(TARTU) Estonia, 29 July 2017 - The grassy rolling hills of the Lange Motokeskus circuit hosted the qualifying sessions today for tomorrow’s FIM Junior Motocross World Championship and 65cc FIM Junior Motocross World Cup.
The world’s best young racers put their skills to the test, all trying to get the fastest single lap on the mixed red soil of the Estonian track. With over 180 riders between the 3 classes, only 120 would make the cut.
The morning started with the 125cc 2t and it was the Free Practice Group A who made the first lines on the track carving through the well prepped circuit.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Mikkel Haarup came out flying and put in the fastest lap of the day with a 1:31.612 time. While Haarup was fastest in Group A, Team France’s Brian Moreau topped the Group B Free Practice times just ahead of Kevin Horgmo.
While Free Practice gave riders a chance to get a feel for the track, the Qualifying Practice was the focus and in Group A, the Italian Gianluca Facchetti was all business topping Mikkel Haarup for pole position on Sunday. Haarup said, “My qualifying went quite fine, I had some good laps, not quite like I wanted to but I took second in my group and I have third gate pick tomorrow.”
While the third fastest Group A time went to the home team’s Andreas Hiiemägi, fellow Estonian Meico Vettik was quicker than anyone in Group B including Brian Moreau who put together the second fastest lap prior to a crash. Moreau however rejoined the practice after shaking off the fall.
For the riders who didn’t make it straight out of qualifying practice a last chance race was given. The top 4 last chance finishers of Viking Lindström, Christopher Mills, Timur Petrashin, and Emil Weckman were the last to be guaranteed a spot on the gate tomorrow.
125cc World Championship Qualifying Practice Top Ten Group A: 1. Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, Husqvarna), 1:34.713; 2. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:00.228; 3. Andreas Hiiemagi (EST, Husqvarna), +0:01.278; 4. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), +0:01.622; 5. Emilio Scuteri (ITA, KTM), +0:01.841; 6. Jan Pancar (SLO, Yamaha), +0:02.558; 7. Bailey Malkiewicz (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:02.716; 8. Marcel Stauffer (AUT, KTM), +0:02.793; 9. Mason Semmens (AUS, Yamaha), +0:02.880; 10. Jeremy Sydow (GER, KTM), +0:02.882.
125cc World Championship Qualifying Practice Top Ten Group B: 1. Meico Vettik (EST, KTM), 1:35.979; 2. Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, KTM), +0:00.008; 3. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), +0:00.221; 4. Tim Edberg (SWE, Yamaha), +0:00.752; 5. Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:00.810; 6. Andrea Zanotti (SMR, KTM), +0:01.020; 7. Matteo Puccinelli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.098; 8. Filip Olsson (SWE, Husqvarna), +0:01.122; 9. Yann Crnjanski (FRA, KTM), +0:01.921; 10. Florian Lion (GER, KTM), +0:02.013.
From the 125cc’s the track was turned over to the 85cc rippers. In group A Free Practice Max Pahlsson led the way but less than a second separated him from 2nd and 3rd, British rider Eddie Jay Wade and Frenchman Florian Miot.
Group A’s Free Practice lap times were close to one another but so too were Group B’s. Noel Nilsson topped the charts ahead of the Hungarian, Adam Zsolt Kovacs, and the lone South African Camden Mc Lellan.
Eddie Wade carried his free practice speed into A Group’s Qualifying and this time out his smooth riding out ranked that of Phalsson’s. In Group B Qualifying Nilsson again had the fastest time while Kovacs was only 4 tenths of a second off his pace.
Kovacs looked comfortable on the track throughout the day, and he said: “Qualifying was very nice I came off the track 2nd and during the first 3 laps I pushed, the track was nice, it started to get bumpy, which I like so everything is good.”
In 85cc class the last 4 of 40 spots were filled via the last chance race top 4 of Nico Greutman, Petr Rathousky, Martin Venhoda, and Tomas Pikart.
