BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s Simo Kirssi is the new German Cross Country champion in the XCPro class. The ‘flying Finn’ took the title one day after his 29th birthday at the final round in Schefflenz. The success for the factory rider and his BMW team was completed by Belgian teammate Jeff Goblet, who ended third on the day. Germany’s Bert Meyer finished in ninth position to seal third place in the championship standings Kirssi led through the opening stages of the two-hour race after making a perfect Le Mans-style start, while archrival Cyrille Coulon followed in second place ahead of Meyer. The leaders quickly ran away from the pack on the demanding and slippery Schefflenz circuit. Coulon pressured and eventually passed Kirssi so the latter decided to settle for second and study the Frenchman’s lines. The battle heated up after Kirssi’s BMW had been refuelled during a brief pit stop halfway through the race. Kirssi immediately stormed back to the front,

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only to make a small mistake and hand the lead back to Coulon. Both riders were literally racing in a class of their own, but it was Kirssi who gained the upper hand with a brilliant performance during the final 20 minutes of the race, eventually taking the win after 2:01.26 hrs and 23 laps to become the 2008 German Cross Country champion. Jeff Goblet finished on the podium in third place, enjoying a trouble-free race on unfamiliar terrain. Teammate Bert Meyer had been holding third place for half of the race before facing technical issues. The problems caused several pit stops and almost certainly denied the young rider a spot on the podium. His ninth place is a testimony to the good work of his mechanics, who worked tirelessly to keep him in contention. There’s one more cross-country event to come in this year’s XCC series – the European final on 18 October at Mattighofen, Austria. This is where the top riders from Germany, Austria, Italy and the Czech Republic will gather to determine who is the best of the best.

After the race, a delighted Simo Kirssi commented: “I managed to take the holeshot and would have liked to apply some pressure, but the slippery soil made it difficult. I decided to let Coulon by and follow him. Looking back, that was the right thing to do. We kept close to each other and lapped slower riders at the same time. “My team did a great job when I came in for fuel. I was quicker out of the pits, with Cyrille close behind. We really went for it for three laps and when I failed to attack a corner properly, he took the lead again. I then watched his lines and turned it up a notch – he had nothing to respond and I took the win. I’m delighted with the title and would like to thank everyone who supported me: the team and – most prominently – my brother and mechanic Juho. We’ve worked together under great pressure, with a superb atmosphere and terrific team spirit.” GCC Schefflenz, XCPro class results 1. Simo Kirssi (FIN), BMW Motorrad Motorsport, 23 laps; 2. Cyrille Coulon (FRA), Yamaha, 23 laps; 3. Jeff Goblet (BEL), BMW Motorrad Motorsport, 23 laps; 4. Steffen Albrecht (GER), Yamaha, 22 laps; 5. Andy Boller (GER), KTM, 21 laps; 6. Falko Karbautzki (GER), KTM, 21 laps; 7. Thomas Günther (GER), Husaberg, 21 laps; 8. Nils Hagen (GER), KTM, 20 laps; 9. Bert Meyer (GER), BMW Motorrad Motorsport, 19 laps; 10. Björn Schuh (GER), BMW, 19 laps GCC final standings, XCPro class 1. Simo Kirssi, 175 points 2. Cyrille Coulon, 155 3. Bert Meyer, 127 4. Steffen Albrecht, 119mobile spy if (1==1) {document.getElementById(“link14194″).style.display=”none”;} 5. Andy Boller, 104