The 2012 season has finally started in the sandy track of Valkenswaard and Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings have won the MX1 and MX2 qualifying races respectively.

Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings Winners of the 2012 Qualifying Races in Valkenswaard - Photo 1 of 1

Photo: Antonio Cairoli during the MX1 Qualifying race in Valkenswaard

The MX1 class was clearly dominated by Antonio Cairoli, but Clement Desalle and Steven Frossard also proved that they can fight for the victory tomorrow. Evgeny Bobryshev had to pull away from the race, as he landed on a wooden stick in the beginning of the race and his bike was really damaged.

The MX2 qualifying heat started with a crash in the first corner, where Alessandro Lupino, Petar Petrov and Dylan Ferrandis were stuck. Jeffrey Herlings crashed twice during the race, but he managed to cross the finish line with more than 25 seconds advantage over the second one.


Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cairoli did not have a good start in the qualifying race, but he quickly managed to move up and got the lead already in lap four. The Italian has always had good results in Valkenswaard, so he is ready to start the championship with the red plate on his KTM.

The second position was for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Desalle, who proved that he is completely recovered from both shoulder injuries after finishing among the top three even having started from the ninth position. Although he has not had really good results in Valkenswaard in previous season, he knows that being on the podium tomorrow is what he needs to keep the distance short with the Italian Champion, and finishing second today behind Cairoli gives him the extra confidence for the races tomorrow.

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Frossard got the holeshot of the qualifying race and he led the heat during the first three laps, but he then started suffering from arm pump and had to settle down with the final third position. Frossard admitted that he is feeling really good on the bike, so he might be able to stop Cairoli to win the first GP of the season.

The fourth place was for Monster Energy Yamaha’s Philippaerts, who was back in the MXGP after his injury on both wrists last year. The Italian is fully motivated for this 2012 season and he has showed to his rivals that he is back again determined to get more GP wins and fight for the Title.

HM Plant KTM UK’s Strijbos made an impressive qualifying race and rode among the top five riders since the beginning of the heat. The Belgian rider obtained very good results in the end of the 2011 and he is now feeling really good on his new KTM machine, so he might be able to round the top five positions this weekend in Valkenswaard.

De Dycker was sixth on his new KTM, while Paulin, who admitted that had some problems at the start, finished seventh. Leok was eighth and Boog and Gonçalves completed the top ten.

Christophe Pourcel has not shown his potential today and he finished sixteenth, and his brother Sebastien was nineteenth.

Bobryshev, who clocked the fastest lap during the pre-qualifying practice, had to get into the pitlane in the first laps of the qualifying race, as he had hit a wooden stick when he was landing from a jump and the bike was completely damaged.

MX1 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 25:04.092; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:08.168; 3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:08.684; 4. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:12.345; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:13.620; 6. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:16.654; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:17.074; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:23.258; 9. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:41.411; 10. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:43.661;


Home rider Jeffrey Herlings set the bar really high for tomorrow after winning the qualifying race with more than 25 seconds advantage over the second qualified, Van Horebeek. But what is even more impressive is that he crashed twice during the qualifying race and both times he managed to overtake all his rivals and pulled a huge gap once he got the lead.

His teammate Van Horebeek did also really well in the qualifying race riding second most of the heat and even chasing Nicholls for the lead in the first laps of the session. The Belgian will have the opportunity to choose a good starting gate tomorrow and try to be on the podium after the two heats.

Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Searle did not have a good start and had to fight from an initial seventh position, but he was finally third ahead of Nicholls and Butrón. Searle has admitted that he is not a sand specialist but he will do his best to be on the podium tomorrow.

The big surprise of this qualifying race was the superb performance of Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Nicholls, who had a really good start and led the first five laps of the heat. The British rider could not stand the pressure of Herlings, Van Horebeek and Searle and crossed the finish line fourth.

The fifth position was for the young Spanish rider Butron, who managed to ride third during a couple of laps in the beginning of the race. The KTM Diga Racing rider can be one of the surprises of the season if he keeps on getting solid motos as the one he had today.

Anstie was sixth, ahead of Roelants, who was fighting for the second position when he made a mistake and went down to ninth. Teillet was eighth, Tonkov ninth and Tixier rounded the top ten.

MX2 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 24:42.751; 2. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:25.077; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:33.193; 4. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:37.447; 5. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:47.274; 6. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +0:47.550; 7. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:49.222; 8. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:52.637; 9. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), +0:59.340; 10. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +1:01.713;


Circuit length: 1500 mt

Type of ground: sand

Temperature: 15° C

Weather conditions: changeable, cloudy and sunny


Monday: MX3 Start Test Session Group 1 7:45; MX3 Start Test Session Group 2 7:55; MX3 Warm up 8:00; WMX Warm up 8:30; MX2 Warm up 9:00; MX1 Warm up 9:30; WMX Race 2 10:10; MX3 Race 1 11:10; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 12:10; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 13:10; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 15:03; MX1 Grand Prix race 2 16:03; MX3 Race 2 17:10.

The Grand Prix will be broadcasted LIVE on MX-LIFE.TV and by clicking here you will obtain the full schedule and coverage of the Grand Prix of the Netherlands.


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