— World Motocross 2013 – Round One – Losail
— Cairoli, Desalle and Herlings take Qatar MXGP honours
— Ferris starts 2013 second in the World MX2 Championship
The first Grand Prix of the 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship took place today under the floodlights of Losail’s Motocross Track and Antonio Cairoli won the Super Final, where the MX1 and MX2 classed raced together. Clement Desalle was second and Gautier Paulin completed the top three. Desalle was rider who obtained most points in the MX1 class, ahead of Antonio Cairoli and Gautier Paulin. Jeffrey Herlings was the first MX2 rider in the Super Final by finishing in the seventh place and he went away with the red plate as he had won the first MX2 race.
– MX2 Race 1
The first ones to race today were the MX2 riders and it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings who won the heat with more than thirty seconds difference over the second classified Glenn Coldenhoff. The Dutch rider managed to overtake Glenn Coldenhoff in the second lap and he pulled away from the rest of the pack until the finish line.
Standing Construct KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff had an excellent start and obtained the Get Athena Holeshot Award and he dominated the first two laps of the race. His compatriot Jeffrey Herlings was coming much faster from behind, so Coldenhoff focused on keeping the second position from Christophe Charlier and Romain Febvre.
The third classified was Monster Energy Yamaha’s Christophe Charlier, who exchanged the fourth position several times with Febvre in the beginning of the race, when Coldenhoff, Herlings and Teillet were racing at the front. The French rider, who had won the qualifying race the previous day, made a small mistake in the first lap and he had to enter the pitlane to have his bike repaired. In the end, Teillet could not finish the race.
Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Romain Febvre had a really good start and he managed to move from fifth to third in the first half of the race. However, he made a mistake by the area before the pitlane and he lost many seconds on Coldenhoff. The French young rider ended fourth in the race.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Dean Ferris was fifth after the start, but Febvre overtook him easily in the beginning of the race. Ferris kept on giving it all, but he was not able to catch the front group and had to settle down with the fifth position. As soon as the race finished, the Australian and his team made several important changes on the bike in order to try to ride for the top positions in the following heat.
Arnaud Tonus, as well as Valentin Teillet, had to pull out from the race due to a mechanical problem, while Max Anstie crashed while he was riding fifth and he had to call it a day.
MX2 Moto1 result
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM) 39.51.449
2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM) +31.544
3. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha) +32.888
4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM) +44.961
5. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha) +59.726
6. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki) +1:03.051
7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM) +1:11.094
8. Julien Lieber (BEL, Suzuki) +1:12.485
9. Mel Pocok (GBR, Yamaha) +1:17.280
10. Jose Burton (ESP, KTM) +1:28.001
– MX1 Race 1
Rockstar Energy Suzuki MX1’s Clement Desalle started the race in the fourth position and he gave chase to all the ones that were in front of him since the very beginning. By lap fourteen, the Belgian rider was already leading the heat. Desalle admitted that he had to push a lot to overtake all the riders, but at the same time he said that he felt really good on his bike.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker started third, but he succeeded in overtaking Bobryshev and Strijbos who were at the front, and he led the following seven laps. His compatriot Desalle was coming really fast from behind, and even if De Dycker gave his best, he had to settle down for the second position.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli had a good reaction when the gate dropped, but he hit something with the bike, he lost a little bit of power and he lost some speed. Besides, Nagl almost touched him, so the Italian closed the gas and he dropped down to the last position. However, after a few corners Cairoli was already among the top twenty, and by the middle of the race the Italian was fourth. The Red Bull KTM Factory rider admitted that he got really tired by the end of the race, as he was able to see the leading group and he did not want to finish fourth. In the end, Cairoli finished third of the MX1 race 1.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin admitted that he had really good feelings on his bike during race one, and although he crashed while he was fifth, he was able to recuperate himself really quickly and crossed the finish line fourth. Paulin was very surprised with his crash, as it had been a long time since he did not have a crash like that and he was not expecting crashing in such a way.
