With two points separating the top two riders in S1GP all eyes were undoubtedly on Thomas CHAREYRE and Mauno HERMUNEN. The Finnish rider topped the first free practice session while the Frenchman Chareyre topped the second free practice session, mirroring the opening two rounds of the season. But when it comes to timed practice, CHAREYRE has been the dominant figure with two pole positions in Spain and Italy, so the question was: 'would the Grand Prix of Europe at Busca be any different?'
The timed practice session once again went the way of TM Racing CHAREYRE with TM X-MAX HERMUNEN having to be content with second but you kind of got the feeling that both riders were holding something back for the SuperChrono session that followed.
HONDA L30 Racing Ivan LAZZARINI placed third in the timed practice session, edging out HUSQVARNA 833 Pavel KEJMAR of the Czech Republic as HONDA L30 Massimiliano VERDEROSA and HONDA FRECCIA Teo MONTICELLI found themselves fifth and sixth, meaning a trip to the SuperChrono session for the first time this year. That meant that seventh placed HUSQVARNA Lukas HOELLBACHER who sits fourth in the world championship standings will have to start from the front of the third row.
In the SuperChrono session Thomas CHAREYRE was the first to set a lap, and it was a pretty quick lap as well, on par with the times he'd been setting all day long (1.19:027). But Mauno HERMUNEN went quicker on his second attempt with the first 'sub-nineteen' of the day with a 1.18:922.
By now you'd have expected Chareyre to respond, and the Frenchman gladly accepted the challenge as he topped the charts once more with a 1.18:780 which was 0.142 quicker the than the Finn.
While the Championship leaders were having their contest at the top, Ivan LAZZARINI jumped up to third with three minutes to go with a 1.19:852 - a time that was 0.930 off the pace of 'TC4' but on the final lap Ivan was pushed off the front row and demoted to fourth as Pavel KEJMAR set his own time of 1.19:774.
The SuperChrono session was decided with two minutes to go though when Mauno Hermunen set the fastest lap of the weekend with a 'sub-18' - his final time being a 1.17:957 to record his first pole position of the season, and while Chareyre responded he could do no better than 1.18:679 - 0.722 slower than Hermunen.
Teo MONTICELLI was fifth with VERDEROSA sixth.
S1GP Qualifying Super Chrono :Mauno Hermunen (FIN-TM) +01:17.957; 2. Thomas Chareyre (FRA- TM) +01:18.679; 3. Pavel Kejmar (CZE-HUSQVARNA) +01:19.774; 4. Ivan Lazzarini (ITA-HONDA) +01:19.852; 5.Teo Monticelli (ITA-HONDA) +01:20.255; 6. Massimiliano Verderosa (ITA-HONDA)+01:20.621
Coming into the third round of the S2 European Championship, Germany's TM DEGASOLINE Marc Reiner Schmidt has proven to be an unstoppable force, setting the fastest times in each and every one of the practice sessions, including free practice and timed training as well as walking away with the first four race victories of the season. And today, Saturday was no different here at Busca. The TM rider waited until three minutes to go before leapfrogging the Italian TM SBD UNION BIKE Giovanni BUSSEI to set his third straight pole position of the season by almost three-tenths of a second. For BUSSEI second position was his best qualifying of the season and after finishing third overall at the round of Italy (round two) will believe he has the tools to challenge for the win on Sunday.
Honda L30 mounted Italian Yuri GUARDALA' was third with a time that was just 0.084 behind Bussei and rounds out the front row and will be looking to improve on his seventh position in the Championship standings.
Heading up the second row with the fourth fastest time will be TM Racing Mattia MARTELLA who currently sits third in the standings. The TM rider who finished second overall last time out at Ottobiano will be looking to gain vital ground on the Finn Toni KLEM who is just six points ahead of him in points, and today Martella drew first blood by finishing one place ahead of his teammate Klem with a time that was 0.488 quicker. For KLEM, his fifth place in timed training was his best of the season so far. Sixth position went to the Assomotor Honda of Fabrizio BARTOLINI.
S2 Qualifying top ten :Schmidt Marc-Reiner (GER-TM) +01:19.466; 2. Bussei Giovanni (ITA-TM) +01:19.713; 3. Guardalà Yuri (ITA-HONDA) +01:19.797; 4. Martella Mattia (ITA-TM)+01:19.863; 5. Klem Toni (FIN-TM) +01:20.351; 6. Bartolini Fabrizio (ITA-HONDA) +01:20.666; 7. Vorlicek Petr (CZE-SUZUKI) +01:21.035; 8. Monticelli Diego (ITA-HONDA) +01:21.086; 9. Promutico Lorenzo (ITA-HONDA) +01:21.461; 10. Llados Joan (ESP-APRILIA) +01:21.480
Complete results availableHERE
SMGP EUROPE - QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1585 mt (1395 mt Asphalt, 190 mt Off-Road)
Weather conditions: Cloudy
The Grand Prix of Europe will be broadcasted delayed, by clickingHEREyou will obtain the full tv list
Sunday: S2 Warm Up 10.30; S1GP Warm Up 11.00; S2 Race1 12.30; S1GP Race 1 13.30; S2 Race2 15.30; S2 Prize-giving Ceremony; S1GP Race2 16.30; S1GP Prize-giving Ceremony
In the photo: Mauno Hermunen on pole LINKS
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