Frellsen and Irmscher share the spoils at Oschersleben

Round 3 of the 2024 Nothern Talent Cup has concluded with further drama unfolding in Germany

Race 1 - Frellsen finishes first in fabulous fixture

Race 1 in Oschersleben was another memorable Northern Talent Cup showdown, this time won by Julius Frellsen ahead of Richard Irmscher (Racingteam Irmscher) and Ferre Fleerackers (Junior Black Knights), with Jurrien Van Crugten (BB64 Academy) crashing out with a high side on lap 14. Rider OK.

Irmscher took the holeshot from second on the grid ahead of polesitter Matteo Masili (SaMarigosa MM Racing Team), with title contender and Dutchman Van Crugten getting a poor start off the line and dropping to sixth.

In the early stages of the race, it was between Irmscher, Masili and Dustin Schneider (Mass Sports Racing by JRP Academy), in a lead group of seven featuring Fleerackers, Tom Kuil (Zelda People Racing), Van Crugten and Antoine Nativi (Racing Nativi Team). Positions were swapped and overtakes were undertaken. By lap four Italian maestro Masili had established himself as the lead rider, and it stayed that way until lap nine when favourite Van Crugten finally hit the front. Meanwhile, Schneider had dropped to seventh.

Then something unexpected happened around lap 12. Schneider's new teammate, and NTC alumni, Frellsen joined the leading group. Unless you'd been paying close attention to the timesheets you may not have noticed, but the Dane had been lapping faster than the leading group. By lap 14 Frellsen overtook Irmscher for the lead, timing it to perfection. Moments later Van Crugten crashed out, rider ok but his title tilt taking a hit.

It all came down to a photo finish as the Dane took victory in sensational form on his return to the category ahead of Irmscher and Fleerackers. Rounding out the top 10 were Nativi, Masili, Schneider, Kuil, Thias Wenzel (Kiefer Racing), Lorenzo Pontillo (Junior Black Knights), and Alessandro Binder (Kiefer Racing).

Race 2 - Irmscher takes hard-fought victory ahead of Masili and Fleerackers

Richard Irmscher (Racingteam Irmscher) stole the show on Sunday with victory over his rivals in Race 2 in Oschersleben, finishing ahead of Matteo Masili (SaMarigosa MM Racing Team) and Ferre Fleerackers (Junior Black Knights) in a fiercely-contested encounter that saw Jurrien Van Crugten (BB64 Academy) and Frellsen go wide on the last corner as they fought for the last place on the podium. 

Off the line it was a great start from Dustin Schneider (Mass Sports Racing by JRP Academy) from second on the grid, taking the holeshot ahead of Fleerackers and Alessandro Binder (Kiefer Racing). Van Crugten and Masili both had poor starts and dropped positions. For the first few laps, Schneider was the front man in a lead group of seven, with Fleerackers, Binder, and Irmscher close behind.

By lap six Masili entered the top three, and from lap 11 things started to get really interesting as Saturday's winner Frellsen finally joined the top group and started looking like he was going to do a repeat of Race 1. At the beginning of the last lap it was Masili from Frellsen and Irmscher. In the last sector, Frellsen got sandwiched between Van Crugten and Fleerackers, putting him a bit wide.

Meanwhile, Irmscher overtook Masili on the inside into the last turn to steal the win, and then Frellsen and Van Crugten, fighting hard for third, forced each other wide. The chasing pack didn't wait for a second invitation to roar past and over the finish line. Behind Fleerackers who nabbed third, it was Dutchman Tom Kuil (Zelda People Racing), Schneider, Thias Wenzel (Kiefer Racing), Binder, Van Crugten, Frellsen and Kyano Schoo (KS-Racing). Frenchman Antoine Nativi (Racing Nativi Team) could only manage 14th due to a problem with his visor during the race.

With six different winners in six races, the NTC is shaping up nicely for a hotly-contested and unpredictable season. We've enjoyed Van Crugten, Nativi, and now Irmscher, as Cup leaders. Masili's pole and podium in Oschersleben suggest the Italian hero means business, and add Frellsen into the mix alongside talents like Van Crugten, Nativi, and Irmscher and the whole thing starts looking box-office! The NTC now approaches the halfway point of the season which will be held at the mighty Most, in the Czech Republic, in just under three weeks. Don't miss it!