The Welshman and colleague Henry Jacobi showed decisively that the Dutch F&H technical crew had been working effectively during the five-week Spring break in the GP schedule as both KX250s swept through the opening turns at the sharp end of the pack to move decisively to the front within four corners and open up a three-second lead over their chasers during the first two laps. Jacobi jumped inside his teammate for the lead on the third lap, but his advantage was to last just eight turns before a highsider dropped the German to fourteenth and Sterry took command once more. He maintained his lead until the penultimate lap when the current series leader managed to sneak past in a corner and the Welshman, determined to secure his career-best qualifying result, settled for second and an excellent gate pick for tomorrow’s two points-scoring races. Teammate Jacobi recovered after his fall to finish ninth.
Adam Sterry: “We had to work on the setup of the bike during the free session as the track surface was a little different to previous years and we found a good solution for the timed practice period where I posted the fifth-fastest lap. I got a good start and took the lead of the qualifying race at the second corner but on the penultimate lap Kjer Olsen passed me. It would have been great to get the win but it is what it is; I made a few small mistakes but overall I’m happy with my riding and that gives me confidence for tomorrow.”
Clement Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team made a highly-professional return to the race track after five weeks out of action following knee surgery to qualify eighth in the MXGP class. The Belgian eased back into a good rhythm during the first practice before posting eighth fastest time from just five laps, half the number ridden by the other contenders, during the timed session. Clement gated superbly in the Qualifying race to hold third place through the opening laps and, with no points at stake in his comeback race, was content to race to a secure eighth place at the finish.
Clement Desalle: “I didn’t really know what to expect when I arrived here as I only started riding the bike again a few days ago so the goal was to come and see. The timed practice session was OK and then I got a good start in the Qualifying race but lost some position to finish eighth; I would have like to finish higher in the standings but it’s no secret that my rivals have been able train and race while I was recovering from the knee surgery. I did my best; I was a little cautious to put my foot on the ground and tomorrow I will try to get some good starts. Overall I’m happy with this first day; it was a good return and I just hope that tomorrow I will not have too many troubles with my hands after such a long time off the bike.”
Desalle’s KRT teammate Julien Lieber qualified eleventh, six ahead of BOS Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle while Alessandro Lupino, having crashed over a berm when fifth on the opening lap, rounded out the top twenty after a late pass on his Gebben Van Venrooy teammate Benoit Paturel.
Pic: Shot by Bavo