Gorna Rositza’s track hosted day one of the Bulgarian Grand Prix, where Antonio Cairoli and Tommy Searle clinched the pole for tomorrow’s races. The first EMX125 race took also place today in Sevlievo and Tim Gajser dominated it from beginning to end.
The day started with some clouds early in the morning, but by midday the sky was blue and the sun was out. However, when the MX2 qualifying race was about to start, it began to rain, but Tommy Searle succeeded in winning the MX2 qualifying race, while Jeffrey Herlings had to fight from the back of the pack, as he crashed in the first corner.
The rain had stopped when the MX1 riders went out for the qualifying race, but they had to ride smart not to make any mistake. Antonio Cairoli won the race easily and Gautier Paulin and Christophe Pourcel were second and third respectively.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cairoli took the holeshot of the MX1 qualifying race and he dominated it until the chequered flag. The Italian admitted that he struggled a little bit in the time practice, but he rode very comfortable during the qualifying race. Cairoli is looking forward to winning tomorrow in Sevlievo, as he has never been on the top of the podium of the Bulgarian GP since he is in the MX1 class.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Paulin obtained the fourth best result in the pre-qualifying session and he was second in the qualifying race, so he proved that he can easily be on the podium tomorrow. In fact, Paulin started third today, he managed to get the second position already in the first lap, kept Christophe Pourcel’s pressure and crossed the finish line second.
Christophe Pourcel got a really good start and he was third already in the first lap. The CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit rider proved that he is feeling much better this weekend and he might be on the podium tomorrow after the two heats.
The fourth position was for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Desalle, who did not have a very good start but he managed to get into the fourth position during the second lap. However, once Desalle overtook De Dycker and Aranda, the leading group had already opened a massive gap, so the Belgian rode safe until the end of the race.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s De Dycker did a solid qualifying moto, by starting fifth and keeping such position during the 20 minutes plus two laps heat. However, the Belgian had to battle with Aranda in order to keep his position until the chequered flag.
Boog did not have a really good start, but he managed to finish sixth, in front of Philippaerts and Bobryshev. The Russian is still struggling with a lot of pain in his right thumb, so his goal tomorrow is to get as many points as possible without taking any risks.
It was an unfortunate session for Frossard, who might even miss the races tomorrow. Firstly, he did not have a good start and he then made several mistakes while trying to improve his initial eighth position, and when he was battling with Bobryshev for sixth, he twisted his right knee and had to stop in the pit lane.
MX1 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 23:55.990; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:02.684; 3. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:04.220; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:20.493; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:27.470; 6. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:30.890; 7. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:33.555; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:36.452; 9. Gregory Aranda (FRA, Yamaha), +0:38.045; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:40.548;
Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Searle obtained his first pole position this afternoon in Sevlievo. Searle started third, but he quickly moved up to second, while Teillet was leading the race. After five laps, Searle managed to overtake the French rider and he kept the first position until the chequered flag.
Rockstar Energy Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Teillet took advantage of Herlings crash in the first corner and he led the first six laps of the qualifying race with authority. However, he could not stand Searle’s pressure until the end and he had to settle down with a second position. In any case, Teillet set really good lap times and he could even fight for the podium tomorrow.
The third position was for Nestaan JM Racing KTM's Nicholls, who once more did a really good start and hold the third position until the end. The Brit has already proved that he can be at the front this year, so if he has a good start also tomorrow, he can also be another contender for the podium.
KTM Diga Racing’s Butrón made a really solid race and he kept the fourth position from beginning to end. The Spanish rider, who could not finish any of the heats in Valkenswaard due to some mechanical problems, has admitted that the team have worked really hard to improve the bike and he is now looking forward to show his real potential tomorrow.
Completing the top five was HM Plant KTM UK’s Banks-Browne. The young British rider could not show his talent in the sandy track of Sevlievo, but he could be one of the surprises of the weekend and even of the season.
Van Horebeek got a solid sixth position and he was followed by Anstie and Lupino. Kullas was ninth and Ferrandis completed the top ten. Roelants could only finish right after Ferrandis, but he did an incredible race taking into account that he had to enter the pit lane to change his goggles.
Red plate holder, Herlings, was the first one to reach the first corner after the start, but he made a mistake and crashed. He was able to get back on his bike, but he started from the very last position. Herlings had to finally enter the pitlane to change his goggles to end sixteenth of the qualifying race.
Home rider Petrov is still nursing an injury he suffered one week before Valkenswaard and he could only finish twelfth, ahead of Tonkov and Tixier.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Leib obtained the best seventh lap time in the pre-qualifying session, but he could only finish fifteenth in the qualifying heat.
MX2 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 25:05.361; 2. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:02.334; 3. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:34.917; 4. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:43.524; 5. Elliott Banks-Browne (GBR, KTM), +0:46.416; 6. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:48.085; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +0:49.867; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:55.115; 9. Harri Kullas (FIN, Suzuki), +0:55.469; 10. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:01.903;