The 2013 Motocross des Nations is well underway here, as the last of the practice sessions has just wrapped up, and we now have a hour and a half break before the first of the qualifying heats. So, we thought we would use that time to bring you a practice report. What did we notice in the three, individual practice sessions. Well, just read on – you won’t regret it.
– It was obvious that Antonio Cairoli was going to be very fast this weekend, and he was in practice – he topped the session with a 1:40.067. From the outside looking in, it seems as though he was quite dominant, as he sat on the top spot for a large majority of the forty minutes. However, he only just beat out the Russian, Evgeny Bobryshev, by 0.104 seconds. Yep, it’s that close. You know what’s interesting? Cairoli was only out on-track for eight laps, which was the least out of the entire field.
– When we broke the news that Searle was using WP suspension yesterday, a lot of people were interested to see how he would look in practice. Would the change have that much of a difference? Well, Tommy looked great. Is it all down to the suspension? Probably not – the Kawasaki pilot has always been extremely strong in the German valley. Fortunately, he is on-form this weekend, and he will need to be with fortieth gate pick heading into the qualifying heats!
– It is not surprising that Kasper Lynggaard finished ahead of Ryan Dungey in the practice session, is it? Denmark’s finest has always been capable of beating America – I’m being sarcastic, if you can’t tell. Seriously, Kasper was certainly the greatest surprise in the MX1 session. I mean, where did that come from? It is a completely different game trying to transfer that to the main races, but he has to be pumped on his speed.
– Although Ryan Dungey finished down in seventh, he will be so much better in the race. Why am I so confident in that? Well, it’s Ryan Dungey! Admittedly, he did look both stiff and awkward in the session. But, you have to remember that he arrived quite late, so he was probably still working out the bugs. Also, going all out in practice has never been his strong point. So, just don’t jump to any conclusions at the moment, let’s see how he looks in an hours time.
– Right now, finishing on the podium seems like an unrealistic goal for team Germany. Max Nagl was not where he needed to be in the practice session, as he finished tenth – two and a half seconds down on Cairoli’s time. It is a possible that Nagl was just getting warmed up, as he is a bit battered and bruised. But, I can’t see him moving through the pack much further than tenth, to be completely honest.
– Okay, I’ll be honest. Although I am firmly aboard the team Australian bandwagon, I did not expect Dean Ferris to beat out Eli Tomac in the practice session. Eli was definitely going all out, as he continuously attempted to better his time. But, back to Ferris – is it really that surprising to see him on top? The soil here at Teutschenthal is not too dissimilar to that of Bastogne and Matterley Basin – two circuits that he thrived on this year. Australia have a solid gate pick in the qualifying heats, so Dean could get out front early and run away. Ferris was actually the only rider to break into the 1:38’s.
– It seemed as though every time I watched Eli Tomac in the MX2 practice session, he was burying the front end in turns, strangely. It just didn’t seem like he was carrying momentum at all. Obviously, it was not too detrimental to him, as he finished second.
– Italy could be a contender for the final podium position, as Alessandro Lupino looked quite good out there. However, he always does – his style is very aggressive, which sometimes makes it seem as though he is faster than he actually is. But, he backed it up with results this time, as he ended fifth – a great finish.
– I thought that Jeremy van Horebeek was going to be the weak link on the Belgian team, but he actually looked really good, even better than he did last year on a factory KTM! A 1:39.923 time was a great time for him – it also indicates that he is on pace with the MX1 guys. Belgium are looking stronger by the second, in my opinion.
– It seemed as though Ken Roczen spent a lot of time in pit lane throughout the MX2 practice session. In fact, he only completed twelve laps, which is quite a lot less than his rivals. Although Roczen seemed fluid out there, it didn’t translate to a great time. Again, you can’t read too much into these practice results, so it will be interesting to see what he’s got in the MX2 qualifier.
– In my opinion, Clement Desalle looked better than he has done in quite a while. The Belgian was actually throwing the bike around a little bit, which isn’t normal for him. Perhaps it is a sign that he is comfortable with his setup? Evidently he is, as he ended up almost a full second faster than the rest of the Open field.
– Shaun Simpson. Wow, he’s fast on hard pack too! Shaun actually had the fastest time, but eventually dropped to second in the closing stages. Shaun could be a dark horse for us. When was the last time that all three of our guys looked this strong?
– I was slightly skeptical when it was announced that Christophe Charlier would ride a 450f for team France this weekend. But I’ll be honest, he looked great – a lot better than he usually does on a 250f. It isn’t surprising really, he is a bigger guy; he probably finds the extra power useful. Second through fourth were actually very close in this group, so there is potential for him to finish right at the front in his individual class.
– Justin Barcia looked great out there, so I am a bit surprised that he is down in fifth. Evidently, he was forcing the issue, as he was scrubbing everything, as you would expect – it’s Bam Bam! One thing I did notice is that his speed entering corners is unrivalled, which is obviously a handy skill to have up your sleeve on the tighter sections of Teutschenthal.
Right, we’ve got to stop it there – we need to go and find a spot on the fence for the qualifying heats! We’ll be back this afternoon with a qualifying report, but in the mean time, make sure you keep up with our live updates on Twitter – @motocrossvice.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of Elliot Spencer