The 2013 FIM World Motocross Championships have begun. And history is being made in the world of motocross here at the Losail International Circuit, which will also host a round of MotoGP next month.

Three firsts here in Qatar: 1. The first ever MX GP run under the lights at night time. 2. The first ever MX GP run in the Middle East. 3. Tomorrow’s Grand Prix will have the first ever ‘SuperFinal’, where both the top riders in MX1 and MX2 will race together in the final race, a la Motocross of Nations.

Today, more specifically tonight, was practice and the Qualifying races. In MX2, earlier in the week defending World Champion Jeffrey Herlings had a fall, and injured his leg and knee. He was hoping to at least be able to ride and score some points.

However, in practice, Jeffrey laid down the quickest lap! But in the 20 minute plus 1 lap Qualifying race, Jeffrey had a crash on the first lap, and had to come thru the pack. The race results are below – but the actual Grand Prix is tomorrow night.

The winner of the MX2 Qualifying Race, number 737, Valentin Teillet, from France, riding for Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki. Jeffrey Herlings finished eighth. Livia Lancelot, giving it a go against the boys, did not have a quick enough lap time to make it down to the final 31 riders entered into Qualifying.

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Having a race in Qatar is quite an experience. For a taste on that, there are currently two additional articles to look at:

1. What the teams & riders have to say about the start of a new season, new rules, and racing in Qatar

2. More on Qatar, the World MX Championships, and the future of the sport

In MX1, how can anyone bet against defending World Motocross Champion Tony Cairoli? He’s got everything going in his favor as he has in year’s past – great team, great bike, and Tony himself is fast, smart, and in great physical condition.

TC222 set down the quickest lap in the MX1 practice. In the MX1 Qualifying Race – he dominated once again. (Results below.)

MX2 Qualifying Race:

  1. Valentin Teillet – KAW
  2. Glenn Coldenhoff – KTM
  3. Jose Butron – KTM
  4. Max Anstie – SUZ
  5. Jordi Tixier – KTM
  6. Dean Ferris – YAM
  7. Jake Nicholls – KTM
  8. Jeffrey Herlings – KTM
  9. Julien Lieber – SUZ
  10. Al Lupino – KAW
  11. Arnaud Tonus – KAW
  12. Chris Charlier – YAM
  13. Harri Kullas – HON
  14. Al Tonkov – HON
  15. Petar Petrov – YAM

MX1 Qualifying Race:

  1. Tony Cairoli – KTM
  2. Clement Desalle – SUZ
  3. Evgeny Bobryshev – HON
  4. Ken de Dycker – KTM
  5. Steven Frossard – YAM
  6. Max Nagl – HON
  7. Tommy Searle – KAW
  8. Kevin Strijbos – SUZ
  9. Davide Guarneri – KTM
  10. Gautier Paulin – KAW
  11. Shaun Simpson – TM
  12. David Philippaerts – HON
  13. Rui Goncalves – KTM
  14. Jeremy van Horebeek – KAW
  15. Tanel Leok – HON

World Champion Tony Cairoli gets ready to race the first ever

World Motocross Champion Tony Cairoli gets ready to race at the first ever MX GP of Qatar

Courtesy Suzuki Racing: Rockstar Suzuki’s Clement Desalle commented afterwards “I’m pretty happy because when I first went out on the track I didn’t enjoy it so much but I had more fun every time. My start was not so bad in the heat race and I noticed an improvement over the pre-season meetings. Overall it was a day of good adaption. I would say the lighting for the track is on the limit and it is nothing like the MotoGP track unfortunately. I think if we had the spotlights like those for the asphalt, it would be really good.”

Clement Desalle Rockstar Energy Suzuki racing at night in Qatar

Clement Desalle number 25

Courtesy Honda World Motocross, Russian Evgeny Bobryshev said afterwards “In free practice it was still quite sunny, and I didn’t push too much, as I was getting the feeling of the ground, although a couple of quick laps gave me second place. Then in pre-qualifying I was a little bit aggressive in the beginning and the ground had changed, so I made a mistake and had quite a big crash. I bent the front disc on the bike and had to pit with the mechanics for a new front wheel. I only had 10-minutes left when I went back out and got third in the first lap, followed by pole position in my last flying lap. I had a good start in the qualifying race and I was closing up on Tony Cairoli a bit, but then I had like a tight feeling in the arms and was making some mistakes. Clement Desalle overtook me and I finished third, but overall I am happy with the day. The lights are certainly a new experience and quite difficult, as they are low and are in the eyes quite a lot; there’s also a low of shadows on the track, which makes things a bit more challenging, but I am happy enough for tomorrow and we’ll be aiming for good results.”

Evgeny Bobryshev flies his Honda World MX CRF 450 in Qatar

Evgeny Bobryshev flies his Honda World MX CRF 450 in Qatar

Valentin Teillet winner of the Qatar MX2 Qualifying race

Valentin Teillet winner of the Qatar MX2 Qualifying race




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