The German racer, rarely the fastest in training, had only posted eighth-fastest time in timed practice but he gunned his KX250 to the fore when the gate dropped for the Qualifying race to secure an immediate second place to the world champion. Maintaining a series of consistently-fast laps he soon established a secure cushion ahead of the chasing pack and his second place was never seriously threatened all the way to the chequered flag.
Henry Jacobi: « It was a very good day with a good start, and that is so important here! I think I actually had the holeshot but Prado had a better line coming out of the turn; I tried to follow him for one or two laps and I could see his lines. After that he went away so I was alone and it was hard to stay focused, then I saw Kjer Olsen chasing me so I had to push again. Second gate-pick is good for tomorrow. »
Sanayei, finally free of the winter health issues which seriously affected his form during the first half of the season, maintained a top-four ranking throughout the twenty-minute-plus-two-lap race for his best Qualifying result of the season. The American had been already been impressive in practice with fourth-fastest time.
Adam Sterry qualified twelfth for the F&H Racing Team after advancing from an initial sixteenth with Bud Racing Kawasaki's Brian Moreau sixteenth at the finish; the French teenager had been second-fastest in practice but paid the penalty for a bad start in Qualifying and had to race from outside the top twenty on the opening lap.
Brian Moreau: « I was happy to post the second-fastest lap time in the practice session, but I completely missed my start in the Quali race and then crashed during the first laps so I had to push hard to recover positions; coming back to sixteenth was pretty good and I was happy with my riding. For sure the gate-pick will not be as good as today but I know I have the speed to get good results here."
Tommy Searle qualified ninth in the MXGP class for the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team; after a lightening start in third place he dropped several places on the opening lap but the Englishman was less than half a minute behind the winner at the finish and should figure more prominently in the points-scoring GP motos if he can repeat the rapid getaway. Alessandro Lupino also started superbly in the top four but sadly his race was soon over as the exhaust pipe was damaged in a collision.
Tommy Searle: «I didn’t feel really good in myself today with my hand and my rib. The practice time was not so good but out of the gate the bike is so good that I made a good start and then my race was a lot easier. I missed some speed at the beginning but I found a good rhythm later in the race. It was not an amazing race but I feel satisfied with my speed once I settled. Now I need two more good starts tomorrow for the races. »