Honda World Motocross did an excellent start and he rode second behind Strijbos during the first part of the race. The Russian rode a consistent moto, but by the end of it, he lost two positions with Cairoli and Paulin.
Kevin Strijbos, winner of the Get Athena Holeshot Award, could not keep the lead, and after making several mistakes, he had to settle down with the sixth position, ahead of Tommy Searle and Shaun Simpson.
1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 40.02.285
2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +08.309
3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +09.774
4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +11.672
5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +13.348
6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +19.233
7. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +45.330
8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, TM), +48.315
9. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), +49.098
10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), +56.834
12. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +1.03.908
15. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), +1.20.459
– Super Final
The MX1 and MX2 lined-up for the Super Final and it was Clement Desalle who took the holeshot of this final heat. The Belgian was leading the race, but Cairoli was coming really fast from behind, and the Italian did not think it twice and he used the first opportunity to overtake Desalle. The Belgian rode a consistent race and he finished second in front of Paulin, who admitted that he did not have a perfect start, but he managed to move from sixth to third. The French rider said that he really enjoyed racing the Grand Prix of Qatar, as most of the MXGP riders did.
The fourth position of the Super Final went for Honda World Motocross’ Evgeny Bobryshev, who once again rode a very solid moto. The Russian rode third most of the race, but having four laps to go, he was overtaken by Paulin. In the end, Bobryshev crossed the finish line fourth.
CLS MX2 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Tommy Searle did not have a really good start in the Super Final, but he managed to move from eighth to fifth, crossing the finish line ahead of Strijbos, who had had a good start but he could not hold his initial third position.
Seventh was Herlings, the best MX2 rider in the Super Final, ahead of De Dycker, Frossard and Philippaerts. The second best MX2 rider was Dean Ferris in thirteenth and the third one was Romain Febvre in sixteenth.
Jeremy Van Horebeek crashed in the beginning of the Super Final and his bike was too damaged to keep on racing. Maxime Desprey and Jason Dougan did not finish the Super Final either due to some mechanical problems.
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 39.55.020
2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +07.472
3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +09.834
4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +11.515
5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +11.809
6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +16.592
7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +25.914
8. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +39.408
9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +44.527
14. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), +17.751
MX1 World Championship standings
1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 47 points
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 45 p
3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 38 p
4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 36 p
5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 34 p
6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 30 p
7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), 30 p
8. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 23 p
9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 22 p
10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, TM), 20 p
15. Joel Roelants (BEL, Yamaha), 15 p
MX1 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 47 points; 2. Suzuki, 47 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 38 p.; 4. Honda, 34 p.; 5. Yamaha, 22 p.; 6. TM, 20 p.;
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points
2. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), 38 p
3. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 38 p
4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 36 p
5. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 33 p
11. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), 19 p
MX2 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 50 points; 2. Yamaha, 42 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 25 p.; 4. Suzuki, 25 p.; 5. Honda, 12 p.; 6. TM, 2 p.;
— Yamaha Report
Monster Energy Yamaha blasted through the desert night and lit the fuse on the FIM Motocross World Championship with the very first Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail. Under lights, in the Middle East and working through the maiden ‘Superfinal’ of GP racing Steven Frossard emerged from a novel opener to score ninth position overall on his factory YZ450FM while new team-mate Joel Roelants was fourteenth.
The soft and rutted Losail terrain (the result of imported soil and over two months of work) offered a variety of tests to the riders in terms of speed and technicality, and the added reduction of light thanks to the night schedule also complicated the mix as some holes and bumps were harder to judge. The racing layout and surface was positively received and the pleasant temperatures and paddock camaraderie made for a memorable opening event.
Frossard had some bad luck with his starts that left him scrapping to recover ground from the depths of the pack. A first race crash also limited his possibilities and he could only snare nine points for twelfth place. In the second outing – the Superfinal – the Frenchman had to find a way through some of the MX2 machines sharing the same track and this time improved his standing by four slots to eighth.
