Jeffrey Herlings took the MX2 qualifying win at the penultimate GP of 2012 under baking Italian sun at Faenza, but the big news was in MX1 where champion elect Toni Cairoli struggled to 14th whilst the hot and cold Pourcel brothers were in scorching form to go 1-2 in one of the best qualification races of the year.
It was Sebastion, not Chris who took the win though with a ultra-slick gate-to flag win, whilst Chris snatched second on the very last lap in sensational fashion after passing his way from fifth past Clement Desalle, Evgenny Bobryshev and race long second place man Shaun Simpson in the final two laps. It was an incredibly impressive performance from both brothers and stunning turn around from just one week ago in Lierop when Seb sat out and Chris pulled out of both motos with too much pain from a cracked shoulder he is still suffering with.
Shaun Simpson was in superb form once again to finish third after pushing Seb for the lead right until the final couple of laps, but it was not a good afternoon for Tony Cairoli, who is expected to wrap up his sixth world title tomorrow. The Italian hero got a terrible start and faced a long hard race from outside the top 20 to a lowly 14th at the flag.
It was a more impressive ride from MX2 champion elect Jeffrey Herlings, who took a gate-to-flag win, but he was kept under constant pressure all race by KTM teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek and Zach Osborne, never more a second or so clear. The pair pushed, but Herlings was always in control and never looked like giving the win up.
Tommy Searle didn’t get a great start but was the fastest man on track in the second half of the race and closed on the leading trio at an incredible rate when he got into fourth. He was right on them at the flag, but just ran out to time to make a move. Fourth is good enough for a good gate tomorrow though.
Jake Nicholls turned on the speed after struggling a bit in practice to finish a strong sixth, whilst Elliott Banks-Browne rode probably his best GP race of the year to claim ninth, but it was not a good day at all for Max Anstie, who had an awful start and never progressed, finishing way down in 22nd.
With titles to be won tomorrow, Faenza is going to be rocking, hopefully Cairoli can rebound to give the Italian fans what they’re coming for.