The Frenchman, recovered from the sickness which forced him to withdraw from the second moto one week ago in the Czech Republic, quickly settled into his usual rhythm to post fourth-fastest time in practice, just a second off pole, but surprised his rivals by choosing a central gate rather than the more-fancied inside. The tactic saw him sweep through turn one in the top-five and he immediately set to work on the riders ahead; moving into fourth mid-moto he quickly closed down third and was ready to pounce on the third-last lap when his rival lost control over a triple jump and the Kawasaki leader had no chance to avoid the stricken bike; the incident cost him three positions and pushed him back to sixth at the finish.
Romain Febvre: “It was quite a solid day; I have a good feeling with the bike and I had good lines on the track. My speed was good and I got out of the gate well in the Qualifying race but I was just a little too far outside at the first corner and came out fifth. I came back to fourth and closed the gap to third but unfortunately this rider crashed on a triple jump and I was so close that I couldn’t avoid his bike so I crashed also and lost a few positions; it’s a shame as the third position was for me and I eventually finished sixth. That’s not so important for the gate-pick, but I wanted to get a good result today. Last weekend I was sick and I didn’t feel well until midweek but now I’m feeling physically OK again."
F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jed Beaton and KRT number two Ben Watson each had solid rides to earn tenth and twelfth choice-of-gate respectively for each of tomorrow’s GP motos.
Jed Beaton: “I didn’t take the best of starts but made some good passes on the opening lap and tried to get into a solid rhythm; the track is already quite rough with so many classes out there. I’m starting to feel better again with each race, but it’s meant to be hotter tomorrow and the track will be even rougher so I tried to save a little energy. “
Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Mikkel Haarup, seventh-fastest in practice, took sixth in Qualifying for round fourteen of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship with a forceful ride from tenth on the opening lap; indeed the Dane almost made it fifth through the final corners of the energy-sapping race.
Mikkel Haarup: “We’ve finally had a good Saturday again after so many strange things have happened in the last few GPs; I could focus on my riding and we’ve been able to make progress all day. I got caught up a little in the start crash but I felt good all race and those extra ten minutes tomorrow in the GP motos will suit me with my fitness. It feels good to earn a good gate-pick again; it makes life a lot easier for the race.“
F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kevin Horgmo got tremendous drive out of the start from gate five but buried the front wheel in soft sand as he was squeezed at turn one and had to rejoin the race in last place. The Norwegian pushed to the end to claim tenth-choice of gate for each of tomorrow’s GP motos.
Kevin Horgmo: “From top to bottom within two seconds. I got fantastic drive out of the gate but then went down at turn one and didn’t find a good flow until the last ten minutes. I need to be there with the holeshots tomorrow and not throw it away.“
9MM Energy Drink BUD Racing Kawasaki’s Quentin Marc Prugnières advanced impressively from outside the top-ten to claim fourth in the first moto of the seventh round of the FIM European EMX250 Championship; his teammate Eddie Jay Wade also rode strongly to advance from outside the top-twenty to eleventh.
Quentin Marc Prugnières: “ It was a good day even if I’m a little bit frustrated with my start! But then I rode a good comeback from outside the top ten to fourth. I’m happy with my riding, even if I made a few mistakes; the rhythm was there and so was my speed. At the end I thought I could save a little energy for tomorrow but the rider behind me was still pushing so I had to push too. Now it’s time to recover!"
Eddie Jay Wade:”„I got a good jump out of the gate but somebody didn’t hold his line and hit my front wheel so I was nearly last at turn one. I’ve been feeling good practising in the sand the last few months; I got arm-pump in practice this morning but in the race I was OK and could make some good passes. I’m happy with my riding; I just need to set off with the front guys so I can show more tomorrow.“