Mickael Pichon in pole position despite heavy crash
Mickaël Pichon scored his fourth pole position of the season in Teutschenthal, but is doubtful for the start of the German Grand Prix. The French rider fell heavily late in the session as he tried to improve his already rapid laptime, and was taken to the medical centre for a complete check up after losing consciousness in this crash.
With good weather conditions in spite of a poor forecast, qualifications for the fifth round of the MX World Championship were held on a hard and fast track in Teutschenthal. Once more Mickaël Pichon was the fastest rider in action during the qualifying session, taking another pole position at mid-session. The gap with his rivals stood at over a second, but the “chasing pole man” knew he could improve this record and before the end of the session returned to the track. He obtained a good intermediate time, but just before the finish line had to change his line at the lip of a jump to avoid another rider and crashed heavily. He went over the bars and onto his head, losing consciousness. Expecting a second baby by the end of the year, his girl-friend Stephanie gave some news later “The X ray didn’t reveal any failure, but Mickaël was afraid as he didn’t have any feeling in his legs when he woke up after the crash. He had a concussion and didn’t remember where he was or what he was doing, but nothing is broken.” Sunday morning Pichon will decide if he will race the GP or not, depending on the pain in his body.
The session was interrupted by the red flag and later when the riders returned to finish the period nobody improved their results. Pichon kept the pole, followed by Kevin Strijbos who equalled his best qualifying result in the main class and Brian Jorgensen. Back to the GP’s after missing the Dutch round, the Danish rider had a wrist operation several weeks and now feels good on the bike. Fifth was Kenneth Gundersen, winner here two years ago, followed by Stefan Everts, Steve Ramon, Joshua Coppins, Cedric Melotte and Joel Smets. Except from Pichon, who was 1.2 seconds faster than anyone, they were all – from Strijbos in second to Smets in tenth – within the same second!
Both MX2 qualifying races were really intense on this pacy track, and we could have an exciting Grand Prix tomorrow. In the first heat Ben Townley took the holeshot, but both Mickael Maschio and Sébastien Pourcel applied pressure during the entire race. All three raced together during seven laps, but in the eighth Ben – who confirmed that he will stay in Europe next year to race the MX1 world championship – had a small crash and offered the lead to Maschio. After a couple of disappointed races the former world champion had his best qualifying day of the year, but Pourcel finished only one second behind. Third was Tyla Rattray and fourth Townley. In the second race Andrew McFarlane got the holeshot but was promptly passed by Claudio Federici, who led the first lap with Chiodi, McFarlane and Sword right behind him. This race was as exciting as the first one, and finally Sword got second spot followed by De Reuver coming back from fifth to third and Chiodi fourth. Unfortunately McFarlane only finished ninth due to a crash in the last laps.
Sunday the MX2 races are scheduled at 12.05 and 15.05, and the MX1 at 13.05 and 16.05.
Info MediaCross, photo Honda Martin