The first night of Bercy 2013 began with Trey Canard and Justin Barcia both winning their qualifying heats with comparative ease.
Canard passed first lap leader Gautier Paulin before slowly pulling away while Barcia fended off an aggressive Andrew Short on the first lap by being even more aggressive himself ( and almost throwing it away)!
The Superpole was next and when Gautier Paulin took the fastest lap the crowd simply went nuts! Unfortunately for the French Justin Barcia was next and he just edged Paulin off top spot. Trey Canard was last to go but he couldn’t beat either Paulin or Barcia’s time so finished third fastest
Barcia lifted 1000 Euros for his superpole win while Gautier Paulin got 500 for second place. Not bad for one lap’s work.
Next it was unto the elimination race and what a race it was. In the first heat Jordi Tixier came across Wil Hahn on the finish line jump send Hahn over the bars and down in a heap. Tixier would finish fifth and get through to the next stage after holding off Cooper Webb. But an unhappy Hahn had words with Tixier after for his move.
It was Tixier, Short, Paulin and Barcia in the next sprint and, unbelievably, the two Frenchman round turn one first and second! The crowd once again went crazy only for Tixier to crash hard over the bars in the tunnel.
This left Paulin holding off an aggressive Barcia and Canard. The two Honda men were all over Paulin but the Frenchman held on for the win after hugging the inside line in the whoops on the final lap. You have never heard noise like it either – this was Bercy at its very best!
The final was between Barcia and Paulin but this time Barcia took the holshot and controlled the race from Paulin despite the best efforts of the home fans urging their local hero unto the win.
In the final it was Paulin and Tixier again who came out 1-2 but this time Barcia and Canard were quickly into second and third place. Barcia got Paulin and two laps later Canard did the same. It was factory Honda v factory Honda at the front and Canard started to close in the gap.
However a mistake kept him from really pushing Barcia until Justin took the Joker lane on the penultimate lap and allowed Canard back on his back wheel. Canard though had to take the Joker on the final lap and that gave Barcia the breathing room he needed to take the win and make it a clean sweep on the night.
Barcia said: “I had a good night but the competition is tough and definitely keeping me on my toes. I am feeling good out there.”
Canard seemed frustrated he didn’t win on the podium but third place Gautier Paulin was happy with his performance for third.
Andrew Short was fourth with Wil Hahn fifth after passing Jordi Tixier during the moto. Both riders however sportingly shook hands after the main to put the earlier collision behind them.
So, that is night one wrapped up, bring on Saturday night!
Words by Jonathan McCready