Roman Febvre, Jeffrey Herlings Top Glen Helen MXGP Qualifiers

| September 10, 2016

Day one of the 2016 Monster Energy MX GP of Glen Helen – the final round of the 2016 championship – is in the books. It was a hot one out in Devore, California, but the GP competitors seemed to handle the heat just fine.

Roman Febvre, Jeffrey Herlings Top Glen Helen MXGP Qualifiers

Roman Febvre, Jeffrey Herlings Top Glen Helen MXGP Qualifiers
The MXGP class leaves the startline during Saturday’s qualifying at Glen Helen. Photography by Steve Cox

In the MX2 class, newly crowned World Champion Jeffrey Herlings, in his last weekend on his KTM 250 SX/F (he moves up to the MX GP [450cc] class in 2017), set the fastest time in timed qualifying with a 2:07.155, just in front of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner (2:07.818) and former AMA 250cc National Champ Jeremy Martin (2:08.275) in his first race aboard his new GEICO Honda CRF250R.

Roman Febvre, Jeffrey Herlings Top Glen Helen MXGP Qualifiers
Jeffrey Herlings topped the MX2 qualifier. Photography by Steve Cox

Then came the qualifying race – a shortened race which decides the gate picks for both motos on Sunday. Red Bull KTM’s Herlings, and Forkner, both got off to a great start and immediately began to distance themselves from the field. Three laps in, Forkner found his way by Herlings, but Herlings isn’t a multi-time World Champion for no reason. After Forkner got by, Herlings went to school on the rookie, and four laps later, found his way right back by Forkner and began to stretch out a lead right away. Forkner quickly found himself dealing with Martin, in third, but managed to hold him off to the finish.

Herlings will have the first gate pick for tomorrow’s races, with Forkner second, Martin third, then Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Max Anstie, Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM’s Justin Hill, Justin Hoeft, Yamalube/Star RacingYamaha’s Mitchell Harrison, and the rest of the field.

Roman Febvre, Jeffrey Herlings Top Glen Helen MXGP Qualifiers
Herlings chases Forkner. Photography by Steve Cox

In the MX GP (450cc) class, timed qualifying went to Belgian Jeremy van Horebeek on his Monster Energy Yamaha YZ450F with a 2:04.324 just in front of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac (2:04.418) and Van Horebeek’s teammate (and 2015 MXGP World Champ) Romain Febvre (2:04.810). Then came multi-time champ Antonio Cairoli, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle, Suzuki’s Kevin Strijbos, and newly crowned World Champ Tim Gajser, who made it through timed qualifying in seventh overall.

Roman Febvre, Jeffrey Herlings Top Glen Helen MXGP Qualifiers
Romain Febvre topped MXGP qualifying. Photography by Steve Cox

In the qualifying race, all hell broke loose off the start. Tomac suffered a terrible start, well outside the top 20, while Cairoli went down on the start straightaway, and Gajser went down before he got to turn two. Febvre took off with the lead and was never headed, while Tomac, Cairoli and Gajser all did their best to work their way through the pack.

At the end of the race, it was Febvre by six seconds over Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Max Nagl, Red Bull KTM’s Dean Wilson, Strijbos, Valentin Guillod, Tomac in sixth, then van Horebeek, Searle, Tonus, Gautier Paulin, Cairoli in 11th, Jordi Tixier, Glenn Coldenhoff, and then Gajser with the 14th gate pick for both motos tomorrow.

Racing kicks off tomorrow just after noon.

Roman Febvre, Jeffrey Herlings Top Glen Helen MXGP Qualifiers
Jeremy Martin looked good on this new GEICO Honda ride. Photography by Steve Cox

STEVE COX

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