Day one of the MXGP of Qatar took place today under the floodlights of Losail’s Motocross Track and Antonio Cairoli and Valentin Teillet dominated the qualifying race. There was really good racing today, so a good show is guaranteed with the first heats of the MX1 and MX2 and the Super Final, where both classes will be racing together.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli was very satisfied with his riding today; he obtained the best second lap time in the pre-qualifying session and he dominated the qualifying race from the beginning until the end. The Italian admitted that it has not been easy getting used to the lights, but he also said that the preparation of the track was perfect.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle did not have a good pre-qualifying session, but he managed to finish second in the qualifying race, so he will have a good gate pick for tomorrow’s races. The Belgian rider started third and he was closely followed by Ken De Dycker, but Desalle managed to keep his position and he succeeded in overtaking Evgeny Bobryshev in lap ten.
Honda World Motocross’ Evgeny Bobryshev started second in the MX1 qualifying race and he kept his position almost until the end of the heat. However, Desalle was coming really fast from behind and he overtook the Russian in the last laps of the heat. Bobryshev is feeling really good again and he hopes to be racing at the front at tomorrow’s races.
The fourth position of the MX1 qualifying race was for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker, who started fourth and at some point of the race he was really close to overtake Desalle who was in second. However, De Dycker made a small mistake when attacking his compatriot, so from then onwards he decided to ride safe and assure a good gate pick for tomorrow.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Steven Frossard was back racing today with all the MX1 riders after the long knee injury he suffered last year and he managed to finish fifth in the qualifying race. The French rider admitted that he did not feel really good on the bike today and he had actually a little bit of arm pump, but he is looking forward to tomorrow’s races and hopes for a better rhythm.
Max Nagl, who is struggling a little bit with some pain on his hand due to the injury he suffered in Mantova, did a consistent race in sixth and Tommy Searle finished right behind him. It was the first race for the British rider in the MX1 class and he admitted that he rode a little bit tight, but he expects to do well tomorrow. Kevin Strijbos finished eighth and Davide Guarneri and Gautier Paulin, who crashed with Xavier Boog at the beginning of the heat, completed the top ten.
Jeremy Van Horebeek rode a safe heat on his debut in the MX1 class, as he broke his finger only four weeks ago and he is still not fully recovered from it.
MX1 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 24:59.438; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:08.846; 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:11.734; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:21.569; 5. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:25.095; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:26.505; 7. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:28.450; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:29.497; 9. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), +0:30.621; 10. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:31.673;
Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Valentin Teillet was the big surprise of the day after winning the qualifying race with superb authority. The French rider took the holeshot, he managed to open a big gap since the beginning and he crossed the finish line fourteen seconds ahead of Glen Coldenhoff, who finished second. Teillet admitted that he is feeling better than ever, as he did not suffer any injury in winter, so he expects to have good results from now onwards.
The second position of the qualifying race was for Standing Construct KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff, who managed to start fourth and moved up to the second place by the end of the heat. The Dutch rider had some good races in 2012, so he might be one of the riders fighting for the top positions at every Grand Prix.
KTM Silver Action’s Antonio Butrón had an excellent start and managed to ride second during the first lap, but Romain Febvre overtook him easily. Glenn Coldenhoff was also coming faster from behind, so Butrón had to settle down with the third place, which will give him many chances to do well tomorrow.
Today it was the first time Max Anstie rode with the colours of Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe in the FIM MX2 World Championship, and his debut was really positive. The British rider had a good start and he rode a consistent race in fifth and by the end of the heat he succeeded in overtaking Jordi Tixier. In the end Anstie finished fourth.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier did not have a good start, but he gave his best to move from seventh to fifth. The French rider is willing to do really well tomorrow and prove that he has also loads of possibilities for fighting for a win.
The sixth position was for Dean Ferris, and Jake Nicholls finished seventh. Jeffrey Herlings had a good start, but he went too wide in the first corner and he went out of the track. The Dutch rider did his best not to lose too many positions, but he had to start from the dead last place. In the end, Herlings finished eighth, which proves that he is not feeling so much pain in his leg and he can do really good tomorrow at the main races.
Julien Lieber finished ninth and Alessandro Lupino completed the top ten. His teammate Arnaud Tonus was eleventh, followed by Christophe Charlier.
Romain Febvre, who finished third in the pre-qualifying session, did a fantastic start and he managed to ride second during the first laps, but a mechanical problem forced him to enter the pitlane and the race was over for the French young rider.
Another rider who had some problems with his bike was Mel Pocock, whose engine broke in the beginning of the heat when he was riding sixth.
MX2 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), 23:52.982; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:14.179; 3. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:16.483; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, Suzuki), +0:18.402; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:19.266; 6. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), +0:22.282; 7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:22.679; 8. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:22.818; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, Suzuki), +0:24.200; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:25.570;
MXGP QATAR – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1595
Type of ground: hard pack
Temperature: 24° C
Weather conditions: sunny
Saturday: MX2 Warm up 17:00; MX1 Warm up 17:30; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 19:10; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 20:10; MX1/2 Last Chance Race 21:30; MX1/2 Super Final 23:10.