The Belgian, winner two years ago at the sandy track built in front of the main grandstand at the famous TT circuit, raced in sixth position from the opening lap of the qualifying race which determined gate positions for each of tomorrow's points-scoring races.
Clément Desalle: « It was a decent day. I already had a good feeling with the bike this morning and had the ninth gate for the qualifying race. I got a good start; the first corner was tight and I came out fourth but then Coldenhoff and Gajser passed me immediately. After that I rode a safe race as it’s always important to have a good gate for the race and sixth choice is OK for tomorrow. Now I just need two good starts tomorrow! »
Tommy Searle of Bike It DRT Kawasaki finished eighth, two ahead of Desalle's KRT teammate Julien Lieber while Alessandro Lupino, happy with the recovery of his knee injury but sensibly taking no risks in the treacherous sand, finished sixteenth for Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki.
Tommy Searle: « It was a good day for me. I have been able to train hard the last couple of weeks now that I have a training mechanic in the UK; that makes a big difference in my riding and gave me a lot of confidence. It was important to prepare myself for these last few races, and also for next season, and today I was in the top eight in every session. That’s good for me, especially in the sand. I had a good feeling with the track all day; I trained on sandy tracks in the UK to prepare for this round and I felt comfortable all day."
Julien Lieber: « I had a good feeling this morning and improved my results from session to session; eighteenth in the free practice, twelfth in the timed practice and finally tenth in the qualifying race. My start was not so great but I came back from fifteenth to tenth, which gives me a good gate for the races."
In the MX2 division Adam Sterry recovered strongly from a first lap collision to qualify twelfth, two ahead of F&H Racing Team colleague Marshal Weltin.