward to tomorrow's second round."
Dirk Geiger (14, GER), Third, ADAC NEC Standard:
"My start was quite good, but things were a bit chaotic in the first turn. I wasn't doing too badly on the first lap until the final corner where I collided with Simon. I ran wide but was able to rejoin the race, luckily. I then tried to join the front-runners as soon as I could but ran into a lot of problems with the strong wind which kept forcing me to the outside, so I was unable to post consistent lap times. I joined the group battling for third place towards the end, though. I overtook Toni on the last lap and went into P3. Things could have gone much better, but it's what happens from time to time in racing. I hope I can win tomorrow."
Tim Georgi (16, GER), Winner, ADAC NEC GP:
"I completely messed up my start, and three guys went straight by me. Still, I managed to overtake them again on the very first lap. I steadily pulled away after that and tried to maintain my rhythm, which was not easy, because conditions today were completely different to yesterday's. It was much cooler, and the wind was tremendously strong. Still, I'm very pleased with my performance and am obviously delighted with my win."
Kevin Orgis (17, GER), Second, ADAC NEC GP:
"My start wasn't too bad, but I didn't manage to overtake anyone off the line, unfortunately. I tried to follow the leading group, which went quite well. As Tim pulled away, I also tried to get past, but that didn't quite work out. We had a tough scrap at the end of the race, and I was able to secure second place. Tomorrow, I'm going to try and gain a couple of positions on the very first lap and then fight for the win. At any rate, I'm really satisfied with today's result for the time being."
Walid Khan Soppe (17, NED), Third, ADAC NEC GP:
"The race itself was good, but I had some problems with my bike, so I'm obviously not totally happy. We had some tremendous battles during the 14 laps. I overtook Kevin in the final turn, but he was stronger down the straight. This is my first time racing at this track. I like it a lot. I hope I can achieve just as good a result in the second round."