The first Grand Prix of the 2014 FIM Supermoto World Championship kicked off today at Rivesaltes at the same venue that hosted the final round of the 2013 campaign.
Conditions out on track were a little windy but all sessions were held under sunny skies.
With the top six riders from S1 going through to the Superchrono session a good time in timed training would be very important. Thomas Chareyre TM Factory Racing proved to be the fastest of the Chareyre brothers with a time of 1:30.211 – which was 0.017 quicker than Adrien Chareyre on his Fast Wheels Aprilia.
Defending World Champion Mauno Hermunen SHR TM, Ivan Lazzarini L30 Racing Honda, Sylvain Bidart Honda and Pavel Kejmar 833 Racing Team Husqvarna rounded out the top six for the chance to compete in the ten minute long SuperChrono session.
In the SuperChrono Czech rider Pavel Kejmar fell on the first lap and with damage to his machine was unable to complete the session and will start tomorrow’s race from 6th place on the grid.
Ahead of him was the third of three French riders in SuperChrono, Sylvain Bidart who guided his Honda to 5th with a time of 1:31.412, almost two seconds off the leaders.
But the real drama came in the closing stages of the session as Adrien Chareyre Aprilia was pushed into fourth position when Mauno Hermunen TM and Ivan Lazzarini Honda improved their times and positions on the final lap.
But it’s Thomas Chareyre TM who will start from pole position at his home Grand Prix and he will be looking to turn his pole position into a GP victory.
S1 Qualifying Top Ten:
1. Thomas Chareyre (FRA- TM) +01:29.468;
2. Ivan Lazzarini (ITA-Honda) +01:29.621;
3. Mauno Hermunen (FIN-TM) +01:29.813;
4. Adrien Chareyre (FRA-Aprilia) +01:29.896;
5. Sylvain Bidart (FRA-Honda) +01:31.412;
6. Pavel Kejmar (CZE-Husqvarna) +02:01.491;
7. Tomas Travnicek (CZE-Yamaha) +01:30.965;
8. Cristian Ravaglia (ITA-Honda) +01:31.888;
9. Lukas Hollbacher (AUT-Husqvarna) +01:32.006;
10. Andrea Occhini (ITA-Suzuki) +01:32.144.
In Supermoto European Championship the Czech Milan Sitniansky Tuningmotorsport TM was the surprise package after stunning the class regulars with a time of 1:31.686 edging out the Italian Fabrizio Bartolini Assomotor Honda who was second and championship favourite the Dutch Devon Vermeulen TM Racing Factory who was third. Finnish Toni Klem KTM MTR Team was fourth ahead of fellow countryman Asseri Kingelin Fast Wheels Aprilia with SM2 newcomer Giovanni Bussei SBD Union Bike TM coming taking sixth.
A good crowd is expected on Sunday and they will be hoping for a French victory.
SM2 Qualifying top ten:
1. Sitniansky Milan (CZE-TM) +1:31.686;
2. Fabrizio Bartolini (ITA-Honda) +1:32.059;
3. Devon Vermeulen (NED-TM) +1:32.234;
4. Klem Toni (FIN-KTM) 1:32.298;
5. Kingelin Asseri (FIN-Aprilia) 1:32.620;
6. Giovanni Bussei (ITA-TM) +1:32.767;
7. Yuri Guardalà (ITA-Honda) 1:32.965;
8. Lorenzo Lapini (ITA-Honda) +1:33.470;
9. Andreas Buschberger (AUT-KTM) +1:34.542;
10. Philipp PRESTEL (GER-KTM) +1:34.550.
Complete results available at here
SMGP FRANCE-QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1796 mt (1400 mt Asphalt 349 mt Off-Road)
Weather conditions: Windy and sunny
Sunday: SM2 Warm Up 10.25; S1 Warm Up 10.55; SM2 Race1 12.15; S1 Race 1 14.00; SM2 Race2 15.30; SM2 Prize-giving Ceremony ;S1 Race2 16.30; S1 Prize-giving Ceremony
In the photo: Thomas Chareyre and Milan Sitniansky on pole