The amiable Frenchman – the darling of his home crowd – set the spectator hillside overlooking the Saint Jean D’Angely facility alight as he grabbed a clear holeshot on his KX450-SR. He never looked in danger of surrendering the lead throughout the twenty-minute-plus-two-lap Qualifying race as he seeks to end the season in dynamic fashion after missing a shot at the title which had so narrowly evaded him last year when off-season injuries forced him to sit out the early races of the series. The championship leaders closed him down slightly at one stage as he rode an error-free race but he coolly responded to move three seconds clear again at the chequered flag. The success was a repeat of his dominant Qualifying performance in Finland and rider and team now look forward confidently to avoiding the race-day dramas which denied him the GP victory last weekend.
Romain Febvre: “It’s great to be on pole for the races after a good Qualifying. I pulled the holeshot again and I knew that if I didn’t make any mistakes the win was possible. Seewer also had a good rhythm and was pushing Gajser hard; they started to catch me at one stage but I stayed calm, changed my lines a little and could move clear again. But today was just a Qualifying day; now I need to get two good starts tomorrow as it will again be one of the keys to the race. There’s still work to do to get at least a podium; last week I was really fast but I made some mistakes. That’s racing; my goal is to get a top three in each moto.“
KRT teammate Ben Watson rode a steady race in traffic to advance from an initial eighteenth to sixteenth at the close, while F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jed Beaton made a number of strategic passes to earn twelfth-choice of start-gate after starting fifteenth.
Neither F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kevin Horgmo nor Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Mikkel Haarup figured prominently in Qualifying for the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship to finish tenth and twelfth respectively but both remain confident for tomorrow’s points-scoring motos.
Kevin Horgmo: “I like hard-pack, I like the track, the bike was working good and I made a great start but I had no feeling for the lines today; I just need to turn myself around tomorrow.“
Mikkel Haarup: “We used the spare bike today to try some options which will benefit us tomorrow; we still came off the gate good and would have holeshot with the race-bike. Twelfth is not where we wanted to be but we will have the same gate-pick as today, and that is when you get the points. It’s a lovely track and it should be good racing tomorrow.“
Quentin Marc Prugnières took his 9MM Energy Drink BUD Racing Kawasaki to a magnificent third place in the first moto of the final round of the FIM European EMX250 Championship. Responding superbly to the encouragement from his home-country crowd the teenager burst through from an initial eleventh place with a series of exhilarating passes to eventually make his final pass on the very last lap. He retains seventh in the series standings but could move up to fifth with a repeat performance in tomorrow morning’s final moto. BUD teammate Eddie Jay Wade crashed during practice and did not start.
Quentin Marc Prugnières: „I made a decent start but my first lap was not so good as I couldn’t go where I wanted through the corners in traffic. But I came back through to third so I’m happy with my riding. It was amazing to race in front of such a responsive public; I could hear them during the race and that’s really nice. Tomorrow I will again try to have fun riding my bike and the goal of course will be to claim another podium.“