Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2's Ken Roczen has finished the 2010 FIM Motocross World Championship as the best qualifier when he beat Marvin Musquin to seal his fifth Pole Position of the season on the rapid RM-Z250 at Fermo for the Grand Prix of Italy.
In a year when Suzuki were able to toast their first Pole in the MX2 category in Bulgaria, Roczen added further honours in Holland, Latvia and Belgium before leading from the first lap until the last on the very steep hillside circuit of Fermo for the 15th and final Grand Prix of the year.
In spite of a sore throat the German rode excellently to keep a cushion ahead of Musquin and attacked the flat and fast hard-pack with the same verve that drew him to the front of the pack in the sand last week in the Netherlands.
The grunt of the RM-Z250 helped Arnaud Tonus to recover from a shaky start and pull through to a decent sixth position. The Swiss did his best to close to the rear wheel of Gautier Paulin but was also wary of making a mistake on the terrain that was slippery in places, largely one line and involved many jumps across the layout.
Breezy but bright conditions coated the venue set in the shallow hills of the scenic landscape close to the Adriatic Sea and sunshine is also predicted for tomorrow's 35 minute and 2 lap races.
On Saturday afternoon Larissa Papenmeier finished third in the first moto of the final round in the Women's World Championship. The German is guaranteed a top-four position in the series.
Ken Roczen says: "2010 has been a good year, my first full championship of being able to race every GP and there have been ups and downs but I really hope to end the season with a win here. I still feel a bit sick and not 100% but it should not be a problem for tomorrow."
Arnaud Tonus says: "I'm quite happy with sixth and it gives me a good position on the gate for tomorrow. My start was not great but I could pass people quickly. I then spent the second half of the race trying to catch Paulin and got closer but not enough and there was no real need to take big risks. The track is tricky. It is quite slippery and there is really only a single grippy line; it means that you have to be very close to the rider in front to line up a pass and possibly even hang on for a mistake. I feel good though and I'm looking forward to the last motos of the year."
MX2 Qualification Heat: 1. Ken Roczen (GER, Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2), 24:18.105; 2. Marvin Musquin (FRA, KTM), +0:01.048; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:25.550; 4. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:34.366; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:36.677; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2), +0:39.739; 7. Valentin Teillet (FRA, KTM), +0:50.712; 8. Zach Osborne (USA, Yamaha), +0:56.682; 9. Michael Leib (USA, Kawasaki), +1:00.743; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Yamaha), +1:02.959.