The 21 year old from Seattle was in tremendous form all day at the internationally-renowned training track near Valencia which was hosting a major race for the first time. The young American was fastest in the first practice by nearly two seconds, topped timed practice by half a second and set the fastest lap of the qualifying race as he charged hard to finish just over a second behind the winner after losing ground at the start when another rider came across his line. Tomorrow's GP motos are each over a ten minute longer distance, thus giving him more time to exploit his undoubted speed.
Darian Sanayei: “It was a pretty good day, I set fastest time in the free practice session with quite a big gap, and then in the timed practice I again felt good. I would have had an even better lap later but a slower rider got in my way but I still finished the session on pole for the qualifying race; that was cool. I didn't get the best start in the race but I still came back to finish third. I'm sure I can get a better start tomorrow and be battling for the win. I trained here a few times during the off-season and I didn’t enjoy the track so much, but for sure I’m liking it now!”
Clement Desalle and Julien Lieber of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team finished eighth and tenth in the qualifying race for the MXGP class, and each have every prospect of a much higher result in tomorrow's points-scoring races as each set lap times within a fraction of a second of the winner in a tightly-knit group of leading contenders who were each content to hold station rather than take risks as the long sweeping start corner ensures equal chances from any of the first ten gates.
Adam Sterry and Jed Beaton of the F&H Racing Team finished eighth and tenth in the MX2 qualifying race to send five Kawasaki’s to the gate in the top ten of tomorrow's GP motos.
There was yet more success for Kawasaki in the opening moto of the FIM European EMX250 Championship as French teenager Pierre Goupillon took his BUD Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki to an impressive third place.