Roelants is still in a period of acclimatising to the demands of MX1 racing and placing a 450cc machine at the sharp-edge of competition. The Belgian rookie took fifteenth and twelfth in two valuable learning experiences. Round two quickly follows with Pattaya entertaining the first ever Grand Prix of Thailand next weekend.
“In the first moto I had a bad start and it was difficult to come back. I crashed and that made it worse. I was far behind and had a goggle problem. Overall it was pretty bad! The second time I had a poor place on the gate and again tried to recover. To finish eighth is not a good result but my riding wasn’t too far away. The season is very long and I know that race by race I will get better.”
“For a debut that was not like I hoped it would be. I think I could have been top ten in the first heat if I hadn’t have crashed. I took bad starts and I have to work on that because it was hard to pass on a track like this. We have quite a lot of fast riders in MX1 so a good start is so important. I wanted two top tens today but it wasn’t to be so I’ll continue working hard. It was a GP that was quite different but it was OK. I didn’t actually expect it to be as hot as it was. Wow, it was tough and I was tired in the end. I think I have to ride more economically and get used to using less energy on the 450.”
Ferris marks career landmark at milestone GP
The MX2 Motocross Grand Prix of Qatar saw Dean Ferris capture his first FIM Motocross World Championship podium finish with second overall. In doing so he became the first Australian to pick up silverware since late countryman Andrew McFarlane did the same from within the confines of Steve Dixon’s Yamaha squad in 2005. The nighttime special in the Middle East also saw the introduction of the Superfinal race format adopted for the flyaway events in 2013 that mixes the top twenties of the MX1 and MX2 classes. It was a novel meeting to launch this year’s racing campaign and both Ferris and team-mate Christophe Charlier decided to shine under the Losail lights from the ‘off’. The jumpy and rough course in the desert a short distance outside of Doha saw Ferris excel on his first appointment in Yamaha colours and with the Dixon-fettled YZ250F. The bike was placed on the podium for the second meeting in a row after a double appearance in the season-closing Grand Prix of Germany last September. Ferris enjoyed two good starts and took fifth and second positions (for his class in the Superfinal) to toast a career highlight to-date.
Earlier in the evening it looked as though Christophe Charlier might be looking good for his second career rostrum celebration. The Corsican was very strong on the prototype YZ250FM and kept Glen Coldenhoff close company all the way to the flag for third place. Unluckily a bad start and slip meant he was almost last during the early phases of the Superfinal and would end the evening with eighth in the second MX2 listing. The former Euro Champ was still a decent fifth overall and had plenty of blisters on his hands to show for the hard work against the 450cc machines.
Mel Pocock got out of the gate well in his first meeting as an official factory rider but just fell short of run the pace of the leaders. He scored ninth and fourteenth positions. He was almost accompanied by new team-mate Maxime Desprey in the first moto as the young Frenchman obtained an encouraging thirteenth place. Desprey crashed out of the Superfinal but without injury.
The Grand Prix of Thailand next week will see the Monster Energy Yamaha quartet again in action for another distinctive FIM Motocross World Championship fixture.
“I’m happy with my race and had a good feeling on my bike after we made a couple of changes. I hesitated at the start of the Superfinal and I paid for it because it was very hard against the 450s. Now we’ll continue to work and I want that podium in Thailand.”
“Obviously it’s good to be on the podium and the season could not have started in a better way. In the first moto I got a decent start and I really pushed to stay with the front group but I couldn’t do it. In between motos we spoke with the team and we agreed to change gearing to try and improved the set-up and it worked. I’m sure my lap-times were better in the Superfinal and I didn’t have to push the limit. I was second and there was not much more I could do so I just brought it home. I didn’t think too much about the Superfinal before we came here but I’m glad we got in the gate before the 450s so they couldn’t close us down too much at the start. I’ve raced quite a bit of supercross in Australia so the lights were OK for me. The hardest thing was trying to see areas of traction in the dirt but the lighting was good. I hope when I get a bit more comfortable I can try to get closer to Jeffrey’s speed but the goal right now is to get on the podium every weekend. I was excited out there, battling all those 450s and I’m well aware that Andrew was the last Aussie rider up here and he also did it with Steve (Dixon, Team Manager) so that was nice. I think the Yamaha is definitely the best bike I have ridden for any team that I’ve represented. The guys put in a lot of work to make it the best and that gives me a lot of confidence.”
