Jacobi, spurred on vocally by the large gallery of local fans, found himself tenth on the exit from the sweeping first turn in the twenty-minute-plus-two-lap Qualifying race but immediately was on the move to advance to seventh within two laps and continued to charge, taking over fifth with a dramatic outside pass after fifteen minutes and cleverly passing Moreau for fourth two-and-a-half laps from the end.
Henry Jacobi: “My start was pretty good today, better than most recent ones as I was in the top ten; I made some quick passes to come behind Vialle and Moreau; I stayed behind them for quite a long time but I finally passed both of them and fourth gate pick is good for tomorrow. It was great to race in front of the fans; I passed Moreau right in front of them and I could hear the cheering. It was a little bit crazy!”
Bud Racing Kawasaki's Brian Moreau, who had already shown his pace earlier in the day with third-fastest time in practice, gated perfectly in fourth and, riding calmly despite persistent pressure, resisted all challenges until Jacobi passed him in the closing stages. However his fifth-placed finish was a career-best qualification; his previous best was seventh at round six of the series in Portugal.
Brian Moreau: “It was a really good day; even if it's only Saturday that’s encouraging for the race day! I had a good practice session which gave me the third gate pick; I know that I could have been even better as I made several mistakes. My jump of the gate was good and it's an unusual first corner but I was at the inside and came out fourth. I didn’t take any risks and raced most of the race in that position until Jacobi passed me near the end but I'm happy with today. The track was very technical; you had to ride smooth and I’m happy as I didn’t make any mistakes in this race!”
Moreau's teammate Mitchell Harrison finished twelfth, two ahead of F&H's Adam Sterry with Darian Sanayei, fifth-fastest in practice, twentieth after a fall on the opening lap when holding eighth place.
Julien Lieber of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team qualified sixth in the MXGP class; the Belgian moved forward quickly from an initial tenth and enjoyed several exciting leaderboard tussles to take the chequered flag just five seconds shy of second place. BOS Factory's Tommy Searle qualified thirteenth, but Gebben Van Venrooy's Benoit Paturel did not attend as he still has a painful knee from Latvia.
Julien Lieber: “The timed practice session wasn't so good after we made some changes to the bike settings so we changed back for the Qualifying race. I got a good start from the twentieth gate, came tenth through the first corner and then passed a few riders to finish sixth; it’s a good gate and I will try to get some more good starts in the GP races.”
F&H Racing's Roan van de Moosdijk maintained his challenge in the FIM European EMX250 Motocross Championship with a narrow defeat in the first moto of the weekend. The Dutch teenager, fastest in Qualification practice, rode cleverly through the first two turns to take the lead from a third-placed start and quickly opened up a four-second lead in just three laps. Riding sensibly on the deeply-rutted track he maintained his advantage until a single mistake let his chaser close up. Roan was then hindered badly by backmarkers on two occasions during the closing stages; he lost the lead when a group of lappers got in his way two laps from the end and another pushed him wide in a turn as he mounted a renewed challenge on the final lap so he had to be content with second place. He remains third in the series, just ten points from the series pacesetter.
Roan van de Moosdijk: “I was a little bit disappointed to give it away in the last few laps; my start was OK and I led almost all the moto, but I could hear Rubini’s bike behind me for most of the race. I was strong but with five laps to go I made a mistake and he came back just behind me; we chose different lines as we came up on some lappers and that’s where he passed me but second is not so bad for me on this kind of track.”