85cc World Championship Qualifying Practice Group A Top Ten: 1. Eddie Wade (GBR, Husqvarna), 1:40.983; 2. Max Palsson (SWE, KTM), +0:00.652; 3. Kay de Wolf (NED, KTM), +0:00.859; 4. Florian Miot (FRA, Yamaha), +0:01.432; 5. Magnus Smith (DEN, KTM), +0:02.563; 6. Noah Ludwig (GER, Husqvarna), +0:04.117; 7. Sampo Rainio (FIN, KTM), +0:04.187; 8. Max Thunecke (GER, KTM), +0:04.481; 9. Radek Vetrovsky (CZE, KTM), +0:04.696; 10. Quentin Marc Prugnieres (FRA, KTM), +0:04.855.
85cc World Championship Qualifying Practice Group B Top Ten: 1. Noel Nilsson (SWE, Husqvarna), 1:41.481; 2. Adam Zsolt Kovacs (HUN, Yamaha), +0:00.448; 3. Kay Karssemakers (NED, Husqvarna), +0:01.920; 4. Bobby Wayne Bruce (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:02.422; 5. Constantin Piller (GER, KTM), +0:02.961; 6. Camden Mc Lellan (RSA, KTM), +0:03.665; 7. Pietro Razzini (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:04.182; 8. Andrea Roncoli (ITA, Honda), +0:04.318; 9. Rasmus Varg (SWE, KTM), +0:04.364; 10. Gerard Congost Aguilera (ESP, Kawasaki), +0:05.006.
The 65cc class is full of the most impressive young riders in the motocross world. With lap times not far off of the 85cc bikes the little riders are railing their way around the track. For Italian youngster Ferruccio Zanchi the weekend couldn’t have started any better. Zanchi had the fastest time in Free Practice and Qualifying Practice of not only of his Group A, but of either group A or B.
Second to Zanchi in Group A was Ivano Van Erp from the Netherlands while in Group B the fastest in Free Practice and the qualifier was the recently crowned EMX65 champion Mads Fredsoe. Fredsoe was followed by Finland’s Saku Mansikkamäki in Free Practice and his Danish teammate Jakob Madsen in Qualifying.
The 65cc class was no exception when it comes to last chance qualifiers. The final spots went to Uldis Freibergs, Bradley Mesters, Eldar Mukimkhanov, and Kirils Maslovs.
65cc World Cup Qualifying Practice Group A Top Ten: 1. Ferruccio Zanchi (ITA, Husqvarna), 1:52.695; 2. Ivano Van Erp (NED, KTM), +0:00.218; 3. Maksymilian Chwalik (POL, KTM), +0:03.190; 4. Alejandro Perez Martin (ESP, Husqvarna), +0:03.349; 5. Karlis Alberts Reisulis (LAT, KTM), +0:04.453; 6. Jet Alsop (AUS, Suzuki), +0:04.997; 7. Damian Knuiman (NED, Husqvarna), +0:05.040; 8. Junya Tanaka (JPN, Suzuki), +0:05.642; 9. Noel Zanocz (HUN, Husqvarna), +0:05.673; 10. Mirco ten Kate (NED, KTM), +0:06.085.
65cc World Cup Qualifying Practice Group B Top Ten: 1. Mads Fredsoe Sorensen (DEN, KTM), 1:53.675; 2. Jakob Madsen (DEN, KTM), +0:03.786; 3. Ollie Colmer (GBR, Honda), +0:03.968; 4. Kasimir Hindersson (FIN, KTM), +0:04.232; 5. Julius Mikula (CZE, KTM), +0:04.497; 6. Kayden Minear (JPN, Suzuki), +0:04.681; 7. Saku Mansikkamaki (FIN, Honda), +0:04.695; 8. Jaka Peklaj (SLO, KTM), +0:06.559; 9. Alessandro Gaspari (ITA, KTM), +0:06.852; 10. Elisey Oreshkin (RUS, KTM), +0:07.627.