“I’m really happy with my starts and they have improved big time but as far as the racing goes I feel like I am struggling to hold the speed in the positions where I’m getting out of the gate. In time I know it will get better. I think that Superfinal was the hardest race I have ever done. I spent the whole time trying to get a run-up on the 450s but they just chop and change around and cut us off; it was pretty gnarly. If anything today was a good point from which to build on.”
“I feel quite good about today. I made a good start in the first race and my riding was OK. A few mistakes here and there but I was quite pleased. In the Superfinal I had a crash and that ended the race but we’ll be back again next week.”
— Team Suzuki
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 rider Clement Desalle took a historic victory aboard the Factory RM-Z450 in the opening round of the 2013 FIM World Motocross Championship under the floodlights of the Losail circuit in Qatar on Saturday evening.
Desalle stormed to a clear victory in the first MX1 race and then finished second in the new “Superfinal” race – that saw the top MX1 and MX2 riders go head-to-head in a Motocross of Nations-style race – to take the lead in the 18-round series.
Warm conditions and a late evening schedule – the new Superfinal took place at 23.10 local time – were just two of the circumstances Desalle and team-mate Kevin Strijbos had to deal with at Losail for the first of two back-to-back flyaway races.
Desalle was fast in Friday qualifying to earn second place in the gate for Saturday’s sole MX1 moto of 35 minutes and two laps; and the work concentrated on his starting potential paid dividends with two excellent starts: In the first, he dealt with Strijbos who took the holeshot, and then the Belgian stalked the rear wheel of Ken De Dycker, eventually passing his fellow countryman with 10 minutes remaining and defended a comfortable lead to the flag. Afterwards, he lined-up in the new Superfinal and to see both Desalle and Strijbos heading the 40-strong pack around the first corner showed the fiery performance of the 2013 RM-Z450 Suzuki from a standing start. Desalle again led the way but could do little about defending champion Antonio Cairoli on this occasion and concentrated on taking the overall win – his first victory since Sweden last year.
Strijbos walked away from his first Grand Prix back on the RM-Z450 content with a pair of sixth position finishes and the kind of pace on the opening lap that will place him in the regular slot of protagonist if he can repeat it. It was confirmation for the Belgian that he still has a lot to offer the team and the MX1 category.
With Desalle’s machine sporting the red number plate as series leader, the Rockstar Energy Suzuki crew quickly crated its machinery and equipment in preparation for freight to Pattaya and the maiden Grand Prix of Thailand next week.
Clement Desalle: “It is a good feeling to start the season with the red plate but it doesn’t mean so much because the year is very long. I have always said that when I have fun on my bike, then the results go well and that’s really important. I didn’t make many mistakes today and my starts were much better than we saw in the pre-season races; that was a good point. I had some difficult moments last season and also coming back from some injuries, but I feel good on the bike now and wasn’t pushing too hard. I want to say a big thanks to my team because they made a big job in the last few weeks. It was tough to start the championship a month earlier than usual.”
Kevin Strijbos: “I can be happy to start with sixth. I got a holeshot in the first race and led for the first six laps and Ken de Dycker was pushing me and I was a bit stressed. I made some mistakes and people overtook me but I recovered from that moment to be steady again. I wasn’t too happy with how I rode and I gave myself another chance by getting around the first corner in second place in that next moto. I pushed as hard as I could. I would love to be top-five but it was a solid way to start. I think other people had a worse day than me.”
Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Julien Lieber scored a ninth-placed finish at the opening round of the World MX2 Championship at Qatar as team-mate Max Anstie had an eventful debut and unlucky to have not finished higher aboard the Factory RM-Z250.
Round one was Anstie’s opening GP debut on the factory-backed RM-Z250 and the young Brit grabbed 14th after a dramatic evening. He struggled a little with fatigue on the first night, having flown from the USA to the UK and then to Qatar and also with the process of acclimatising to the demands of the night schedule.
Anstie was unlucky to suffer a crash while fighting for a top-five position almost half-way through the opening moto, but fought back to win the last-chance qualifier in the MX2 category. Lieber made excellent progress in the wake of a start that saw him circulating the first lap outside of the top 20, but worked his way into the top 10 and up to eighth by the end of the 35 minute and two-lap distance.
Max Anstie: “I made my life hard work today. I had an easy top-five run going in the first race until that crash. I’m not sure if it was the trip from the U.S. to here or the fact that I’ve been a bit sick the last few days but I haven’t felt ‘on it’ all weekend. I put in some good times and the bike has been working really well…I just haven’t felt sharp. I tried to push through it but ended up making mistakes. It’s frustrating because I know I should be up there battling at the front. All we can do it keep trying and look to next weekend.”
Julien Lieber: “The day was pretty good although my start was horrible in the first moto and then I crashed and was very far back. So to come back to eighth was very good for me. We changed the bike a bit for the start of the Superfinal and it was better but I missed some speed in the first moments. When Jake Nicholls block-passed me I crashed and had to recover again. Even though it was night-time out there, it was still hot and it was a tough couple of races. I’m really happy with the Suzuki and the team and looking forward to next week.”
— Honda Report
The 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship roared into life on the unusual stage of the Losail desert terrain for the Grand Prix of Qatar. The opening round of eighteen was the first for the series in the Middle East, the first to take place at night and the first to experiment with the three moto format that will be used for the non-European events this year. The new Superfinal sprint – a mix between the top riders of both MX1 and MX2 categories – was won by Antonio Cairoli while Clement Desalle ruled the MX1 classification and Jeffrey Herlings in MX2. Honda World Motocross team’s Evgeny Bobryshev took the factory CRF450R to fifth overall.
The staple home of MotoGP, Losail welcomed top-flite motocross for the first time with a well-prepared and extensively lighted structure adjacent to the road racing course. Some big jumps and open turns were created from a soft and shifting soil that provide fast zones as well as technical areas. Working from the permanent pit-lane the teams and riders had to acclimatise to the late hour and the darker shade of the racing environment but the level of organisation received widespread plaudits.
Getting their racing campaign off to a steady start was Bobryshev – who became a new father only the weekend previously – on the latest edition of the CRF450R. The Russian made two decent getaways from the soft gate and was holding positions inside the top five in both thirty-five minute and two lap motos. He battled the likes of Ken De Dycker, Kevin Strijbos, Clement Desalle and Gautier Paulin to post fifth place at the first time of asking and followed the ranking up with fourth spot at the end of the evening.
New team-mate Max Nagl was unlucky in Qatar. The German was struck by a mystery stomach complaint that sapped his strength and also limited his possibilities. After struggling to fifteenth overall and picking up fifteen points the former GP winner now has to look towards next weekend for further improvement.
Honda Gariboldi fields the experienced and capable figure of David Philippaerts for 2013. The Tuscan was Italy’s first MX1 World Champion in 2008 and is renowned for his tenacity. In his debut outing in ‘red’ DP19 crashed in the first moto but rallied from last place to grab three points for eighteenth position. In the second race a better start led the way to ninth by the chequered flag although the veteran completed the distance in some discomfort after dislodging his handlebars.
The second flyaway leg of the FIM World Championship follows hard upon the Qatari milestone. Round two of eighteen will take place next week in Pattaya for the very first Grand Prix of Thailand.
