Swiss Arnaud Tonus took his first victory in an MXGP qualifying race after taking the win in the Russian GP at Orlyonok. The Yamaha man started in the top four and worked his way to the front as many of the top men made mistakes.
Tonus got past early leader Max Nagl when the German fell hard and retired, then was right behind leader Gautier Paulin who slipped off on an off-camber. Paulin remounted to finish second place in front of championship leader Tony Cairoli.
Nagl wasn’t the only man to make mistake as Jeremy Van Horebeek went down in the first turn and retired with a sore hand, Max Anstie went off the track and Evgeny Bobryshev also went down.
Clement Desalle was fourth from Romain Febvre, Jeffrey Herlings, Arminas Jasikonins, Max Anstie and Alex Lupino.
Tonus said: “You have to be in front early as it’s hard to pass. It’s a qualifying race but it feels good. I’m happy.”
In the MX2 race, Suzuki’s Jeremy Seewer took the win from on-form Frenchman Benoit Paturel and Thomas Covington.
Red plate holder Pauls Jonass was leading but had to pit for a new front wheel which got damaged. He rejoined the race and finished 17th, one spot in front of Briton Conrad Mewse. Ben Watson was 13th.