Well, it was a shock to me. My cast iron, put-the-house-on-it prediction that Brad Baker would win the Superprestigio came up short. How short? As short as Dani Pedrosa stood in a pothole.
Baker was slightly off the pace in timed practice, being out-qualified by Supermoto champ, Thomas Chareyre, but it wasn't a concern to me or my prediction, because Baker's a racer.
The 2014 GNC champ comfortably made the Superfinal to race Marquez for the first time in the night. After a mid-pack run to the first corner, Marquez kept tight and exited turn 2 in the lead, with Baker behind him, then checked out. Even, and I say that with all due respect, Toni Elias passed Baker, pushing him back to third at the flag. It just wasn't Brad's night.
The American said tyre choice was crucial and showed on Flat Track Live's feed that his soft Michelin Supermoto wet was chewing up. It seemed the same for everyone though. The official Superprestigio website quoted him as saying 'I haven’t feel at my ease in the race track and honestly I’ve been much more nervous in this event than in my current competition in flat track in the US.'
In a crash-strewn night, the British DTRA riders had mixed fortunes. A strong travelling support saw Ollie Brindley make the Open Finals, but one of the UK's brightest stars didn't progress to the Superfinal this time. George Pickering just missed out on the Open finals in his first Superprestigio, while Alan Birtwistle was out of sorts after having his van was broken into and robbed outside the event. Young Toby Hales had the bad luck too, when he couldn't avoid a crash bike on his line, was catapulted over the bars and broke his wrist.
Keep an eye out for 2017 DTRA dates being released this week.
Hard racing, decent crowd.
Ollie looking relaxed before the battle.
The appearance of 16/ 17in wheels on DTX bikes made the bikes look too much like Supermoto for some hardcore fans. Most didn't seem to care.
Avoiding first corner carnage was crucial. 30, Birtwistle about to go up the inside.
Baker leads Chareyre
Japanese rider Masatoshi Ohmori styling it up for the crowd.
British rider Alan Birtwistle styling it up for the crowd. Read his Get Schooled tips for winning a championship without team back up in Sideburn 27.