The 23 year old Belgian was unfortunate at the start of the Qualifying race around the spectacular Orlyonok overlooking the Black Sea as another rider crashed into him at the first corner. Restarting at the back of the pack he was still only seventeenth at the completion of the first full lap but made a series of impressive passes and, with consistently fast laps throughout the race, eventually took the chequered flag in third place.
Julien Lieber: “I had a good feeling with the track all day long and got good results in both practice sessions. At the start of the qualifying race another rider hit me and we crashed, I was nearly last when I came back onto the track but I found some good lines to make passes. When I saw P5 on the pit board I was surprised, and continue to push; Cairoli made a mistake, then Clement also made a small one in a corner and I passed them to finish third. I’d like to thanks the team for all their effort since Portugal where I didn’t find a good feeling with the bike; we did some testing between the two GPs and we could see the improvements today.”
Julien's KRT teammate Clement Desalle made it two Kawasaki’s in the first four to the gate tomorrow after a solid ride from fifth place on lap one; he even held third place at one stage before a slight error allowed teammate Lieber to pass.
Clement Desalle: “This morning I didn’t have such a great feeling; the track was so fast that you had to take risks and I didn’t want to do that. Anyway I was confident at the gate and got a good start as I was at the inside; I was in the top five for the entire race and moved up to third but I made a small mistake in a corner just before the end of the race and Julien passed me. I finished fourth; it’s a good gate position for the GP races tomorrow.”
Alessandro Lupino of the Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki team also put in a solid ride to qualify ninth, while Adam Sterry and Jed Beaton of the F&H Racing Team qualified eighth and ninth in the MX2 World Championship category.