Riders taking part in the qualifying session for today’s opening round of the 2014 FIM Motorcross World Championship at Losail International Circuit yesterday. Today, the MX2 race will start at 10:10pm while the MXGP race begins at 11:10pm. PICTURES BY: SHIAVAL DALAL
DOHA: Belgian rider Kevin Strijbos yesterday made the most of a fall suffered by world champion Antonio Cairoli to top the season’s first MXGP qualifying session at Losail International Circuit.
Earlier, Dutch star Jefferey Herlings laid down the marker for MX2 rivals by posting the fastest time in the qualifying session for today’s opening round of the 2014 FIM Motorcross World Championship.
Riding a Suzuki, Strijbos clocked the fastest time of 23:49.172 to finish the 12-lap qualifying session ahead of Gautier Paulin, the French rider who was 4.343 seconds slower than the day’s headline grabber from Belgium.
In third place was Russia’s Honda star Evgeny Bobryshev who was 6.157 seconds adrift of the time posted by Strijbos on the dirt track inside Losail International Circuit.
Kawasaki rider Steven Frossard of France was fourth fastest (23.55.429) while Italy’s Davide Guarneri (23:57.216) was fifth fastest on his TM bike Germany’s Maximilian Nagl (Honda, 23:57.920), defending MXGP champion from Italy Cairoli (KTM, 23:58.442), Belgium’s Clement Desalle (Suzuki, 24:06.515), compatriot Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yamaha, 24:13.132) and Italy’s David Philippaerts (Yamaha, 24:19.585) completed the top-10 bracket in the qualifying session. Cairoli, the title favourite, was 9.270 seconds slower than Strijbos
“The fall put me back. I was right at the end but let’s see what happens in the race. It is a long season. I am feeling good about my riding,” Cairoli said.
Earlier, Dutch motocross star Herlings lived up to his reputation of flawless riding by emerging as the fastest biker to top official qualifying for today’s first MX2 race of the new season. The KTM giant clocked an impressive time of 23 minutes 42.613 seconds over his 12 laps.
Herlings pushed French rider Dylan Ferrandis to the second spot. Riding a Kawasaki, Ferrandis was a massive 7.336 seconds slower than Herlings.
“I am happy the way I rode today,” Herlings said.
“My target is to avoid crashes and keep riding well. I am just 19 and I can improve,” the Dutch said.
In third place was another Kawaski rider Switzerland’s Arnaud Tonus who was 10.931 seconds adrift of Herlings while Suzuki star Glenn Coldenhoff trailed Herlings by 17.068 seconds
Herlings’ stablemate Spain’s Jose Butron was fifth fastest, finishing his 12 laps 22.899 seconds slower than the day’s leader on the dirt track at Losail International Circuit. Yamaha’s British rider Max Anstie (24:08.748), Belgian Julien Lieber (Suzuki, 24:11.311), Frenchman Christophe (Yamaha, 24:19.570), compatriot Jordi Tixier (KTM, 24:20.467) Bulgaria’s Petar Petrov (Yamaha, 24:22.474) completed the top-10 in MX2 qualifying
Today, the MX2 race will start at 10:10pm while the MXGP race begins at 11:10pm.