Starts are always important, but even more so on a hilly clay circuit that has been attacked by rain. When the MX2 gates dropped, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team‰Ûªs Dylan Ferrandis got off to a killer start and led his fellow Frenchman, Kemea Yamaha official MX Team‰Ûªs Benoit Paturel, around turn one. Ferrandis clearly doesn‰Ûªt mind a bit of moisture on a clay-track since he dominated the Qualifying Race in the mud of Trentino, and he went on to do the same again today.
In the initial stages things seemed abnormally calm. Normally in MX2 all heck breaks loose on the opening laps, but everyone seemed to have their heads screwed on this time out as they searched for tidy and dry lines.
While not a lot was happening, Ferrandis livened things up with a ugly high-side in the same part of the track where Jeffrey Herlings threw it away spectacularly last year. He did save it though, it only allowed Paturel to close in, but he soon got things back under control and managed to lead every lap.
Around the halfway mark, Paturel was caught and passed by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Pauls Jonass who looked good up on the pegs through the deep mud ruts, very Stefan Everts-esque. Meanwhile, nobody ever expects Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Jeffrey Herlings to ‰Û÷back it down‰Ûª but it seems he may have learned his lesson over the last few seasons as he rode pretty chilled after being squeezed on the start and only emerging out of turn one in about twentieth.
With two laps to go, that calmness we spoke of earlier in the race was biffed out the window and the brain in your lunchbox style of MX2 racing we‰Ûªve come to know and love was back.
Out of nowhere Herlings had everyone in his sight, including Ferrandis. Paturel definitely wasn‰Ûªt daunted by the challenge of the red plate holder and made life difficult for him before he scrubbed past to take third.
On the final lap, The Bullet was all over his teammate for second while Paturel remained in striking distance. As the duo of KTM riders approached a back-marker with only a handful of corners to go, the two forked, Jonass went inside and Herlings went outside. The back-marker obviously saw Jonass first and swerved right, right into the path of Herlings who was nudged off the track. Wham-bam and thank you mam, Paturel took back third and held onto it.
Herlings finished fourth in frustration ahead of Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha Official MX2 Team‰Ûªs Aleksandr Tonkov and the young Italian Michele Cervellin who put in his best performance of the season for sixth.
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 25:26.125;
2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:08.939;
3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:15.887;
4. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:16.187;
5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:21.306;
6. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:22.984;
7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:23.310;
8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:25.113;
9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:26.777;
10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:33.230.
MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten:
1. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 24:22.900;
2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:02.563;
3. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:03.117;
4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:03.584;
5. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Yamaha), +0:22.840;
6. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:30.015;
7. Alvin ÌÐstlund (SWE, Yamaha), +0:33.187;
8. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:33.568;
9. Adam Sterry (GBR, KTM), +0:39.970;
10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:41.229.