Cloudy skies but a bright outlook at Villars sous Ecot for the Grand Prix of France. Shaun rode to a decent seventh position in qualification on the KTM 450SX-F after nailing another effective launch from the start gate and sailing down into the dipping right handed first turn in the top three. The condensed and compact layout at the site of the eighth MXGP of the year was tough, slick hard-pack with little option for variation in terms of lines; in short another round in which prowess off the line would be key in terms of cementing an overall finish.
Shaun rode well again to slot into the top seven after earlier struggling for a quick lap-time to break into the top fifteen! “It was the second sector that was letting me down a bit but the track was difficult to get a hold-of and even though it’s a bit old-school with some off-cambered turns and some big ol’ hills there was not much you could do out there,” he said. “A good start again helped me out and that’ll be a big part of the job tomorrow.”
Villars is hosting a Grand Prix of the first time this century and the club have extensively remodelled the track for the occasion. A large attendance – quite possibly the biggest of the season so far for a Saturday – watched the qualification action and the throng is expected to swell further tomorrow.
Photo by Ray Archer