The Monster Energy downhill team have stormed the qualifications at round 3 of the World Cup in Fort William, Scotland. Young gun Loris Vergier (AD) took the top spot in qualies, with the fastest time down the infamous course and teammates Amaury Pierron (FR) and Troy Brosnan (AUS) followed, qualifying in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. UK’s own Danny Hart also had a strong start to the race weekend, with a 5th place qualification and rounds out a super strong start for the Monster Energy team going into main race day on Sunday 2nd June.
One of the oldest and longest standing tracks on the World Cup circuit, Fort William is also one of the most physically demanding tracks in the world. Conditions have been typically Scottish; periodic rain over practice and qualification day and super high wind speeds on the top section have made the course sticky in some sections and also opened up holes and ruts in unusual places for Fort Bill.
Amaury Pierron, the 2018 overall World Cup champion, is returning to the track he won his first ever victory on, so the weekend is off to a belter with a 2nd place qualification: “The weekend has gone pretty well, we have a good set up on the bike. Yesterday was raining the whole day and this morning the rain stopped, so it was a bit sticky. The wind made my run a bit sketchy, but at least it was dry so it was pretty good. I ended up 2nd behind Loris, so I’m really happy and keen for tomorrow to smash it!”
Young gun Loris Vergier took the fastest speed in qualification, riding with plenty of confidence in the changeable conditions: “The track is getting rougher every day with the rain. We’ve got soft patches of mud coming out and there’s dirt getting on the rocks that slows you down, so you have to be aware of those patches and go around them. I felt not really in a rhythm in my qualie, I felt like I was thinking too much and so we made some changes on the bike, just some little tweaks and we’ll be ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s another day, so let’s see!”
Troy Brosnan was feeling the benefits of the rain: “ My run went nice and fast, my bike was feeling smooth and the track was actually better than ever, because it reacts really well to the wet conditions and was pretty grippy. Sometimes it can be a bit blown out and dusty when it’s dry, so I prefer these conditions. I’ve got a lot in the tank and I’m ready to go a little faster tomorrow!”
Danny Hart wants to make some changes for the main race day: “It’s become a bit of a beast today and I think it’s going to rain a lot tomorrow. I’ve just been and walked it after qualification, so it’s ironed a few things out for me and I’ve got a few markers to hit. The tricky section is going to be the wood section tomorrow, which is only a 100 metres of track, but the race can definitely be lost in there so you just really need to get a clear run through. I just need to go faster all the way down tomorrow. I’m looking forward to racing.”