With rain affecting the opening day of the Bonver Motocross Grand Prix of Czech Republic, the qualifying procedure was changed from the classic qualifying race to a timed practice session.
In the slippery conditions of the Czech track, Clement Desalle (MX1) and Steven Frossard (MX2) unveiled to be the quickest and both will start from pole on Sunday.
Desalle posted a strong time to top the time sheets from Tanel Leok and Kevin Strijbos, again fast on the wet after his Bellpuig pole position this year. Ken De Dycker and Steve Ramon completed the top five ahead of series leader Tony Cairoli.
Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1’s Desalle topped the timed practice in this wet opening day of the Bonver Grand Prix of Czech Republic.
The Belgian took his fourth pole position of the season to overcome Cairoli and become the rider with the most poles to his credit. Desalle took his maiden GP win last year at Loket and aims at a strong outing tomorrow in order to cut the gap from series leader Cairoli.
A last minute effort brought LS Motors Honda’s Tanel Leok up to the second position on the time sheets, with the Estonian securing a good gate for tomorrow’s races.
Leok, who had a disappointed Grand Prix last weekend – even running out of fuel on the last lap of the first moto – is looking for revenge this weekend despite he left Loket with a ninth place overall in 2009.
Beursfoon Suzuki MX’s Strijbos was third at more than a second from Desalle but the former runner up in the World showed once again this year he can be among the fastest in the wet – as he first displayed in Bellpuig by taking his first and only pole of 2010.
De Dycker of Yamaha Monster Energy Ricci found his place in the top five by clocking the fourth fastest time at Loket.
De Dycker made his comeback to racing in Lommel after missing Uddevalla with an elbow injury and will now try to recover the points he missed in Sweden with a strong outing in Czech Republic.
Ramon completed the top five as the Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1 racer was the fourth Belgian among the first five riders.
The two-time world champion was almost one and a half second off the time of his team mate Desalle but his experience will surely help in tomorrow’s heats which will probably be held in demanding conditions.
Current championship leader Cairoli started the timed session slowly to then work his way up to a final sixth place while Russian Eugene Bobryshev was right behind him in seventh place.
Nicolas Aubin also found a place in the top ten by finishing eighth fastest ahead of Davide Guarneri and Rui Gonçalves completing the top 10.
Third placed in the championship David Philippaerts was 11th, the Italian having won at Loket both in MX1 and in MX2 in the past.
Kawasaki CLS’ Frossard made it to his second pole position of the 2010 season by topping today’s timed session.
The Frenchman tried just a few laps on the slippery course and stopped right after he felt he could not improve his time further. Frossard’s feeling was proved right when he found himself on top of the standings at the end of the session.
French countryman Marvin Musquin of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX2 took second in the qualifying as he lapped two tenths slower than Frossard.
The championship leader marked his comeback to the podium in Lommel last weekend and after taking victory in seven GP’s this year he is eager to prove he can master also this track – actually at Loket Musquin broke his foot in 2008 and his bike in 2009.
Other Kawasaki CLS man Jeremy Van Horebeek completed the top three and is now in the perfect position to improve on his 10th place overall from 2009, his last year with KTM before moving to the Kawasaki squad.
Bike-it Cosworth Yamaha UK’s Zach Osborne stormed back into the top five as he was fourth quickest today.
After taking back to back podiums in Glen Helen, St. Jean and Teutschenthal, the American has been quite unfortunate – being involved in several crashes and tangles – but he is now motivated to make it to the Czech podium on Sunday.
Completing the top five was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX2’s Jeffrey Herlings, with the Dutch coming to Loket after a streak of three consecutive podiums starting with his GP victory in Latvia.
The winner of the latest GP in Lommel Ken Roczen was sixth quickest, just behind his main rival in Belgium Herlings. Arnaud Tonus was seventh ahead of Shaun Simpson and Gautier Paulin while Lupino completed the top ten.