It’s 11.40 AM on Saturday and the first of the EMX2 Qualifying Race has just been won by Maxime Despres. The Moto team arrived at the circuit just after 9.00 AM this morning in glorious sunshine, but although the forecasts have predicted 31 degrees and bright sun all day, since 9.00 the sky has clouded over with even a touch of rain spitting down. It’s still warm and humid, but certainly it’s a lot more comfortable for the riders than the baking conditions at the track on Friday.
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The crowds are good already, with more continuing to flow in the circuit in time for the qualifying session. The pits, though clearly not anything as extensive as the Nations last September, are still vast and well laid out and the good weather means there is a relaxed and friendly vibe around the circuit. The onsite catering are lighting the barbecues, the crepes are being cooked and the bar is already busy.
MX1 free practice saw home favourite ( & Moto predicted winner!) Gautier Paulin set the fasted time from Bobryshev and Pourcel. In MX2 it was Herlings show a clean set of heels to the pack, ahead of Tixier and Van Horebeek. But its bad news already for Elliott Banks-Browne after a fall in this session has left him with a deep cut in the palm of his hand. Needless to say the faces in the HM Plant awning were not the happiest on the circuit.