Tim Gajser continued his good run of form by taking a convincing qualification win at the MXGP of France. The Slovenian rider showed speed in all three sessions and looked right at home on the hard-packed St Jean D’Angely surface. Teammate Brian Bogers was running just outside the top 10 for the majority of the moto but a mistake near the end dropped him to 17th for the chequered flag. This denied him a decent gate pick for tomorrow’s races but his speed was there and if can get a good jump out of the gate, he can mix it up at the top of the field.
In free practice the gap was 1.7 seconds, in timed practice it was 1.5 seconds and then in the qualification race Gajser posted the fastest lap by just under one second on his way to an extremely impressive Saturday performance. He rounded the first bend inside the top 10 and after a few quick passes he found himself in third place. After settling in for a couple of laps, he made his move into second and quickly closed the gap to first place. While other riders were struggling to make their moves, the Honda CRF450RW’s superior speed really showed and Gajser quickly passed into first and pulled out a nice lead by the end of the race. After his one-one performance at Portugal it was another reminder of just how well the Slovenian can ride. All of this means he heads into tomorrow’s motos filled with confidence and looking forward to closing the gap at the top of the MXGP championship even more.
Coming into the weekend, Bogers knew that he needed to improve his Saturday, if he wanted a chance to do better on Sunday, and he seemed to be doing just that as he was 12th fastest in free practice. Timed practice didn’t go so well, but the Dutch rider still felt more was to come in the qualification race. After a top 20 start, he quickly worked his way into 11th position, knocking on the door of the riders inside the top 10. A small bobble lost him a position and then with just a few laps remaining, he crashed which meant that he crossed the line in 17th. It was an unfortunate ending but with a more forgiving start gate in France, he is still hopeful of repeating the speed from the first half of the race, tomorrow.
Races begin at 14:15 local time on Sunday 26th May for the MXGP class, after a morning warm up at 10:45am.
|1||Gajser Tim||243||SLO||Team HRC - MXGP||Honda||24:45.598|
|2||Tonus Arnaud||4||SWI||Wilvo Yamaha MXGP||Yamaha||9.521|
|3||Desalle Clement||25||BEL||Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing||Kawasaki||16.811|
|4||Seewer Jeremy||91||SWI||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||20.071|
|5||Febvre Romain||461||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||25.920|
|6||Van Horebeek Jeremy||89||BEL||Honda SR Motoblouz||Honda||27.701|
|7||Monticelli Ivo||128||ITA||Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing Team||GasGas||28.690|
|8||Coldenhoff Glenn||259||NDL||Standing Construct KTM||KTM||29.116|
|9||Jasikonis Arminas||27||LTU||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||30.618|
|10||Paturel Benoit||6||FRA||Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki||Kawasaki||36.729|
|11||Paulin Gautier||21||FRA||Wilvo Yamaha MXGP||Yamaha||38.852|
|12||Lupino Alessandro||77||ITA||Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki||Kawasaki||43.941|
|13||Leok Tanel||7||EST||A1M Husqvarna||Husqvarna||49.493|
|14||Cairoli Antonio||222||ITA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||51.014|
|15||Lieber Julien||33||BEL||Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing||Kawasaki||52.313|
|16||Strijbos Kevin||22||BEL||JWR Yamaha Racing||Yamaha||1:00.426|
|17||Bogers Brian||189||NDL||Team HRC - MXGP||Honda||1:02.943|
|18||Tixier Jordi||911||FRA||Team VHR KTM Racing||KTM||1:05.753|
|19||Ullrich Dennis||149||GER||Wildcard Rider||KTM||1:08.828|
|20||Brylyakov Vsevolod||18||RUS||JWR Yamaha Racing||Yamaha||1:11.288|