MXGP's first day at Sevlievo for the 2018 MXGP of Bulgaria has wrapped with impressive Qualifying race wins from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Jeffrey Herlings and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Thomas Covington in MXGP and MX2 respectively.
MX2 QUALIFYING REPORT & RESULTS
MX2 Qualifying was started with a holeshot by none other than Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Jorge Prado. Prado led Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Thomas Covington with fellow Red Bull KTM teammate Pauls Jonass in 3rd.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Thomas Kjer Olsen continued the Austrian manufacturers' sandwich in 4th while Calvin Vlaanderen's Team HRC CRF250 joined the top 5.
Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team's Anthony Rodriguez was 6th but by lap 2 had Honda 114 Motorsports' Hunter Lawrence pushing for the position. Meanwhile it was Covington who was doing the same to Prado for the lead and hoping for a mistake from the young Spaniard.
On lap 5 Lawrence found his way past Rodriguez who immediately tried to retaliate but was unsuccessful. Covington was next to take a position but it was from Prado and for the lead. Prado was unable to pass Covington back in the remaining laps giving the American the Qualifying win. Prado maintained 2nd while Jonass took third, Olsen took 4th and Vlaanderen rounded out the top 5.
Thomas Covington: "It was a little more difficult to find a way to pass out there than I expected so for me the only way really was to apply pressure and hope for small a mistake so I could get around him. I'm looking forward to the races tomorrow and I hope to get a good start again, I just would really like to beat Jorge out of the gate, it is not so easy but that is a big goal for me tomorrow, I want to get 2 holeshots and then it comes a lot easier."
Hunter Lawrence: "It was really good, I liked the track from the start and had a pretty good feeling on it. It should be good for tomorrow, I feel good, hopefully I can get a bit better start and go from there."
MXGP QUALIFYING REPORT & RESULTS
MXGP's points leader Jeffrey Herlings and his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine continued the dominant form from the previous races into today's qualifying. On the start he jumped to the early lead ahead of Team HRC's Tim Gajser and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team's Clement Desalle.
Last week's MXGP Qualifying Race winner from Switzerland, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Antonio Cairoli, crossed the finish in 4th position after the first official lap and had Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Romain Febvre just behind.
Cairoli's fellow Italian and friend, Gebben Van Venroy Kawasaki Racing's Alessandro Lupino, was 6th but had Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP's Jeremy Seewer coming up fast. By lap 2 Seewer was up to 6th and Lupino pulled out of the race.
At the front Gajser was right with Herlings for the first few laps before the Dutchman started to check out. Gajser quickly lost track of the "Bullet" but maintained his gap over Desalle. Cairoli dropped 4th to Febvre on lap six and faded back while the Frenchman hounded Desalle for 3rd.
Cairoli managed to maintain 6th but perhaps saved energy for tomorrow's point paying races. Febvre on the other hand didn't hold back but was still unable to get by the #25 from Belgium. Seewer lost 6th to the hard charging Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider of Max Anstie on lap 7 and then lost out to the other Rockstar Energy Husqvarna of Gautier Paulin 3 laps later.
On the final lap Herlings continued his charge and put in the fastest lap of the race to take the race win by over 19 seconds. Gajser took second with a lap time 3 seconds slower while Desalle took 3rd ahead of Febvre and Cairoli.
Jeffrey Herlings: "I felt good on track. I'm really enjoying my time being here and I'm definitely looking forward to racing tomorrow, hopefully I get 2 good starts and we will go from there."
Team Honda RedMoto Assomotors' Petar Petrov took 14th in what is his home GP to which he said: "It feels nice, we haven't been here for about 4 years. It is great to be back and great to be home. It is also nice for the spectators to see the World Championship and good for the sport in Bulgaria."