Si Racha woke up this morning with heavy rain which made the organization stopped the MX2 free practice and cancel the MX1 session. However, after the thirty minutes of heavy rain, the bright sun and the 32° C helped to dry the track quickly and the rest of the sessions were disputed as usual. Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings dominated their respective pre-qualifying practice and the qualifying race.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli said that the track was in perfect conditions for the qualifying races and said that it was partly thank to the good drainage system and the quality of the soil. The Italian had a good start but in the first corner he bumped into a mad spot and lost the lead. However, Cairoli quickly made the move on Steven Frossard and he led the race until the chequered flag.
His teammate Ken De Dycker rode a solid race in second from the beginning of the race until the end. At some points of the race the Belgian rider was faster than Cairoli in some sections of the track, but De Dycker decided to ride safe and assured a good gate pick for tomorrow’s main races.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Steven Frossard had a fantastic start and led the first corners of the qualifying heat. The French rider admitted that he suffered a little bit of arm pump, which made him dropped to third place, but he managed to keep the position until the end of the race.
Honda World Motocross’ Evgeny Bobryshev did not have a good start and he made several mistakes in the first corners, but the Russian found quickly a good rhythm and overtook Tanel Leok and Xavier Boog. By the middle of the heat Bobryshev was already fourth and he finished the race with really good feelings for tomorrow’s races.
ICE1RACING’s Xavier Boog started the qualifying race with the leading group and he rode very well during the first laps of the heat. However, the French rider started feeling some pain on his ankle and had to slow down and dropped down one position. Boog received some treatment after the race in order to be as good as possible for tomorrow’s races, but he is still a question mark.
Clement Desalle did not have a good start but he succeeded in overtaking several riders and he ended sixth, ahead of Tanel Leok and Rui Gonçalves. Tommy Searle started twelfth right behind Desalle, but the British could only move up until the ninth position. Gautier Paulin had also a difficult start, but he managed to move from his initial fourteenth position to his final tenth place.
MX1 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 24:16.731; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:10.579; 3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:22.971; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:30.426; 5. Xavier Boog (FRA, KTM), +0:36.875; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:38.971; 7. Tanel Leok (EST, Honda), +0:39.699; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), +0:40.277; 9. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:43.698; 10. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:46.011;
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings dominated once again the qualifying heat with superb authority and he crossed the finish line thirty-five seconds ahead of the second classified, Romain Febvre. The MX2 leader admitted that he was very happy with his riding today and he is looking forward to tomorrow’s races, especially the Super Final, where he hopes to finish among the top five of the race.
Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Romain Febvre started once again at the front and after taking the holeshot he led the first corners of the race. The French rider could not keep the lead as Herlings was much faster than him, but Febvre finished second which gives him many chances to be again on the podium this weekend.
His teammate Jake Nicholls did not have such good start, but he was fourth position in lap one. The Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM rider kept a consistent rhythm in fourth and by the end of the heat the British rider succeeded in overtaking José Butrón and Nicholls ended third.
Standing Construct KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff was riding sixth behind Jordi Tixier during the first half of the race and when the French rider crashed, Coldenhoff moved up one position and he gave chase to the leading group. In the end, the Dutch rider overtook Butrón in the last lap and he crossed the finish line fourth.
KTM Silver Action’s José Butrón had an excellent start and he rode a consistent moto in third. The Spanish rider explained that he felt really good on the Thai track and he hopes to finish among the top five MX2 riders.
Mel Pocock started down in eighth, but he managed to cross the finish line sixth ahead of Christophe Charlier. Jordi Tixier, who crashed while he was riding fifth, ended eighth but he was taken to the hospital after the race as he had a deep cut in his chin and the doctors will determine if the French rider can take part in tomorrow’s races. Julien Lieber finished ninth and Dean Ferris rounded the top ten.
MX2 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 24:08.946; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +0:35.143; 3. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:52.007; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:54.261; 5. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:56.349; 6. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), +0:59.213; 7. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +1:08.116; 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +1:11.914; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, Suzuki), +1:17.307; 10. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), +1:25.351;
MXGP THAILAND – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1550
Type of ground: Intermediate to soft
Temperature: 32° C
Weather conditions: heavy rain in the morning, sunny and cloudy during the rest of the day
Sunday: MX2 Warm up 9:00; MX1 Warm up 9:30; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 12:10; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 13:10; MX1/2 Last Chance Race 14:30; MX1/2 Super Final 16:10.