Jean-Bruno Pastorello immediately hit back after yesterday’s breakdown and no points tally to take his third win from four heats and now has one hand tentatively gripping the Russky Offshore 2013 trophy.
But today’s win could well prove costly for the Frenchman after damaging the hull of his Kawasaki and his team now face a race against time to have it repaired and good enough to go the distance in time for tomorrow’s final heat.
Guadeloupe riders, Vick Team’s Vincent Thomas and Lucas Granger, produced their best showing of the event sharing race duties to bring their Kawasaki home in second place, with Alexsei Chernukha maintaining his title challenge finishing third and remains in second place overall.
The elation of winning was short-lived for the Champion-elect when he stepped off the bike and realised the extent of the damage. 'It is not good and could be a big problem for us,' said a downbeat and tired Pastorello. 'Hopefully we will have the time and facilities we need here to do the job. The conditions were very very hard. Once you got out of the channel to run up the coast the waves were big. It was very tough today.'
The change in conditions from the previous three heats run in almost flat seas to today’s rough water resulted in race officials running a revised course that took riders along the coast of Vladivostok rather than around Russky Island and proved a physically demanding and tough test for riders and bikes - six of the 16 starters failing to go the distance.
After missing heats two and three Russia’s Yury Ryabko enjoyed a brief spot in the limelight leading Pastorello in the early stages of the first leg, and was lying in third spot [behind Pastorello and Chernukha] after the first pit stop, but his race was short-lived hitting trouble and stopping early on the second leg.
Pastorello broke Chernukha’s early challenge on the second leg to run out a comfortable winner completing the race in 2hrs 38mins 7.98secs and win by 3mins 41.74secs.
Behind Pastorello Chernukha encountered technical problems and came under pressure from a hard charging Vick Team who revelled in the conditions, and from lying in sixth at the end of leg one started to push, moving into fourth on leg two and passing Chernukha on the penultimate leg to secure the runners-up slot, with Chernukha limping home in third.
Russia’s Alexander Shishov and Igor Chernikh maintained their consistency to take their fourth top-four finish ahead of Spanish outfit Maremoto Jets, with Thailand’s Oraphan Teerapatpanich and Turkey’s Ali Komsusu rounding out the top six, their best result so far.
Despite a strong early sowing and lying in third place at the end of leg two, Samuka Racing’s titles hopes vanished when their race ended a lap later.
Jean-Bruno Pastorello will line up for the fifth and final heat of Rusky Offshore needing to finish in the top four to win the title, with hopes of Russian success lying with Alexsei Chernukha and the pairing of Alexander Shishov and Igor Chernick.
Heat 4 results:
1 8 Team France FR 4 02:34:26.24 00:00:00.00 25
2 971 VICK Team GP 4 02:38:07.98 00:03:41.74 20
3 37 Team Russia 37 RU 4 02:50:59.04 00:16:32.80 16
4 58 Team Russia 58 RU 4 02:52:28.43 00:18:02.19 13
5 55 Maremoto Jets ES 4 03:08:27.55 00:34:01.31 11
6 77 Team Turkey TR 4 03:20:48.26 00:46:22.02 10
7 777 Team Russia 777 RU 4 03:24:32.60 00:50:06.36 9
8 14 Team Russia 14 RU 4 03:25:00.71 00:50:34.47 8
9 39 Team Portugal PT 3 02:49:08.59 L1 7
10 50 Team Russia 50 RU 3 02:58:34.35 L1 6
12 Samuka Racing PT 2 01:13:19.78 DNF
25 Team Russia 25 RU 2 01:25:23.93 DNF
5 Team Russia 5 RU 1 00:34:02.68 DNF
32 Team Russia 32 RU 1 00:35:25.56 DNF
4 Foks Moto Woman RU 0 DNF
21 Team Russia 21 RU 0 DNF
27 Team Russia 27 RU 0 DNS
78 Team Russia 78 RU 0 DNS
88 Team Finland FI 0 DNS
Race Time Limit: 03:25:54.9