Tanel Leok snatches pole from Billy Mackenzie at GP of Great Britain
The FOX FIM Motocross Grand Prix of Great Britain begun with a sunny qualifying day. The English sun, which came out after a cloudy early morning, welcomed the first Motocross Grand Prix in the Midlands region.
Tanel Leok (EST, Kawasaki) clinched the pole in the MX1 class after his solid team mate Billy Mackenzie (GBR, Kawasaki) was about to secure his second career pole - after Namur
- in front of his many local supporters.
In the MX2 class, Nicolas Aubin (FRA, Yamaha) came back to victory in the first heat, and local golden boy Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM) clinched victory in the second qualifying heat.
Jan Blancquaert (BEL, Kawasaki) and Tony Cooksley (NZL, Yamaha) won the first moto’s of the Senior and Veteran class respectively, in this second and final round of the FIM Veterans’ Motocross World Cup. Senior class defending Champion Thierry Godfroid (BEL, Kawasaki) injured himself and is now out of the games.
Billy Mackenzie of Kawasaki Racing Europe quickly got to grips with the 1,655 metre long Donington Park
track this afternoon, and clocked the provisional pole with 20 minutes left. His team mate Tanel Leok responded ten minutes later with a brilliant lap, to snatch pole from Mackenzie. Leok improved on his laptime but Billy Mac came back with four minutes to go with a new provisional pole. The Scott went back to the pits, and watched his pole being beaten by Suzuki’s Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki) first, and then Tanel Leok again.
Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki) / Photo by: Jörg Domanowski / realmx.com
The Estonian, who clinched pole number four of the season, made it in his very last try, and pulled Strijbos down to second place. Mackenzie ended third fastest ahead of GPKR’s Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), who secured another decent position on the gate. Suzuki’s Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), who is currently second in the Championship with a 12 point gap from Coppins, rounded off the top five.
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, Yamaha) / Photo by: Jörg Domanowski / realmx.com
Yamaha Motocross’s Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), who has just come back to the GP scene after Loket’s shoulder injury, soldiered on to clock the tenth fastest laptime, while 2007 MX2 World Champion Antonio Cairoli’s (ITA, Yamaha) debut will begin tomorrow from the twelfth place of the grid.
Qualifying Class MX1:
- Leok, Tanel (EST, Kawasaki), 2:00.130
- Strijbos, Kevin (BEL, Suzuki), 2:00.622
- Mackenzie, Billy (GBR, Kawasaki), 2:01.096
- Pourcel, Sebastien (FRA, Kawasaki), 2:01.357
- Ramon, Steve (BEL, Suzuki), 2:01.843
- Bill, Julien (SUI, Honda), 2:02.089
- de Dycker, Ken (BEL, Honda), 2:02.100
- Noble, James (GBR, Honda), 2:02.558
- Barragan, Jonathan (ESP, KTM), 2:03.219
- Coppins, Joshua (NZL, Yamaha), 2:03.382
- Salvini, Alex (ITA, Yamaha), 2:03.700
- Cairoli, Antonio (ITA, Yamaha), 2:03.867
- van Daele, Marvin (BEL, Honda), 2:03.922
- Nemeth, Kornel (HUN, Suzuki), 2:03.936
- Philippaerts, David (ITA, KTM), 2:03.968
- Brown, Mike (USA, Honda), 2:04.053
- Priem, Manuel (BEL, TM), 2:04.109
- Desalle, Clement (BEL, Suzuki), 2:04.202
- Leok, Aigar (EST, Yamaha), 2:04.612
- Allier, Thomas (FRA, Kawasaki), 2:05.176
- de Reuver, Marc (NED, Yamaha), 2:05.308
- Renet, Pierre A. (FRA, Honda), 2:05.358
- Freibergs, Lauris (LAT, Yamaha), 2:05.726
- Anderson, Bradley (GBR, Yamaha), 2:05.836
- Chiodi, Alessio (ITA, Aprilia), 2:05.992
- Smith, Wayne (GBR, Honda), 2:06.295
- Jones, Mark (GBR, Kawasaki), 2:06.392
- Kojima, Youhei (JPN, Suzuki), 2:06.424
- Bradshaw, Neville (RSA, Honda), 2:06.485
- Melotte, Cedric (BEL, Aprilia), 2:06.624
- Theybers, Danny (BEL, Suzuki), 2:06.794
- Kovalainen, Marko (FIN, Honda), 2:07.106
Ricci Racing’s Nicolas Aubin will start from pole tomorrow at the FOX FIM Grand Prix of Great Britain, as he won the first qualifying moto, clinching his first qualifying heat win of his career. Tommy Searle of KTM Red Bull did the same in the following heat, and looks forward to winning his maiden GP tomorrow, exploiting rivals Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki) and Antonio Cairoli’s absence. But Gareth Swanepoel (RSA, Kawasaki) and Matteo Bonini (ITA, Yamaha) will make Searle and Aubin’s life more difficult tomorrow, as both rode to a solid second place in their qualifying heats. Davide Guarneri (ITA, Yamaha) will not race this weekend; the Italian has a strained right groin.