Evgeny Bobryshev: Race Result: 5th /4th Championship position: 5th
“In both races I had good starts and was consistent out there. Physically I feel good and that’s the result of hard work over the winter; it has brought me back to this level where I should be. I’m working race by race now to build confidence and get stronger. I lost a bit of speed at the end of the motos and this is something I need to sort out but I feel encouraged by the results. Fifth and fourth is OK for the first race. I want to thank all the team and my lovely wife and my new baby girl Eva; I’m really happy.”
Max Nagl: Race Result: 11th/16th Championship position: 15th
“I am not sure if I had some bad food at lunchtime because in the first heat after the third lap I was feeling really sick with stomach pain and I was so tired, which meant I just had to survive the race. I could not push or do anything, so I was really disappointed. I also had a small crash with Xavier Boog, as he fell off in front of me in the first lap and I hit his bike. My bike was still running and I could take the clutch to get going again, but I was just so tired, and I thought I was going to vomit at the end of the race. The physiotherapist from the team did a great job with some stomach massage and medication, which really helped before race two. I felt much better, but I had a bad jump off the gate, so the start wasn’t good at all. I had a decent rhythm for the first 15-minutes; going through the field with good lap times, before I had a small crash. I got back going and could push for a couple more laps, but I just got so tired. Overall I’m disappointed with the weekend; the bike is good and everyone has worked very hard, so I feel sorry for the team, but I am going to take some rest in the next few days and hope we can be better for next weekend.”
David Philippaerts: Race Result: 18th / 10th Championship position: 12th
“I’m half happy. I had two crashes in the first moto but my speed was good and my lap-times also. I was more than a minute behind last position so I pushed a lot to come back. In the second moto I started well – in the top ten – but after a few laps I landed heavily from a jump and the handlebars shifted downwards. It was a struggle to ride and quite painful after that but it turned out OK. I’m going step by step at the moment and I’ll get better.”
— Kawasaki Report
The French leader of the Kawasaki Racing Team put in two impressive rides in the World Series opener, the first GP ever to be run under floodlights. The 2012 world number three showed his resilience in the opening moto as he recovered from a nasty fall in the early stages of the race in which he flew over the handlebars and knocked his head. On the final lap he surged past the Russian Evgeny Bobryshev to snatch fourth place and it was the same rider who could not resist the Kawasaki rider’s challenge in the Superfinal as Gautier advanced to third place four laps from the finish and almost caught the rider in second place at the chequered flag.
Tommy Searle of Team CLS Kawasaki MX1 Monster Energy Pro Circuit made an impressive debut in the class after his winter switch from the MX2 world series. Even though he never settled to his usual rhythm in the first moto the Englishman kept fighting to the end and was rewarded with a seventh placed finish; he followed this up later in the day in the Superfinal with a series of spectacular passes to claim fith in the race and sixth overall on the day and in the championship.
Jeremy Van Horebeek, another class newcomer as Paulin’s teammate in the Kawasaki Racing Team, faced a difficult weekend as he was riding with a broken finger, the result of a crash last month. But the battling Belgian never gave up and his gutsy performance was rewarded with 18th overall after he claimed 17th place in the MX1 moto and was awarded a further point for 20th place in the Superfinal when he had to retire.
Gautier Paulin: “The track was very fast today, much easier than during the qualification. I had fun except during the first race when I crashed pretty hard on my head. It took me two laps to recover, and then I had a better feeling and passed Bobryshev on the last lap. In the Superfinal I lost too much time passing slower riders in the early laps, but I passed Bobryshev for third in the last five minutes and even got close to Desalle in second. I’m happy with this third position; it’s a great reward for the team staff who worked hard this winter.”
Tommy Searle: “I struggled a little bit with the track in the first moto; it was a tough race as I didn’t have very good lines and it was difficult to change and find better lines. I took a better start in the Superfinal, found good lines and was happy to already be as fast as the established riders in the class in my first race. My times were pretty fast in this race; I’m right there and my pace is where I need to be.”
