Day one of the Belgian Grand Prix took place today under rainy conditions and today’s qualifying races were cancelled in order to have the track in the best conditions possible for tomorrow’s races. Belgians Clement Desalle and Jeremy Van Horebeek obtained the best lap times of the qualifying time practice, so there is a high chance to have the home riders on the podium tomorrow.
The first race of the fourth round of the UEM EMX125 series took also place today in Bastogne and Tim Gajser obtained another comfortable win ahead of Magne Klingsheim and Pauls Jonass, who finished second and third respectively. Tomorrow morning it will take place the second race, which will decide the overall results of the Belgian round.
Home rider Clement Desalle clocked the fastest lap on his last attempt and he was actually almost a second faster than his compatriot Ken De Dycker. The Rockstar Energy Suzuki World rider admitted that he found himself very comfortable on the bike and on the track, so he expects to do well tomorrow and hand a good result to his home crowd.
The second best lap time was for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker, who was actually at the top of the classification during most of the second half of the session. The Belgian rider lost the best results from the likes of Desalle, but he is fully focused to be on the podium tomorrow.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Tanel Leok was one of the fastest today and he obtained the third best result of the session. It is not the first time that the Estonian rider is at the top of the qualifying sessions, but this time Leok and the whole team are expecting good results at the races. The Estonian has been struggling with a leg and a thigh injury, but he is almost fully fit again, so he might be able to finish in the top five tomorrow.
The fourth best result was for Monster Energy Yamaha’s Shaun Simpson and Kevin Strijbos and Xavier Boog were sixth and seventh respectively.
Antonio Cairoli, who suffered a small crash during the qualifying time practice, finished seventh of the session. The Italian rode safe and did not want to take more risks, but Cairoli is still confident for tomorrow’s races.
His compatriot Davide Guarneri was very satisfied with his eighth best lap time. Other Italian David Philippaerts was ninth and Gautier Paulin, who also crashed during the qualifying time practice, completed the top ten of the session. Christophe Pourcel was eleventh and Evgeny Bobryshev twelfth.
MX1 Qualifying Time Practice: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 2:02.083; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:00.775; 3. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:00.985; 4. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:01.036; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:01.051; 6. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:01.127; 7. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.605; 8. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), +0:01.902; 9. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:01.936; 10. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:02.028;
The fastest of the MX2 riders was home rider Jeremy Van Horebeek, who admitted that he felt really good on the track and he also congratulated the organization for the good job done to make the Belgian Grand Prix happen in such a short period of time. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider has finished on the podium in the last two Grand Prix and he is looking forward to his maiden overall victory, so being on the top of the rostrum in front of his home crowd would be like a dream come true for the young Belgian talent.
In just four attempts, Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Dylan Ferrandis obtained the best second lap time, just 0.289 seconds behind Van Horebeek. The French talent has been obtaining really good results in the last Grand Prix, so he might be able to fight for a top three result tomorrow if he starts in a good position and he rides two solid motos.
The red plate holder of the MX2 series, Jeffrey Herlings, was third, 2.242 seconds behind his team mate Van Horebeek. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider is confident for tomorrow and he will do his best to put his KTM on the top of the rostrum.
Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Tommy Searle was fourth in today’s qualifying time practice. His lap times were really close to the Herlings’ ones, so he will be for sure fighting for the overall victory tomorrow during the main races.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Arnaud Tonus will be the fifth one tomorrow picking the starting grid, so he has a good chance of obtaining a good start and finish on the podium. Jordi Tixier was sixth and Nikolaj Larsen obtained his best result in qualifying, finishing seventh. Joel Roelants was eighth and Max Anstie and Petar Petrov completed the top ten of the MX2 qualifying time practice.
Christophe Charlier did not take part in today’s qualifying time practice because he did not want to risk much and put his shoulder in danger.
MX2 Qualifying Time Practice: 1. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 2:04.331; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:00.289; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:02.242; 4. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:02.504; 5. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:02.627; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:03.282; 7. Nikolaj Larsen (DEN, Suzuki), +0:03.447; 8. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:03.687; 9. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +0:03.907; 10. Petar Petrov (BUL, Suzuki), +0:04.368;
Sunday: EMX125 Warm up 8:30; MX2 Warm up 9:00; MX1 Warm up 9:30; EMX125 Race 2 10:15; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 12:10; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 13:10; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 15:03; MX1 Grand Prix race 2 16:03.