Racing at a home Grand Prix is something that a lot of riders dream of. Anton Nordstrom-Graaf, the current series leader in the Honda 150 European Championship, is fortunate enough to experience that at a young age, as the CRF150R riders tackled the Swedish circuit of Uddevalla earlier today.
Nordstrom-Graaf was eager to claim victory in front of his friends and family, but Andrea Adamo was desperate for redemption after suffering from poor luck at the previous fixture. Adamo made his intentions quite clear in the timed qualifying session, which took place on Saturday morning, as he romped to the fastest time and claimed pole position for the fourth time this season. A rather large gap separated Adamo from Rasmus Moen, yet another Swedish star, in second.
Although Adamo had the first pick of the gates, he failed to capture the holeshot in the opening encounter at midday. Toa Kishi burst off of the metal mesh and, consequently, led the field out of the first turn, whilst the three title contenders desperately tried to gain ground through the first couple of corners. Kishi led the field for two official laps, but was then demoted by Adamo and focussed on maintaining a competitive pace in second. The Japanese rider did that successfully and garnered a career-best result.
Nordstrom-Graaf actually started ahead of Adamo, but lost ground to him during an exciting tussle at the beginning of the twenty-minute moto. Adamo took advantage of that golden opportunity, as he managed to break free, whilst Nordstrom-Graaf struggled to move forward on the slick surface and ultimately had to settle for third. Moen chased his fellow countryman across the line in fourth. Kjeld Stuurman, who has been a picture of consistency in recent weeks, completed the top five in what was a fairly quiet ride.
What happened to Luis Outeiro, the rider who sat second in the championship standings entering Uddevalla? ‘47’ started around the top five and was making good progress. A freak issue cost him dearly, however, and left him in seventeenth at the chequered flag. Outeiro lost valuable ground in the title chase, but things could not be closer between the top two. Andrea Adamo and Anton Nordstrom-Graaf are separated by just a single point heading into the second moto at the Swedish Grand Prix.