Race report: Saturday MXGP qualifying races
VILLARS SOUS ECOT (France), 30 May 2015 – The steep, blue groove, tight and technical surface of Villars sous Écot was painted well and truly blue today with the domination of Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Romain Febvre and Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Valentin Guillod as they power slid their way to pole position here at MXGP of France, round eight of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
Also making the atmosphere extra special today was the epic victory of Frances own Livia Lancelot who won the opening race here at round four of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship. Meanwhile KTM Factory Juniors thunder from down under Josiah Natzke took his third race win of the season here at round five of the European Championship EMX125.
Coming from a super motard background, Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Romain Febvre was right in his element out on the slick surfaced circuit of Villars sous Ecot. The Frenchman who seems to be hitting milestone after milestone every time he races put in yet another astonishing performance to pick up his first ever MXGP qualifying race victory.
While Febvre claimed the holeshot and went on to blitz everyone in front of his rowdy home crowd, fellow Frenchman Team HRC’s Gautier Paulin backed him up. Paulin was inside the top three around turn one along side teammate Evgeny Bobryshev but stalled it on lap two. After a couple of kicks GP21 managed to fire his machine back up and charged from outside the top five to put in a crowd pleasing performance for second ahead of Bobby.
Also up front around turn one was Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Clement Desalle and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tyla Rattray but both of them ended up binning it early on and pulled out of the race.
With Rattray and Desalle down and out, Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Jeremy Van Horebeek put the move on the red plate holder Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl to take over fourth which inspired fellow Belgian Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker to follow in his wake.
After a ton of bar bashing out on the typical French style circuit, the Frenchies Febvre and Paulin lathered the atmosphere in happy dust with their first and second place performances while Bobryshev, Van Horebeek and De Dycker rounded out the top five respectively.
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), 24:33.984; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:06.508; 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:12.993; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:15.117; 5. Ken De Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:19.711; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:21.794; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:26.732; 8. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:26.864; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:36.365; 10. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Honda), +0:36.887
The hottest name in MX2 right now is without a doubt Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Valentin Guillod. The extremely flamboyant Swiss rider looked so smooth and fluid out on the track today as he put in yet another awe-inspiring performance for his second consecutive qualifying heat win.
Meanwhile the holeshot was actually snapped up by an ill Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass. With a fever and a stomach bug being an extra challenge for the KTM rider, Guillod followed by Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jordi Tixier and Bud Racing Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Maxime Desprey were quick to barge their way through.
As Guillod checked out, Tixier hounded Gajser for second which he claimed with three laps to go after scrubbing his way through the jump section at the top of the hill.
Gajser took the pass on the chin and settled for third while the battle for fourth between Desprey, Jonass andRockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Jeremy Seewer raged on. Desprey, who is a MX2 wild card with his main series being the European Championship EMX250, put in an extremely impressive performance to finish fifth after being passed back by Jonass late in the race.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Jeremy Seewer ended up finishing seventh after high siding on the final turn while trying to pin it up the inside of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings.
Speaking of Herlings, the man leading the championship crashed out of fourth on the opening lap while trying to pass Tixier for third. Once he got going again he was buried way back but managed to charge his way into sixth. Putting a dramatic end on an already theatrical race, Herlings bike stopped and wouldn’t restart less than ten meters from the checkered flag.
MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), 24:08.603; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:11.205; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:13.741; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:30.070; 5. Maxime Desprey (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:31.260; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, Yamaha), +0:38.583; 7. Jeremy Seewer (BEL, Yamaha), +0:40.931; 8. Damon Graulus (BEL, Yamaha), +0:41.651; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +0:44.614; 10. Jorge Zaragoza (ESP, Honda), +0:57.784.