In warm and sunny conditions in Tremblay, the 2017 edition of the FIM Supermoto of Nations started today with the practices and qualifying races. After winning the last three editions of the Supermoto of Nations, France is the host for the Olympics of Supermoto. Circuit Carole is one the best equipped venues in Europe with a combination of highspeed straights, long corners and three off-road sections. The organisation did everything to make this event a great success and with spectators from all over Europe already present on Saturday tomorrow’s event will be great. Team France qualified in first place, but with all top countries close it is not going to be an easy win tomorrow.
RACE GROUP 1
The first qualifying race of the day in France, was for the group 1 riders. At start it was Team Germany rider Markus Volz who took the hole shot into the first tight corner before Team France rider Thomas Chareyre and Team Italy rider Edgardo Borella on his SWM. Patrick Tellenbach from Team Suisse had also a good start with a fourth place in front of Team Great-Britain rider Chris Hodgson and Team France junior rider Nicolas Cousin. For Team Czech-Republic the qualification day was already over before it begun. During the time practice Pavel Kejmar had a crash on the highspeed track and broke his hand. After a few corners Chareyre took the lead in the race and started to put the speed up. Behind Chareyre, Team Italy rider Edgardo Borella passed Markus Volz as well but the fast Italian couldn’t follow Chareyre and had to focus on his fight for second place with Volz.
Behind the top three, UK rider Chris Hodgson moved up one place as he passed Tellenbach for fourth position. Right behind the fast English rider, two other riders were on the move as well. Young French junior rider Nicolas Cousin and Team Austria rider Andreas Buschberger passed Tellenbach as well and closed in on Hodgson lap after lap. In the lead Thomas Chareyre didn’t make any mistakes and gave the crowd alongside the track a great show. The French World- and European champion finished with a lead of 12:726 seconds on Team Italy rider Edgardo Borella. In third place it was Team Germany rider Markus Volz who showed that Germany is one of the favourites for this edition of the FIM Supermoto of Nations. Behind the top three Team France junior rider Nicolas Cousin was pushing hard and passed Chris Hodgson for fourth place.
The young Frenchman was followed on a few meters by Austrian rider Andreas Buschberger who was feeling more and more comfortable on the highspeed track of Carole. Buschberger pushed hard until the finish line but Cousin was just out of reach for him. At the finish of the race, Nicolas Cousin finished in fourth followed by Andreas Buschberger. The top six was completed by Team GB Chris Hodgson. With two more races to go, Team France is again the big favourite for winning the qualifications.
QUALIFYING RACE GROUP 1 (TOP TEN): 1. FRANCE, CHAREYRE Thomas (FRA, TM) 12 laps in 19:54:426; 2. ITALY, BORELLA Edgardo (ITA, SWM) +12:726; 3. GERMANY VOLZ Markus (GER, Husqvarna) +16:580; 4. FRANCE jr, COUSIN Nicolas (FRA, Kawasaki) +28:472; 5. AUSTRIA, BUSCHBERGER Andres (AUT, Husqvarna) +29:200; 6. GREAT BRITAIN, HODGSON Chris (GB, KTM) +37:322; SWITSERLAND, TELLENBACH, Patrick (SUI, Husqvarna) +43:739; 8. SWEDEN, STAMBECK John (SWE, Yamaha) +53:982; 9. BELGIUM, BOUILLON Sebastien (BEL, Honda) +54:243; 10. ESTONIA, PALS Patrick (EST, TM) +56:342
RACE GROUP 2
At the start of the second qualifying race for the group 2 riders, it was Team Germany rider Markus Class who took the hole shot into the first tight corner just in front of Team France rider Laurent Fath and Team GB rider Davey Todd who had an good start. Fourth place at the start was for Team Italy rider Diego Monticelli who was followed by Swiss rider Kevin Tschumperlin and Austrian rider Rudi Bauer. Team Czech Republic rider Milan Sitniansky had a bad start and the Honda rider completed the first lap in sixteenth position. With his teammate Kejmar out of the Supermoto of Nations, Sitniansky could only ride for a good personal result.
In front of the race Class and Fath were taking some distance towards their opponents already early in the race. Lap after lap the German and French rider were challenging each other in every corner but Class could defend every attack so far. In the meanwhile Davey Todd in third place was passed by Italian rider Diego Monticelli who took his speed from the last round of the European Supermoto Championship with him to France. Behind the top four Swiss rider Kevin Tschumperlin was passed in the off-rooad section by Team Austria Rudi Bauer. Sitniansky was recovering from his bad start and in the seventh lap he was able to take seventh place from Team Belgium rider Jean-Marc Gaiilard. The Czech rider had a good rhythm and with two laps to go, he arrived in fifth place after passing Tschumperlin and Bauer. The battle for the lead was still going on.
