Motocross

Desalle and Jonass on pole for French MXGP

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The 2017 FIAT Professional MXGP of France got underway today in ErnÌ©e on the challenging and hilly French circuit with Clement Desalle and Pauls Jonass who on top at the end of Saturday‰Ûªs Qualifying Races.

The weekend couldn‰Ûªt have started better for Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team‰Ûªs Clement Desalle as he had a good start in then qualifying race, not the Holeshot but into the lead on the second corner. Desalle led every lap on his way to victory. Desalle is now focused on tomorrow and will hope to repeat his performance from today.
Belgian Clement Desalle will start tomorrow's MXGP from pole. Credit: Youthstream
‰ÛÏIt is a good feeling to be here again, even if the main races will be tomorrow, it‰Ûªs very important to start on pole to be on the top," the Belgian said. "Today I had a good start and then a good feeling of the bike during the whole race. I‰Ûªm really looking forward for tomorrow‰Û
Hometown rider Romain Febvre was second quickest. Credit: Youthstream
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders of Jeffrey Herlings and Antonio Cairoli battled throughout most of the race with neither rider wanting to back down. At first it was Cairoli who was ahead but Herlings found his way by the 8-time champion who was in 6th on lap 4 and unable to take the position back. Herlings continued his charge forward finishing 3rd while Cairoli remained 6th until the checkered flag.

The other Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 rider, Glenn Coldenhoff, also had a strong qualification result. Coldenhoff was in second the first 2 laps before being passed by Febvre, the Dutch rider then stayed in 3rd until the very last lap when he was passed by his KTM team mate, Herlings.
The MXGP class heads into action. Credit: Youthstream
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing‰Ûªs Max Nagl had one of his best races this season running 4th for 9 of the 13 laps. Nagl finished fifth and with his good gate pick a top five overall is well within reach for the German.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing‰Ûªs Gautier Paulin starts qualifying in 5th but ended of dropping to 8th. The Frenchman is in a fairly good starting position for Sunday at his home GP and he will try to find the winning form he had only a few short weeks ago.
Pauls Jonass was back at is usual spot at the head of the MX2 class. Credit: Youthstream
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Pauls Jonass controlled MX2‰Ûªs Qualifying race once again today. Jonass didn‰Ûªt get his usual Holeshot but he moved into the lead quickly and led every time the field crossing the finish line. Jonass seems to be focused and feeling good heading into Sunday.

"I had a really good start, I didn‰Ûªt get the Holeshot actually but after the second corner I was leading already and this helped a lot because the track has many lines and it‰Ûªs good to get a good start and pick your own lines the first laps. In those first laps I was able to get a pretty good gap and then just cruise to the finish," Jonass said.
Benoit Paturel kept the French crowd happy with second fastest in the MX2 class. Credit: Youthstream
The Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team rider Benoit Paturel is now showing the competitiveness many expected earlier in the season. Paturel didn‰Ûªt have the best of starts but he managed to pass several riders on the first lap and put in the fastest lap time of the race. Running third the first 6 laps Benoit tried to make a pass for second and made a mistake causing him to lose ground.

Paturel eventually managed his way to second where he was 11.4 seconds behind Jonass. By the checkered flag the roaring support of the home fans pushed him to close the gap to 2.1 seconds.

"I had a really bad start but I passed many riders on the first lap which was good and after I came to the back of Lieber, made a mistake, then came back again. I was close to Jonass at the end of the race. It‰Ûªs really good to ride in front of the French fans. I really think that tomorrow I will have a good battle with Seewer, Jonass, and Lieber," Paturel said.

After narrowly avoiding a downed rider on the first jump LRT KTM‰Ûªs Julien Lieber came into the second corner in 5th position and moved into second by the completion of the opening lap. Lieber had pressure from Paturel early in the race and unable to fend the frenchman off he settled into third giving him a good gate pick for both races tomorrow.
Belgian Julien Lieber rounded out the podium in the MX2 class
The other Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team rider, Brent Van doninck was top five on lap one and made a pass for fourth stick on the 2nd lap. Van Doninck had a relatively uneventful race with a decent cushion between himself and anyone else until the later stage where he finished 2.1 seconds behind Lieber.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing‰Ûªs Thomas Kjer Olsen had to work his way through the field after passing many riders on the opening lap, he crossed the finish for the first time in 8th. Continuing his charge forward he passed other 3 riders by lap 4 but he wasn‰Ûªt able to catch the #172 of Van doninck who was 24.6 seconds ahead at the finish. Olsen‰Ûªs result goes to show the importance of a good start in the competitive class of MX2.

The rider who grabbed the holeshot was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Jorge Prado. Prado‰Ûªs holeshot lasted only a few meters though before he slid out on the lip of the first jump and then also fell a couple more times before finishing 27th. Though the track got the best of Prado today tomorrow‰Ûªs racing remains his focus.
Aussie Hunter Lawrence finished 11th fastest but is still confident of another top result.
Aussie Hunter Lawrence finished in 11th place, two ahead of his team-mate and last weekends winner Jeremy Seewer .

Lawrence had a lot more speed than his 11th in qualifying suggested though: ‰ÛÏI put in a really good timed practice. I got sixth gate-pick for the qualification race so that was good as it was probably my best timed practice so far this year. That was a positive," Lawrence said.

"However, off the start of the qualification race, so guy on the inside came in too fast and cut across and took out a couple riders which then took me out as well. I got tangled up with them and started from almost dead last. I wasn‰Ûªt able to find any rhythm and struggled to pass people and ended up 11th. I‰Ûªll come back and try to refresh myself for tomorrow and come back strong. I know from timed practice that if I can get a good start I can run up front on my RM-Z250 so I just need to make sure I do that in the motos.‰Û

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