The German had already shown his liking for the sweeping grassland track in the south of England as he set the fastest lap time in practice and his energetic style saw the twenty-two year old advance from a fourth-placed start to take over the lead before the completion of the opening lap. The slick surface offered a wide choice of lines and Henry dropped back to third a couple of laps later before regaining second, within sight of the winner, in the closing stages.
Henry Jacobi: “For the first time in my career I got a pole position for the MX2 Qualifying race; we all know how important it is to have a good gate pick and I got a good start in the top four. I took over the lead during the opening lap and raced two laps in front, then Olsen passed me as I was riding too stiff and started to make mistakes. Watson also passed me but then I regained a good rhythm and was able to pass him back and to reduce the gap to the leader. Second is a good result. If we stay free of injuries, I know that we can have a good season; my KX250 is really good and the hard work during the winter with Marc de Reuver is paying off.”
Jacobi's teammate Adam Sterry was fourth-fastest in practice but collided with several other riders already before the first corner; he charged back through the field to finish fifteenth. Darian Sanayei of Bike It DRT Kawasaki continues to recover from winter illness and sat out the opening practice to conserve his strength, but when the start gate dropped he took a spectacular holeshot to lead for half a lap before a lack of energy prevented him from maintaining that pace and the American eventually saw the chequered flag in nineteenth position.
Clement Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team will go to the gate fourteenth in the MXGP class. The Belgian had set second-fastest time during practice and started just outside the first ten in the Qualifying race before tangling with another rider on the downhill sweep to turn three; he was run over by a following rider after slithering to the ground. Despite a painful hand he rejoined the race to pass twenty-two rivals during the twenty minute plus two lap race. Teammate Julien Lieber maintained a top ten position throughout the race to finish eighth, two ahead of Alessandro Lupino on the Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki.
Julien Lieber: "I felt more and more comfortable with the track during the day; my start was not so good in the Qualifying race but I pushed hard during the first few laps and came back to seventh behind Tonus. I tried many different lines to pass him but couldn’t quite make it stick and in the end Anstie passed me when I tried yet another line. Eighth is a good result for the gate pick; I will try to get a better start and then keep the same rhythm as today.”
Alessandro Lupino: “I like this track and I know that the result could have been better. We tried several different settings on the bike but we still need to learn the new model perfectly; during practice we used the settings I had last weekend when I won the Italian championship but on this track it didn't feel quite right so we reverted to the former settings for the race. I got a good jump out of the gate but then I wheelied on the straight; my speed was good after that so I stay confident for the race.”
BUD Racing Kawasaki's Jimmy Clochet and F&H Racing's Roan van de Moosdijk started their season in the FIM European EMX250 Championship with fourth and sixth placings in the opening moto; the second moto will be run tomorrow morning.
Jimmy Clochet: “I'm pretty happy with this fourth position as I have raced the MX1 class in France so this was my first race of the season with the 250 Kawasaki. I got a good start in second position but everyone is pushing hard on the first lap and two other guys passed me quickly; I kept my rhythm for the rest of the race to finish fourth. Now I need to stay focused for tomorrow; I will try to do another strong race for me and for the team.”