An impressive Tanel Leok conquered his third seasonal pole by snatching it from home rider Sebastien Pourcel in the dieing seconds of the Qualifying session.
Like in Sugo two weeks ago, the MX2 class saw once again Christophe Pourcel and Antonio Cairoli win the two Qualifying heats. Can home hero Pourcel beat Cairoli again, and win in France for the first time in his career?
Today the MX1 Qualifying session offered lots of emotions in each of the 30 minutes. British Bradley Anderson was the early leader and was spotted a few other times during the session, but Kawasaki Racing’s Billy Mackenzie snatched the virtual pole soon.
Later in the session Martin Honda’s Julien Bill —at his first World Championship appearance with the Italian team- became the second rider to break the 1.38 minute barrier after Mackenzie, and clinched the pole.
Anderson came back up again with a flying lap, going under the 1 minute and 37 seconds, and breaking KTM Red Bull’s Jonathan Barragan’s dream of his maiden World Championship pole.
Yamaha Motocross Joshua Coppins and Suzuki’s Steve Ramon passed each other the pole, then Kawasaki Racing’s Tanel Leok clocked the fastest lap by reaching the 1 minute 35, and entered the game together with Teka Suzuki’s Hungarian Kornel Nemeth.
An incredible Sebastien Pourcel of GPKR put himself together after a crash at half session distance, and moved up to first in the time sheets with just three minutes to go.
The top spot on the gate seemed to be reserved for Pourcel; the Frenchman was all set on a celebration when he entered the pits, but he was just in time to watch Kawasaki fellow rider Tanel Leok grab the pole with his very last attempt.
Kevin Strijbos finished eight fastest behind Coppins because of a weak knee, as Billy Mackenzie and David Philippaerts rounded off the top ten.
GPKR’s Christophe Pourcel and Yamaha De Carli’s Antonio Cairoli succeeded in winning their Qualifying heats, but Pourcel will be the one starting from pole tomorrow, as he won the opening moto. A consistent Tommy Searle of KTM Red Bull chased Pourcel for victory and then lead the race, but was passed in the final lap. Anthony Boissiere of CLS tried to follow Cairoli but finally decided to settle for a safe second place.
MX2 QUALIFYING RACE 1
Christophe Pourcel had a superb start and lead the group into turn one, but he never got rid of British Tommy Searle, who placed himself in second place right after battling with Pourcel for the holeshot.
Pourcel ran away with the lead, but at half race distance he was caught by Searle; Tommy passed after the two almost tangled up with each other. Searle tried to pull away from the Frenchman, but Pourcel’s tactic of studying the rival’s lines worked at the very last lap, with Christophe moving back to first a few corners before the finish line.
Tyla Rattray settled down for third after he won a wheel to wheel battle with Jeremy van Horebeek, who was very fit in the opening laps but finally ended with a seventh place.
Van Horebeek battled also with Gareth Swanepoel, who moved in front of the Belgian to cruise in a solid fourth place for the rest of the heat.
Jeremy Tarroux rode to a final fifth place, which made this one the Frenchman’s best qualifying session of the season.
MX2 QUALIFYING RACE 2
Tony Cairoli unleashed all the power of his bike to dominate from the opening lap until the very last one. Anthony Boissiere had a good start too, and was at the Italian’s tail together with Matti Seistola.
Cairoli escaped with Boissiere, but the Kawasaki mounted Frenchman gave up the chase and decided to settle for second, thinking of revenge for tomorrow’s race.
On the other hand, Pascal Leuret got stuck in a group of other ridders after the start, and was seventh at the end of the opening lap. He came back up strong, to pass Rui Goncalves and then Matti Seistola for an eventual third place.
Also Goncalves chased Seistola, to pass the Finn at the final lap and bring the bike home with a fourth place ahead of the rival.
Tom Church just missed the top five and finished sixth, ahead of Wyatt Avis and Sean Hamblin.