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Dramatic final in the German Cross Country Championship
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport had arrived at the GCC finale under a positive sign. Simo Kirssi was all healed up from his hand injury, well prepared and highly motivated. No wonder he powered his BMW 450 X out of the gate to take early command of the race. Kirssi clocked the quickest laps on the demanding Schefflenz circuit and had soon established a 20-second lead. He was clearly set to control the race from the front.
Twenty-five minutes into the race though, while tackling a tree section, Kirssi noticed a blow to the front wheel. An examination would later find a broken mounting at the steering head, caused by a fault in the material. A problem that never surfaced before. Kirssi tried to save his race by coming into the pits, but there was nothing his crew could do.
The team was forced to watch the race from the sidelines and hope for some support from another rider. Because of the GCC points system, Nemeth needed a second place to claim the title. So far in the season Kirssi had scored three wins, Nemeth two. The Hungarian managed to bring home exactly the position he needed, behind Antoine Letellier and ahead of Nicolas Deparrois. The latter closed in on Nemeth towards the end, but it wasn't enough for BMW's Kirssi.
The team left the scene of the GCC finale disappointed with the outcome, having lost the championship to their strong opponent Nemeth. Kirssi, who is the defending European Cross Country Champion, will now aim at keeping this title in two weeks time at Marisfeld.
Simo Kirssi: "Obviously, I am disappointed. I came here well prepared for the showdown and felt great during the race. My start was perfect also, all was set to control things from the front. I found excellent lines and the suspension worked superbly.
I noticed a blow in the tree section, but couldn't really understand why. It was not possible to properly steer the bike afterwards. I went into the pits and they found the mechanical defect. Guess it wasn't my day. I am sorry for the team who gave it all this season. They desperately wanted to defend the title. I want it back next year."
Wolfgang Fischer: "I'd like to congratulate Simo for taking GCC runner-up honours. He would have deserved a win here in Schefflenz and consequently keep the title. But he had to accept his cruel fate caused by a faulty part. It wasn't because of Simo or the team. We will now look ahead to the European finale. There's another title to defend."
GCC Finale Schefflenz
1. Antoine Letellier (FRA), Aprilia, 18 laps
2. Kornel Nemeth (HUN), KTM, 18
3. Nicolas Deparrois (FRA), Gas Gas, 18
4. Christian Weiß (GER), TM, 18
5. Erik Müller (GER), Kawasaki, 18
GCC Final standings
1. Kornel Nemeth (HUN), 135 points
2. Simo Kirssi (FIN), BMW Motorrad Motorsport, 135
3. Nicolas Deparrois (FRA), 103
4. Christian Weiß (GER), 91
5. Andreas Boller (GER), 89
6. Antoine Letellier (FRA), 84
7. Bert Meyer (GER), 76
8. Andreas Schulz (GER), 73
9. Mickael Musquin (FRA), 71
10. Stefan Ludwig (GER), 63
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