The Frenchman started from gate eleven after he never found a clear lap during Timed Practice on a crowded track but there was no doubt about his intentions when the gate dropped for the Qualifying race. Rocketing out of the start he rounded turn one in the top-four and engaged in a thrilling tussle through the first two laps which saw a continual switch of positions before the pace settled for a short-time. Lapping more than a second faster than any of his rivals the Kawasaki leader lined them up one-at-a-time to take the lead on the fifth of twelve laps before racing to an unchallenged victory, his third Qualifying success of the season.
Romain Febvre: "The day didn't start as planned but I wasn't concerned. I like to race in the sand and I know the track really well as we are used to training here so I knew that I could race up-front if I got a good start and found a flow. I was top-four off the start and took my time the first few laps to figure out the lines; the track can change so much during Saturday with so many classes so some lines are not so clean by the time we race. I played with Prado for a couple of laps and then pushed forward to make the pass for the lead. I was feeling comfortable out there, so roll on tomorrow."
KRT teammate Mitch Evans posted the tenth-fastest lap in Timed Practice. Completing the first lap in fifteenth the Australian found a good rhythm to make a series of passes, eventually taking his eventual eleventh on the penultimate lap.
Mitch Evans: "Timed Practice went well, in fact I felt even better than the lap times show as I got held up in traffic every lap - even on my fastest that cost me a second. So I was confident headed into Qualifying even though I've been laid up sick in bed all week and I picked off a few guys at the end. The track is already pretty rough, but it flows really well."
Both F&H Kawasaki Racing Team riders Kevin Horgmo and David Braceras could only claim mid-pack starts in Qualifying for the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship round but each persevered throughout the twenty-five minute race. Horgmo pushed forward from fifteenth on lap one to claim the final championship point of the day in tenth at the finish, while his Spanish colleague chased him home in eleventh after being passed two laps from the end.
Kevin Horgmo: "I was good out-of-the-gate and down the straight but I paid the penalty for not being higher in Timed Practice and got pushed out at turn one. The first laps were a little sketchy and I made a couple of mistakes trying to push forward. I took too long to pass Gifting for twelfth, but once I was past him and David I found my flow; my best laps were at the end of the race so let's start tomorrow like I ended today."
David Braceras: "I felt good in Timed Practice for seventh - I was happy with that - but I hit the gate in Qualifying and did a wheelie down the straight so I was a long way back but I came back for eleventh. I used a lot of energy to make passes but I will rest up this evening and be ready for tomorrow. The track is technical and really fun to ride if you find a flow."
BUD Racing Kawasaki's Quentin Marc Prugnières put in a strong ride to fourth in the first moto of the FIM European EMX250 Championship round after starting seventh. The French youngster is now sixth in the series standings.
Teammate Benjamin Garib confirmed the pace of the tenth-fastest lap he had posted in Timed Practice by holding that position on the opening lap of racing but a moment pushed the Chilean downfield to twenty-sixth before he charged back impressively to finish eleventh.
Quentin Marc Prugnières: « My start was not perfect, and it took me a few laps to find my rhythm and my lines, but I could come back through to fourth so that’s a positive result. Tomorrow the goal will find my flow sooner and challenge for the podium."