Day two of the Bercy supercross was a lot like day one, but the chaos that ensued out on the track was mostly self-inflicted whereas last night, it was coincidence and bad luck. Before the day really got started we learned that Michael Byrne was out with a dislocated wrist that would require surgery and Grant Langston was out with a overall body soreness after getting landed on the day before. The format was started out with a free practice followed by a timed practice that would determine the draw for the Super Pole contest, after that it was an elimination race that would see half the field dropped and then after the next five lap main event, it then the last three riders were dropped resulting in a four man, winner take all format.
In the first free practice, four-time World Champion Antonio Cairoli looked to have improved quite a bit from a rough first night but it was the surprise of Bercy last year, Gregory Aranda, that set the fastest time when practice was all said and done. Last night's winner Justin Barcia was second followed by MX2 World Champion Marvin Musquin, who was third.
In the Super Pole contest, it was last night's podium finisher Kyle Chisholm who stood atop the leader board as each and every rider took a shot at Chisholm. It took until the very last rider (and fastest qualifier) Aranada who managed to best the Americans time by eight hundredths of a second.
In the elimination races, it was all controlled by Barcia who won all three five lap races pretty easy and showed that he was the guy to beat on this night. There was some controversy as Cairoli suffered a flat tire in the second race and had to be replaced. In a bit of a mix-up, the referees selected Arnaud Tonus as the next rider in line when, in fact, it was actually Chisholm. The confusion ended up costing Chisholm in the end by his gate selection for the 15-lap final.
And when that gate dropped, Justin Barcia's reactions finally let him down as the 18-year old didn't get the jump that he had hoped for and was buried in the pack. Musquin had no problems and started out in the lead before making a mistake after the second turn and casing the rhythm section. That mistake left the door open for Aranda to sneak by on the inside and into the lead. Musquin's night went from bad to worse as he tipped over after the finish on the same lap and would immediately pull out from a suspected knee injury that he probably suffered from putting his leg out after cutting the jump short.
So it was Aranda out front followed by Cedric Soubeyras on a KTM 250 two-stroke, then it was Fabien Izoird to round out the three Frenchkateers. The Parisian crowd was going bonkers as the top threats Barcia and Chisholm were buried in the back.Ryan Morais was having a good race in fourth with Cairoli close behind.
Soon though Barcia got on his horse and started working on making some headway to the front. In an all too familiar pattern that some racers in America can attest too, the aggressive American started "making" room where there wasn't always room to make. The kid was getting to the front and Cairoli and Iziod paid the price in the bowl turns.
Unfortunately for Barcia, while making the move into third, he went flying off the track and his charge was done.
The beneficiary of the carnage was Chisholm who was flying in the whoops and, like Barcia, trying to make up for the bad start. He moved into third and started on working on closing the gap on Soubeyras. At this point Aranda was gone and would go on to grab the win which made France very happy based on the amount chainsaws and horns that blared. Chisholm would get close but couldn't close up the gap on Soubeyras but still carded an impressive third. Gauthier Paulin was fourth and Barcia rebounded for a fifth.
Going into the final afternoon, only three riders have a chance at the prestigious King of Bercy title and it was a three-way tie at that! Barcia, Soubeyas and Chisholm all have six points after the two fifteen lap main events.
With the tight arena track providing close racing, it's the raw speed of Barcia vs the consistency of Chisholm vs the two-stroke (and Frenchman) of Soubeyas. Should be very interesting and I'll be back tomorrow night with a full report!
Bercy SX Results- Race 2
1-Greg Aranda, Kawasaki
2- Cedric Soubeyras, KTM
3- Kyle Chisholm, Yamaha
4- Gauthier Paulin, Yamaha
5- Justin Barcia, Honda
6- Ryan Morais, Suzuki
7- Cyrille Coulon, Suzuki
8- Blake Wharton, Honda
9- Alexandre Rouis, Honda
10- Ken De Dycker, Honda
11- Arnaud Tonus, Suzuki
12- Fabien Izoird, Suzuki
13- Antonio Cairoli, KTM
14- Marvin Musquin, KTM