Following a lengthy wait for proceedings to get underway, practice is complete at the La Défense Arena in Paris. It is safe to assume that everyone presumed Jason Anderson would dominate proceedings, but what occurred in those timed sessions did not give that impression. The practice sessions actually left most in a state of confusion.
Anderson qualified in a lowly eighth, which almost excluded him from the Superpole later on this evening, but that result was a significant improvement on the position that he occupied for a majority of the session. Anderson was stuck in nineteenth until the very last lap, but for no known reason. There were some claims that he did not know where the finish line was, yet he seemed to be able to time the beginning of each fast lap perfectly before quickly abandoning the effort. There was one instance where he scrubbed over the finish line, charged around the following turn and then immediately slowed. It was just bizarre.
Whatever the confusion was, it will undoubtedly be cleared up by the time that the races fire into life and most should still feel confident enough to peg him as the favourite to win the respective main events. There is really not much to separate the elite riders though. The rhythm section that follows the first corner, the same one that Justin Brayton was skimming out of yesterday, is the most technical and offers a handful of different options. There appears to be no doubt that it is the quickest to step on, off, triple over the second tabletop and then double out. All of the American riders are opting for that line, whereas the European guys cannot quite get over the second tabletop.
Justin Hill was actually the quickest in both timed sessions, closely followed by Dylan Ferrandis, but is that actually surprising? It seems as though it is in situations such as this that he shines. Hill was drafted into the event at the very last minute and therefore came in underprepared, without a full race bike and really no expectations. Remember when he was chucked into Tampa in a similar fashion? It seems to work for him and consequently this could turn out to be a good weekend. Starts will decide how he does, as the circuit does not exactly provide a lot of opportunities to make passes, but that is fairly typical at a European event such as this.
It seems as though no one really cares about what went on in practice though, as the question that a lot of fans want answered is whether or not the event is being shown live on television. Motors TV ran it for some time and then Motorsport.TV picked it up, but both of those are gone now so fans in Britain are left to fend for themselves. There is not an official online stream, unfortunately, but there should be an illegal one in French somewhere. The good news is that the MX Vice team are trackside and will be providing live updates all night long, so that will keep you in the loop.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: @Crunch724