Team France rider Laurent Fath was getting closer and closer to Team Germany rider Markus Class. With a few laps to go Fath had a better pace on the long back straight and the young Frenchman managed to outbreak Class, taking first place in this second race. Fath immediately increased his speed leaving Class no change to pass him anymore. After 12 laps, Laurent Fath finished in first place followed by Markus Class on 6:342 seconds. For Team France it was the second victory of the day at their home ground. Third place was for Team Italy rider Diego Monticelli who managed to keep Team GB Davey Todd behind him. Todd finished in fourth place followed on a few seconds by Czech rider Milan Sitniansky. Behind the top five it was Team Austria rider Rudi Bauer in sixth position. Team Swiss rider Kevin Tschumperlin completed the top seven. With one more qualifying race to go, the other countries will have to push hard to keep them away from a third victory in the last race.
QUALIFYING RACE GROUP 2 (TOP TEN): 1. FRANCE, FATH Laurent (FRA, Honda) 12 laps in 19:55:765; 2. GERMANY, CLASS Markus (GER, Husqvarna) +6:342; ITALY, MONTICELLI Diego (ITA, TM) +21:391; 4. GREAT BRITAIN, TODD Davey (GB, Husqvarna) +26:188; 5. CZECH REPUBLIC, SITNIANSKY Milan (CZE, Honda) +29:557; 6. AUSTRIA, BAUER Rudolf (AUT, TM) +32:985; 7. SWITZERLAND TSCHUMPERLIN Kevin (SUI, Yamaha) +35:961; 8. BRAZIL, FONSECA Rafael, (BRA, Husqvarna) +47:466; 9. BELGIUM, GAILLARD, Jean-Marc (BEL, Honda) + 50:024; 10. GERMANY jr, BANHOLZER Max (GER, Yamaha) +50:683.
RACE GROUP 3
Last qualifying race of the Saturday in Carole was for the riders of group three. With two wins of Team France, all the other countries was eager to stop them from winning this race as well. At the start it was Team Germany rider Marc-Reiner Schmidt who took the hole shot, with next to him Team France rider Sylvain Bidart and Team Italy rider Elia Sammartin. Fourth place was for Team Austria junior rider Bernhard Hitzenberger. With his third place in the time practice, the young Austrian rider was one of the outsiders for this race. Right behind the top four it was Team GB rider Matt Winstanley and Austrian rider Robert Gattinger.
In front the top three was taking some distance towards the rest of the field. After a few laps Italian rider Sammartin had to let Schmidt and Bidart go, as the speed from these top two riders was too high. Schmidt and Bidart were fighting for every centimetre of asphalt in Carole. In lap five Bidart managed to overtake Schmidt in of the fast corners but the young German rider didn’t waste any time and he passed Bidart back in one of the off-road sections. With Italian rider Sammartin still in third position, two other riders were having their own fight. English rider Winstanley and Austrian rider Hitzenberger passed each other a few times but in lap five, Hitzenberger made a final move on Winstanley. Meanwhile Austrian junior rider Gattinger got company from Team Sweden rider Kevin Fagre and Team Czech Republic rider Petr Vorlicek who had a great race from the back of the field. With four laps to go Team France rider Sylvain Bidart tried to overtake Marc-Reiner Schmidt again at the end of the long straight but the experienced Frenchman braked to late and crashed into the backend of the SWM of Marc-Reiner Schmidt. Bidart crashed in the corner, but Schmidt managed to stay up and returned to the asphalt still in first place. Bidart had to restart his bike and felt back fourth place behind Sammartin and Hitzenberger.
Team Germany Marc-Reiner Schmidt lost a lot of time on new second man Team Italy rider Elia Sammartin but he managed to stay in front and finish the race in first position. On 2:876 seconds Italian rider Sammartin finished in second place, followed by Team Austria rider Bernhard Hitzenberger. With the victory of Team Germany in this last race and the second place for Team Italy everything is still possible for tomorrow’s races. Team France rider Sylvain Bidart finished in fourth place in front of Team Great
Britain rider Matt Winstanley who completed the top five.
With all countries in the top close to each other the races for tomorrow will full of tension and action. In combination with the good weather predictions, it will be a great day of racing at the 2017 FIM Supermoto of Nations.
QUALIFYING RACE GROUP 3 (TOP TEN): 1. GERMANY, SCHMIDT Marc-Reiner (GER, SWM) 12 laps in 20:08:593; 2. ITALY, SAMMARTIN Elia (ITA, Husqvarna) +2:876; 3. AUSTRIA jr, HITZENBERGER, Bernhard (AUT, Yamaha) +12:949; 4. FRANCE, BIDART Sylvain (FRA, Honda) +19:725; 5. GREAT BRITAIN, WINSTANLEY Matt (GB, Husqvarna) +22:057; 6. AUSTRIA, GATTINGER Robert (AUT, KTM) + 22:223; 7. SWEDEN, FAGRE Kevin (SWE, Yamaha) +22:923; 8. CZECH REPUBLIC, VORLICEK Petr (CZE, Suzuki) +23:134; 9. BELGIUM, KAIVERS Romain (BEL, Husqvarna) +25:102; 10. SWITZERLAND GRAF Timo (SUI, Husqvarna) +32:504
TEAMS QUALIFYING (TOP TEN): 1. FRANCE; 2. GERMANY; 3. ITALY; 4. GREAT BRITAIN; 5. AUSTRIA; 6. CZECH REPUBLIC; 7. SWITZERLAND; 8. AUSTRIA junior; 9. SWEDEN; 10. FRANCE junior.