Cairoli and Herlings draw first blood at Matterley Basin

Cairoli and Herlings draw first blood at Matterley Basin

MX1 Qualifying Race
The MX1 class thundered off the line for their qualifying race, and it was Honda’s Rui Goncalves who got the drop ahead of Max Nagl on the KTM, but the German stormed past to snatch the lead. Goncalves came back quickly but a bobble in the same rut that had got Searle soon stopped the attack. Cairoli was sitting comfortably in third ahead of Desalle.

Goncalves had clearly regrouped and managed to get back ahead of Nagl, taking Cairoli with him. Desalle soon pressed past Nagl too, with Pourcel and DeDycker not far adrift. The Suzuki rider was on a mission and by lap four was past Goncalves too to take the lead, but with Cairoli behind, you could sense that this might not last long. But it was Desalle himself that handed the lead and eventual win to Cairoli, when he totally overshot the corner at the top of an uphill jump, and flew off the track. When he managed to rejoin the race, he was clearly not comfortable and did well to come away with any result at all.

British interest was being maintained well by both Simpson and Whatley. Simpson started tenth but pushed throughout the race to improve his position, fighting his way past Kevin Strijbos, Gregory Aranda and Xavier Boog in the course of the eleven lap race. DeDycker was putting in one of his solid performances moving up the pack from his fifth place start.

With Desalle out of the way, Cairoli put on a master class, throwing huge whips to the delight of the crowd. Pourcel had been going well before a crash in the same place that he went down in Race 2 of the 2011 GP, and the Kawasaki rider went back to the pits nursing a clearly injured back. DeDycker was to fall in the same place, but was able to remount having only dropped one place to Nagl.

By the end of the race it was yet again Antonio Cairoli that crossed the line to take the chequers ahead of Nagl and DeDycker in third. Rui hung on to get fourth ahead of Gautier Paulin and Simpson in a fantastic sixth place. Desalle salvaged seventh, with Aranda, Boog and Strijbos rounding out the top ten. Kristian Whatley was just outside in eleventh, an impressive debut on the Rinaldi Yamaha.

If Shaun can repeat the same or do better tomorrow, the crowd are going to love it. But as for the winner, it would be a brave man that bet against Number 222…..

1 222 Cairoli, Antonio ITA FMI KTM 24:54.829 11 0:00.000 0:00.000 2:02.946 3 48.021
2 12 Nagl, Maximilian GER DMSB KTM 25:02.093 11 0:07.264 0:07.264 2:03.193 3 47.925
3 9 de Dycker, Ken BEL FMB KTM 25:06.983 11 0:12.154 0:04.890 2:02.067 2 48.367
4 999 Goncalves, Rui POR FMP Honda 25:09.620 11 0:14.791 0:02.637 2:03.772 2 47.701
5 21 Paulin, Gautier FRA MCM Kawasaki 25:10.787 11 0:15.958 0:01.167 2:04.450 10 47.441
6 24 Simpson, Shaun GBR ACU Yamaha 25:14.054 11 0:19.225 0:03.267 2:03.702 8 47.728
7 25 Desalle, Clement BEL FMB Suzuki 25:26.664 11 0:31.835 0:12.610 2:02.066 5 48.367
8 30 Aranda, Gregory FRA FFM Yamaha 25:29.576 11 0:34.747 0:02.912 2:06.384 10 46.715
9 121 Boog, Xavier FRA FFM Kawasaki 25:29.987 11 0:35.158 0:00.411 2:05.419 8 47.074
10 22 Strijbos, Kevin BEL FMB KTM 25:34.054 11 0:39.225 0:04.067 2:05.065 10 47.207

MX2 Qualifying Race
Under fantastically blue skies at Matterley, the first MX2 race got underway, and it was KTMs Jordi Tixier that got the holeshot and led the pack into the pit lane straight. Britain’s hopes of a strong finish evaporated as quickly as Max Anstie and his Garboldi Honda clattered over the green netting and off the track. Behind Tixier, Valentin Teillet was putting in a storming ride on the Kawasaki just ahead of series leader Jeffrey Herlings. Tommy had started around sixth but was soon into fourth behind his rival.

Armaud Tonus was going well before an off track excursion left him with yards of the dreaded green netting wrapped round his rear wheel. By the second lap, Herlings had muscled his way past Teillet and was going after Tixier, and behind him Searle was about to do the same. Swiss rider Valentin Guillod was having a storming race in fourth, but it was Yamaha’s Zac Osborne who was making the moves towards the front going from eighth to fifth in two laps. Tommy got himself into third place just as Herlings got round Tixier for the lead. Teillet took a fall on the second corner after the finish line and was slow to get up, eventually rejoining in a disappointing thirty fourth.

Searle soon got past Tixier to take second and you could feel the crowd willing him to hunt Herlings down but it looked like it was going to be a hard task. By this time van Horebeek was in fourth and Zac close behind in fifth. But then disaster as Tommy went down in the deep ruts just after the pit lane straight and once back up, the bike proved unwilling to fire up again. When eventually it decided to start, Searle was back to around ninth and any thoughts of a showdown were gone.

Zac and Van Horebeek continued to pressure Tixier and both got past him on lap 7 both got past to take second and third behind Herlings. Jake Nicholls was working hard a little further back, steadily moving from tenth place at the start of the race to a fantastic fifth towards the end of the race.

By the end of the eleven laps, Herlings took what looked like a very easy win, from Van Horebeek in second and Osborne in third. Tixier managed to hold onto fourth ahead of the remarkable ride from Guillod in fifth, with Tommy just squeezing past Jake to grab sixth and seventh respectively.

Whilst nowhere near a disaster, this was not the result that Tommy or the British fans wanted, but it was a qualifying race and aside from the psychological advantage, the end result was just a slightly lower gate pick for tomorrow’s races. Whether Searle can find the speed to get the win that he and the crowd will so desperately want remains to be seen.

1 84 Herlings, Jeffrey NED KNMV KTM 25:05.675 11 0:00.000 0:00.000 2:03.489 3 47.81
2 89 van Horebeek, Jeremy BEL FMB KTM 25:20.972 11 0:15.297 0:15.297 2:04.413 4 47.455
3 338 Osborne, Zachary USA ACU Yamaha 25:26.810 11 0:21.135 0:05.838 2:04.284 6 47.504
4 911 Tixier, Jordi FRA FFM KTM 25:35.046 11 0:29.371 0:08.236 2:06.533 4 46.66
5 173 Guillod, Valentin SUI FMS KTM 25:45.729 11 0:40.054 0:10.683 2:07.420 4 46.335
6 100 Searle, Tommy GBR ACU Kawasaki 25:48.976 11 0:43.301 0:03.247 2:03.360 6 47.86
7 45 Nicholls, Jake GBR ACU KTM 25:50.030 11 0:44.355 0:01.054 2:07.468 3 46.318
8 461 Febvre, Romain FRA FFM KTM 25:55.655 11 0:49.980 0:05.625 2:06.750 5 46.58
9 17 Butron, Jose ESP RFME KTM 25:56.961 11 0:51.286 0:01.306 2:07.939 6 46.147
10 44 Banks-Browne, Elliott GBR ACU KTM 25:58.849 11 0:53.174 0:01.888 2:07.411 6 46.338

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