The Norwegian youngster proved he had a good feeling for the orange dirt of the track which weaves its way around the gentle slopes of a natural valley as he posted the fastest time in each practice session during the morning and showed his ever-growing maturity to hold a solid third place from the opening lap to the finish in a three-rider breakaway at the head of the pack while several more temperamental figures cast away decent gate-picks for tomorrow’s GP motos as their over-zealous approach to the slippery surface saw them fall.
Kevin Horgmo: “I was feeling good all day, but it’s tomorrow when the points count so hopefully I can wake up tomorrow with the same feeling. I rode solid all day, felt comfortable with the track, enjoyed myself and earnt a good gate-pick which was the focus for today. Of course it would have ben nice to be second but every time I came close I got roosted so I settled for third with no mistakes. I’m taking the mistakes I have made in the past, throwing them away and learning every week. The track’s really slippery but it’s fun. “
Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Mikkel Haarup was equally impressive as he converted an eighth-placed start to fifth at the chequered flag with a series of astute moves around a fast race track where overtaking was not easy.
Mikkel Haarup: “There still some things to improve, particularly in my one-lap sprints during practice, but overall I’m pleased with the day; I’ve got a good gate-pick for tomorrow, for the rest of the weekend it’s all about the motos and I’m not worried for those as I have again shown I have the speed. I actually had a good jump out of the gate but I didn’t turn soon enough at the first corner so that lost me some positions and I had to come back from eighth. The track is difficult to pass but I was one of the few guys to make passes so that gives me confidence for tomorrow; I even got fourth for a brief moment but he squared me up and came straight back at me.“
Both Jed Beaton of the F&H Kawasaki Racing Team and Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP’s Ben Watson earnt solid gate-picks for tomorrow’s FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship motos as the Australian finished ninth and the Englishman twelfth in the Qualifying race. Both Kawasaki’s gated in the top-ten and Beaton moved as high as eighth until surrendering a position late in the race to the series points-leader. The tightness of the racing on the leaderboard was emphasised by the fact that Beaton was less than seven seconds away from sixth, while Watson was only another eight seconds further back in thirteenth.
Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Courtney Duncan, the defending champion, was not able to contest the second round of the FIM WMX Women’s World Championship after suffering a collarbone injury during morning practice. 9MM Energy Drink BUD Racing Kawasaki’s Amandine Verstappen moved forward quickly from a ninth-placed start to eighth to put constant pressure on the girl ahead of her, eventually finding a way past on the final lap to finish seventh.