Currently 2nd place in the overall standings Luca Shaw turned in the gas for qualifying taking the top spot by 1.062s. That might now be surprising based on his recent performance but what is amazing is who came second. Martin Maes took second spot ahead of Alex Marin Trillo from Spain, another name we don’t see in the top 5 regularly. The UK contingent had a solid representation in Juniors with Neill Stewart of FMD Racing and Taylor Vernon finishing out the top 5.
Having been so fast last season Rachel Atherton doesn’t appear to be on her game here in Fort William. She was the fastest of the top 5 through the speed trap but that didn’t equate to a top placing over the line, 5th for Rachel in today’s qualifying. Manon Carpenter is the lady to watch, she most definitely is on form and flying. She smoked 2nd placed Myriam Nicole by 10.736s to take the win in qualifying stretching her lead in the overall by a further 50 points. Nicole is riding well and it’s good to see her getting the places she is capable of, Ragot went fast yesterday in timed training but today was 11.300s off the pace of Carpenter. Young gun Tahnee Seagrave took fourth place, a great result for her and this track could be the making of a top result come tomorrow afternoon.
Even though Aaron Gwin looked fast on track it was his team mate Troy Brosnan that took the qualifying win and 50 points to boot. He has a lot of gas for someone a lot smaller than other riders but he is light and knows where to make it count on a long track like this. Fastest in timed practice Danny Hart was just behind Brosnan with the flat pedalled Sam Hill creeping closer to his wins back in 2006 and 07′.
Sam Blenkinsop is on it this weekend and looked great in practice, he rounded out qualifying and will be 5th from last to drop in tomorrow afternoon.