The 2011 FIM SuperMoto of Nations kicked off today at the Spanish track of Alcañiz. The record number of 23 nations committed to take part in the most important appointment of the SuperMoto racing season were well represented by their best racers, who were united in the name of their country while facing today’s time practices and qualifying races.
France, winner of last year’s SuperMoto of Nations, collected strong results today through Frenchmen Thomas Chareyre, Sylvain Bidart and Boris Chambon. Finland and Czech Republic completed an unexpected top three with Italy 4th and Bulgaria 5th.
Home Team Spain was down in 7th place while Russia secured its spot for tomorrow’s races through a 15th position.
All Nations qualified after the 15th place will need to go through the B Final race tomorrow in order to establish the “one and only” to join the other 15 in the chase for the Zerbi Trophy.
Qualifying Race Group Riders 1
In the first qualifying race the front row of the starting grid was occupied by Finnish Mauno Hermunen, French Thomas Chareyre, Italian Christian Ravaglia and English Matthew Winstanley.
The Finnish racer who set the best time of 1:01.386 in this morning’s time practice led the way during the opening qualifying session of the day, constantly followed by defending World Champion Thomas Chareyre, who was looking forward overcoming the pace setter but did not succeed in his aim so that he kept the second spot till the final lap.
Behind the duo there were other two riders who registered solid performances: Italian Christian Ravaglia, who rode safe in 3rd, and Team France Junior Alexis Marie Luce. The youngest racer of the front riders managed to take possession of Winstanley’s starting spot and once he grasped the 4th place he never left it till when the heat was over.
So, while the top four was shared among leader Mauno Hermunen, Thomas Chareyre, Christian Ravaglia and Alexis Marie Luce, the 5th place passed from Englishman Matthew Winstanley to German Andre Plogmann. Both of the two contenders collected the best qualification for their country with Englishman Winstanley ending in 6th after slipping.
The other countries which entered in the top ten were Sweden with Henrik Karlsson in 7th, Spain through Francesc Cucharrera in 8th, Bulgaria thanks to Alexander Georgiev in 9th and Argentina as well with Ezequiel Iturrioz in 10th.
Qualifying Race Group Riders 1: 1. Mauno Hermunen (FIN, Husqvarna), 19:53.573; ; 2. Thomas Chareyre (FRA, TM), +0:00.744; 3. Christian Ravaglia (ITA, Suzuki), +0:32.665; 4. Alexis Marie Luce (FRAj, KTM), +0:34.427; 5. Andre Plogmann (GER, Suzuki), +0:44.495; 6. Matthew Winstanley (GBR, Honda), +0:55.492; 7. Henrik Karlsson (SWE, Yamaha), +0:59.232; 8. Francesc Cucharrera (ESP, KTM), -1 lap(s); 9. Alexander Georgiev (BUL, KTM), -1 lap(s); 10. Ezequiel Iturrioz (ARG, Yamaha), -1 lap(s).
Qualifying Race Group Riders 2
After the group made up by riders 1 left the track, nations saw their rider number 2 representing them in order to collect the best result ever and increase the chances of being among the first 15 nations to classify for Sunday great day.
As the lights went off Team France Sylvain Bidart pulled away to take the hole shot and through an impressive rhythm the Frenchman abandoned the pack keeping the leadership for the whole time. There was no possibility for Bulgarian Angel Karanyotov to reduce the gap dividing him from strong French Champ so, even if he tried to get closer, he kept the 2nd place knowing that was a very good position to take care of and also the best one clinched today by the Bulgarian squad.
Today’s 3rd qualified, Czech Pavel Kejmar, was able to round off the top three after falling and working his way up till when he reached Finnish Asseri Kingelin who lost the 3rd place and ended up in 4th.
Team Italy Massimo Beltrami was rewarded for being constant and was able to provide Italy with the 5th spot. Other regular racers were Austrian Lukas Hollbacher, 6th, German Markus Class, 7th, Argentine Gaston Vivas, 8th despite he slipped in the off-road, Russian Alexander Ivanutin and home racer, Spanish David Gimenez slipped in the off-road too, who completed the top ten.
Qualifying Race Group Riders 2: 1. Sylvain Bidart (FRA, Honda), 20:21.727; ; 2. Angel Karanyotov (BUL, KTM), +0:04.754; 3. Pavel Kejmar (CZE, Suzuki), +0:05.512; 4. Asseri Kingelin (FIN, Honda), +0:15.546; 5. Massimo Beltrami (ITA, Honda), +0:24.631; 6. Lukas Höllbacher (AUT, KTM), +0:27.799; 7. Markus Class (GER, Suzuki), +0:30.969; 8. Gaston Vivas (ARG, Honda), +0:43.219; 9. Alexander Ivanutin (RUS, Honda), +0:58.836; 10. David Gimenez (ESP, Suzuki), +1:00.290.
Qualifying Race Group Riders 3
The last qualifying race of the afternoon represented another occasion to collect a positive result for those teams which already saw their riders starring in the previous ones, as well as the last chance for those squads whose results were a bit insure.
Slovenian Uros Nastran did his best for his homeland and once he pointed at the lead he immediately grasped it without allowing rivals to ruin his heat, being pointed as the best Slovenian challenger.
The 2nd spot was taken by another rider who showed a great shape, Czech Petr Vorlicek, who was constant and kept the runner up spot until the chequered flag.
The 3rd spot was wanted by three racers: initially it went to Team France Junior Fred Guerin but after the initial laps it was Italian Teo Monticelli who was detaining it, none of the two made it in fact it went to Estonian Taavi Nassar.
France appeared once again among the first Teams but this time it was in 4th with Boris Chambon chased by Spanish Israel Escalera, Italian Teo Monticelli and English James Addy who were 5th 6th and 7th respectively. Toni Klem provided Finland with the 8th position and Rafael Fonseca did a good job for Team Brazil grasping the 9th spot with Team Spain Junior Alejandro Jover completing the top ten.
Qualifying Race Group Riders 3: 1. Uros Nastran (SLO, Honda), 20:27.315; ; 2. Petr Vorlicek (CZE, Suzuki), +0:02.168; 3. Taavi Nassar (EST, TM), +0:23.398; 4. Boris Chambon (FRA, Suzuki), +0:26.770; 5. Israel Escalera (ESP, Kawasaki), +0:27.638; 6. Teo Monticelli (ITA, Honda), +0:31.930; 7. James Addy (GBR, KTM), +0:38.511; 8. Toni Klem (FIN, Husqvarna), +0:42.516; 9. Rafael Fonseca (BRA, Honda), +0:45.637; 10. Alejandro Jover (ESPj, Kawasaki), +0:53.744;
Nations Qualifying Top Fifteen: France, Finland, Czech Republic, Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Slovenia, France Junior, Austria, Argentina, Sweden, Estonia, Russia.
Nations Going to B Final: Spain Junior, Great Britain Junior, Brazil, Finland Junior, Latvia, Portugal, Lithuania Norway.
FIM SUPERMOTO OF NATIONS, ALCAÑIZ - QUICK FACTS <^p> Circuit length: 1.187 mt (833 mt slide, 354 mt sky section).
Temperature: 34° C
Weather conditions: sunny
Sunday: Warm-up Final-B 9:00; Qualified Teams 1 9:30; Qualified Teams 2 10:00; Final B 11:00; SMoN Race 1 (Rider 1 + Rider 2) 13:00; SMoN Race 2 (Rider 2 + Rider 3) 14:40; SMoN Race 3 (Rider 1 + Rider 3) 16:20.