Jeremy Van Horebeek: “I broke one finger of my hand four weeks ago; normally it would take six weeks to recover but together with the team we decided to come here to race. It was a tough GP for me; I don’t have enough power in my hand and that makes it difficult to hold the bike; I scored a few points and will try again in Thailand, but my goal is to be ready for Valkenswaard.”
Alessandro Lupino claimed a top ten finish on his debut for Team CLS Kawasaki MX2 Monster Energy Pro Circuit at the opening round of the FIM MX2 Motocross World Championship in Qatar.
The Italian, whose preparation for the world series had been handicapped by a shoulder injury earlier in the year, quickly settled down on the artificial track at the Losail International Circuit and showed his strength of character and speed to advance from 13th on lap one to finish sixth in the MX2 race. Unfortunately he was shunted by another rider at the second turn of the Superfinal, a combined race for MX1 and MX2 contenders, later in the day and, despite a brave ride from an initial 34th position, had to be content with 10 world championship points as 11th MX2 rider to finish. This gave him eighth overall on the day.
His teammate Arnaud Tonus was most unfortunate. Having battled hard to get back to speed after a winter recovering from injury, the Swiss rider suffered a heavy landing during the qualification race and suffered a cracked tibia. He bravely attempted to race the GP, and held an early ninth place in the MX2 race before the painful injury forced him to withdraw.
Valentin Teillet of the Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki team had recorded a sensational runaway victory in the Qualification race, but the Frenchman had terrible luck on race day. Holding a challenging fourth place in the MX2 race, he was forced to pit for repairs after a rock had damaged his bike, and on his return to the track crashed heavily and was forced to retire. After transferring to the Superfinal through the Last Chance he did not have a good choice of gate and inevitably suffered a poor start against the larger 450cc machines. He was rewarded with 12th in class for his persistence.
Teammate Dylan Ferrandis, keen not to miss the GP opener even though he had only been back in training for three weeks, soon settled down to a good pace, but he too was out of luck as an early crash in the MX2 moto sent him to the Last Chance alongside Teillet and the teenager just failed to make the transfer to the Superfinal.
Top lady racer Livia Lancelot was invited to contest the MX2 GP in Qatar, but, despite a remarkable performance, she failed to meet the 108% qualification hurdle against the men by just 1.667 seconds. She was rewarded for her efforts with an invitation to contest the second moto of the Qatar national championship event which supported the GP and finished a highly creditable third amongst the men.
Alessandro Lupino: “The MX2 race was pretty good; I had a good feeling with the bike and, after starting in the top fifteen, I finished sixth. My start in the Superfinal was good, maybe tenth or twelfth against the 450s, but another rider ran straight into me at the second corner and pushed me out of the track. I came back onto the track in last position and it was tough to find my good rhythm against the 450 riders .”
Valentin Teillet: “It was a great surprise for me to win the qualifying race, but it gave me more confidence for the GP races. I was fourth in the MX2 race when I had a small problem which forced me to go into the pits and when I got back in the race I crashed and had to retire, so I had to go through the Last Chance race to qualify for the Superfinal. That made it a long day. I didn’t have so much time to recover before the last race and I had a very bad position on the grid so I got a bad start which made life difficult against the 450 on this track.”
Dylan Ferrandis: “This was my first race for six months, and I only started practising again three weeks ago. I was still getting used to my bike this weekend, and during the practice sessions I was not so confident with my knee as the doctors didn’t want me to ride so early. Unfortunately I crashed in the first lap of the MX2 race, and had to go to the Last Chance race. I just missed qualification for the Superfinal, but I was pleased to see that I wasn’t tired after the races.”
Livia Lancelot: “I knew that it would be difficult to qualify, but I’m not disappointed about my experience in Qatar. The track was spectacular with big jumps and I did my best to finish twelve seconds from the pole position and less than two seconds from the qualifying time. I was happy with my riding, but this is the World Championship ! I raced the second moto of the Qatar national championship on Saturday, and finished third so it was a nice experience.”