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Skids, jumps and accidents duet on a motorcycle

Amelia Fort

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The human being, by nature, is competitive and likes to test his skill and ability. And that’s why it invents games and disciplines as unique as the one we bring today: the Sidecarcross races .

If Motocross competitions seemed difficult and dangerous, Sidecarcross multiplies exponentially the difficulty and risk of its participants. In Spain this sport may be little known, but in Europe, especially in the eastern countries, it is quite frequent, to the point that there is even a Sidecarcross World Championship .

A hard and dangerous sport, especially for co-drivers

The Sidecarcross has practically the same rules as Motocross . They differ in that the vehicle does not have two wheels, but three, and that there is mounted a pilot and a co-driver standing on one of the sides trying to balance the bike at each turn thanks to the help of a bar with which it remains on the vehicle, without it being fired at every jump and every skid.

It is such a dangerous sport that the rules allow the driver to change co-drivers as many times as he wants throughout the season. This is because there are usually accidents and those who suffer the most serious injuries are usually the companions . In more than one video you can see how they are dismissed as if they were fair dolls.

Because of that accident, substitutions are so common that there is even a rule for when a driver wins a championship. In this case, not all co-drivers who have participated with him during the season also expire , only the one who has run more than half of the races and / or who has won more than 50% of the points to be world champions.

Whoever signs up for this world must have an age limit. The minimum for pilots is 18 years and for co-pilots is 16 years. Above is limited to 50 years. From this age they have to pass medical tests that show that they are fit.

In the race sidecars can compete with two-stroke engines between 350 cc and 750 cc or four-stroke up to 1,000 cc . Its chassis are reinforced, the sidecar can go to both sides of the bike, the swingarms are elongated and have a double rear shock absorber. All teams can use up to two sidecars and can change them in the middle of the race if necessary.

Three races have already been held, eleven remain

In the current calendar of the National Sidecarcross Championship there are 14 great prizes that are run in ten countries : Belgium (2 events), Holland (2), Germany (2), France (2), Switzerland (1), Czech Republic (1) ), Estonia (1), Spain (1), Ukraine (1) and Latvia (1).

The competitions take place on weekends. The Saturday training are free timed, lasting thirty minutes. On Sunday there are two races with a duration of 30 minutes each plus two rounds . Whoever adds more points between the two batches is the winner.

At the moment three Grand Prizes have already been held : Belgium, Spain (Talavera de la Reina) and Holland. In the general classification they go in first position with 130 points Etienne Bax and Kaspars Stupelis ; in second, with 120 points, Marvin Vanluchene and Ben Van Den Bogaart ; and in third place, with 106 points, are Daniel Willemsen and Luc Rostingt . No Spanish competes in this championship.

Almost 40 years of history

The history of these races officially dates back to the year 1980 , when several Sidecarcross teams competed in Europe. However, to find its true origin you have to go back to 1971, when there was an unofficial European championship that was organized by the FIM. The first race was held on April 25 of that year in Pernes-les-Fontaines (France). When the championship was born in Europe, most of the participants are from that continent, although there have also been runners from the United States and Australia.

For pilots it is difficult to dedicate themselves professionally to this type of competition because the economic benefit is not very high: between 50 euros and 300 euros per race , depending on the position. Some of the names that sound most are Ben Adriaenssen , Etienne Bax (current leader of the championship) and Daniël Willemsen . The latter has been the one that has won the Sidecarcross World Championship the most times in a total of ten times.

It is a sport in which the vast majority of participants are men. We have to go back to the 2014 season, when the Belgian Sabrina Van Calster participated , to read a female name. He got two points in the first race held in Switzerland that year.

Next Friday, May 10, 2019 will begin the fourth event of the season , which will take place in the Czech Republic and that can be seen by streaming . The pilots and co-drivers will mud up and put their bodies to the limit in a discipline that is made for those who want strong emotions. Without a doubt, if we want to live life to the limit, nothing better than to become a co-pilot (and pilot) of Sidecarcross.

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