MX2 Qualifying Race 1
Start 1st MX2-race/ Photo by: Jörg Domanowski / realmx.com
Nicolas Aubin took a great start and tried to pull away with the lead, but he made a mistake, allowing runner up Gareth Swanepoel to move past him and snatch the lead. Once Aubin had restarted the bike, he chased the South African until he caught him. The battle for first ended with Aubin moving back to the top, and clinching the victory in front of Swanepoel. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), who rode with an injured right shoulder, made it to a solid third place and also chased Swanepoel for the second place. Xavier Boog (FRA, Yamaha) was fourth, after he had passed countryman Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), while home rider Carl Nunn (GBR, Yamaha) rounded off the top five. After having tangled up with some other riders at the start, Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM) ended his moto in eleventh place.
Qualifying Class MX2 1st Race:
- Aubin, Nicolas (FRA, Yamaha)
- Swanepoel, Gareth (RSA, Kawasaki)
- van Horebeek, Jeremy (BEL, KTM)
- Boog, Xavier (FRA, Yamaha)
- Nunn, Carl (GBR, Yamaha)
- Monni, Manuel (ITA, Yamaha)
- Frossard, Steven (FRA, Kawasaki)
- Barr, Martin (GBR, Yamaha)
- Hamblin, Sean (USA, Suzuki)
- Roelants, Joel (BEL, KTM)
- Goncalves, Rui (POR, KTM)
- Simpson, Shaun (GBR, Kawasaki)
MX2 Qualifying Race 2
The race begun with Tom Church’s (GBR, Kawasaki) holeshot, but the Brit was soon passed by a group of riders headed by Jeremy Tarroux (FRA, KTM). The Frenchman pulled away with the lead until Matteo Bonini moved past him; Bonini enjoyed being first until a very motivated Tommy Searle, who recovered from fourth to second, took a wider line at the turn after the pit-lane and grabbed the lead. Searle flew away from Bonini, who settled down in second ahead of early leader Tarroux. In the beginning of the heat, Matti Seistola (FIN, Honda) was in the group fighting for the victory but he eventually dropped down to fourth ahead of Anthony Boissiere (FRA, Kawasaki) and Tom Church. Kenneth Gundersen (NOR, Yamaha) crashed at the first lap, but brought the bike home in eleventh place.
Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM) / Photo by: Jörg Domanowski / realmx.com
Qualifying Class MX2 2nd Race:
- Searle, Tommy (GBR, KTM)
- Bonini, Matteo (ITA, Yamaha)
- Tarroux, Jeremy (FRA, KTM)
- Seistola, Matti (FIN, Honda)
- Boissiere, Anthony (FRA, Kawasaki)
- Church, Tom (GBR, Kawasaki)
- Verbruggen, Dennis (BEL, Yamaha)
- Campano, Carlos (ESP, Yamaha)
- Lewis, Gregory (GBR, Suzuki)
- Banks-Browne, Elliot (GBR, Suzuki)
- Gundersen, Kenneth (NOR, Yamaha)
- Dougan, Jason (GBR, Suzuki)
MX2 Last Chance Qualifying Practice:
- Schiffer, Marcus (GER, KTM), 2:05.716
- Lombrici, Roberto (ITA, KTM), 2:07.909
- Terreblanche, Shannon (RSA, Suzuki), 2:08.130
- Law, Jamie (GBR, Suzuki), 2:08.133
- Snow, Alex (GBR, Suzuki), 2:08.147
- Rowson, Ray (GBR, Kawasaki), 2:08.245
- Bobkovs, Aigars (LAT, KTM), 2:08.699
- Krestinov, Gert (EST, KTM), 2:09.033
FIM Veterans MX World Cup
Belgian Jan Blancquaert made the English crowd a surprise by winning the first heat of this second and last round of the FIM Veterans’ Motocross World Cup. Series leader and poleman Dave Thorpe (GBR, Honda) lead for eight of ten laps, but was eventually passed by Blancquaert at the final circulation. Frenchman Simon Regis (FRA, Honda) rounded off the top three while defending Champion Thierry Godfroid crashed and broke his leg at the first lap. At the moment he is being operated at the hospital.
Series leader Tony Cooksley started his weekend with the victory of the first heat of the Veteran class. Cooksley was racing on his own but British Jimmy Aird (GBR, CCM) moved past him at lap three; Aird crashed out of the race in the following lap, handing Cooksley his third heat win of the season. Paul Barbara (FRA, Kawasaki) brought the bike home in second place while Philippe Dejong (BEL, Honda) rounded off the top three.