Day one of the Swedish Grand Prix started with some dark clouds and right after the first free practices it started to rain heavily. The track conditions changed significantly and even if it stopped raining by the middle of the MX2 qualifying race, the riders found the track really demanding. Jeffrey Herlings obtained his fourth pole today, but the big surprise of the day was the strong comeback of Steven Frossard who dominated the whole MX1 qualifying race.
The EMX250 riders took part in the Semi Final heats this morning and whereas the red plate holder Valentin Guillod dominated Group A race, Jeremy Seewer obtained a comfortable victory in Group B heat.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Steven Frossard was finally back today in the FIM Motocross World Championship after having missed most of the season due to knee and a foot injury, but he could not have a better comeback, as he dominated the qualifying race since the very beginning. The French rider has been training really hard to do well this weekend and even if he felt some pain during the sighting lap, once the gate dropped he gave it all and nobody could stopped him to win the race. Frossard admitted that it might be very difficult for him to keep a good rhythm during both heats tomorrow, but his goal is to finish among the top three best riders.
The second position of the MX1 qualifying race was for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle, who had obtained the best lap time in the pre-qualifying practice. The Belgian rider really likes the Swedish track but he found it hard to overtake Frossard even if he was riding faster than the French rider in the beginning of the heat. Desalle admitted that he was happy with his riding but after the race he made some more changes in the settings of his engine in order to make sure he obtains a good result tomorrow, as he did last year in Uddevalla.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker started the heat fourth behind Shaun Simpson, but after four laps the Belgian rider managed to move up to the third position. Once De Dycker overtook the British rider, both Frossard and Desalle had already opened a big gap, so the KTM rider decided to ride safe and ensure a good gate pick for tomorrow.
The fourth position was for Shaun Simpson who is racing with JK SKS Gebben Yamaha this weekend – the British rider and TM Ricci Racing agreed on working separately from now until the end of the season. Simpson has proved today that he has adapted really fast to his new Yamaha because he has obtained the best result of the season.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli was one of the first ones to reach the first corner after the start of the qualifying race, but after a couple of corners he was down in the fifth position. As the track conditions were really demanding the Italian decided to ride safe and not to risk too much and he rode a consistent moto in the fifth place. Cairoli admitted that he has no pain on the knee anymore and he is really confident for tomorrow’s races as it is expected to be sunny.
Jeremy Van Horebeek did also a solid race in fifth, as well as Max Nagl and Evgeny Bobryshev who crossed the finish line sixth and seventh respectively. Tommy Searle rode ninth during the whole qualifying race whereas Kevin Strijbos starred in an incredible recovery from almost the last position up to the final tenth place.
Gautier Paulin started down in the tenth position and he was not able to overtake any rider. On top of that, by the end of the race a lapped rider took his line and the French rider crashed and Paulin crossed the finish line thirteenth. However, he is confident about tomorrow as the track conditions will be completely different if it stays dry.
Tanel Leok, who was back from a shoulder injury this weekend, struggled a little bit on the Swedish track. The Estonian crashed several times and he finished sixteenth, but he is really happy to be back racing with TM and he expects to obtain good results with his new team in this second half of the season.
MX1 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 25:52.034; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:03.920; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:26.789; 4. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:28.746; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:30.587; 6. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:31.863; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:33.421; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:35.722; 9. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:38.585; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:48.326;
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings succeeded to have a good start in today’s qualifying race and he dominated the heat until the chequered flag. The Dutch rider admitted that even if he won with twelve seconds difference with the second classified he found the track really demanding due to the heavy rain at the beginning of the race. Herlings hopes to have a dry race tomorrow and try to obtain his maiden Grand Prix victory in Uddevalla.
CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit’s Alessandro Lupino found himself really comfortable today in Uddevalla and after obtaining the second fastest lap time in the pre-qualifying practice he managed to ride second during the whole qualifying heat. The Italian rode close to Herlings in the beginning of the race and he even clinched the fastest lap of the race in his fifth lap, but Lupino could not follow Herlings’ rhythm and crossed the finish line twelve second behind the Dutch rider.
Third in today’s qualifying race was Monster Energy Yamaha’s Christophe Charlier; the French rider started right behind Lupino and he pushed really hard to overtake him, but a problem with his goggles in the early stages of the race forced him to ride safe in the third place.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier started fourth behind Lupino and Charlier and even if he tried to follow their lines and keep together with the front group, he lost some ground and had to settle down with the fourth place. The French rider is looking forward to tomorrow’s races because if it is sunny as it has been forecasted, he is confident he can ride for a podium finish.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Dean Ferris had a good start in fifth and after three laps he made a mistake and dropped down two positions. However, he managed to get back quickly to his Yamaha and he recuperated his speed and overtook his teammate Mel Pocok and José Butrón to cross the finish line fifth.
José Butrón did not feel really comfortable today at the Swedish track and he crossed the finish line sixth, but he is also positive for tomorrow and he will give it all to defend his third position in the championship. Romain Febvre did not have a good start, but he managed to move from tenth to seventh and Glenn Coldenhoff also succeeded to improve his initial eleventh position to finish eighth.
Norwegian Even Heibye obtained his best race result of the season by crossing the finish line ninth ahead of British Mel Pocock. After a good start in eighth Jake Nicholls had some difficulties to keep his rhythm and he could only finish eleventh, and the same happened to Alexander Tonkov who obtained an eventual twelfth place.
MX2 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 24:20.940; 2. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:12.729; 3. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +0:22.673; 4. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:35.227; 5. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), +0:49.049; 6. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:58.165; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +1:01.897; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:03.176; 9. Even Heibye (NOR, KTM), +1:06.297; 10. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), +1:12.901;
MXGP SWEDEN – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1557m
Type of ground: hard pack
The Grand Prix will be broadcast LIVE in Italy on SportItalia, in France on Be In Sport 2 and Motors TV France, in Slovenia on Sport TV, in Portugal on Sport TV3, in the UK on Motors TV UK, in Brazil on Bandsports, in Thailand on True Vision, in Africa on Al Jazeera Sport and Sport TV, in the Middle East on Al Jazeera Sport, in Europe on Motors TV Europe and worldwide on MX-LIFE.TV.
By clicking here you will be able to download the complete TV coverage of the MXGP of Sweden.
Sunday: EMX250 Warm up 8:30; MX2 Warm up 9:00; MX1 Warm up 9:30; EMX250 FINAL 11:10; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 12:10; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 13:10; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 15:01; MX1 Grand Prix race 2 16:07.