Bikes: De Dycker on MX1 pole in Ireland

Team Teka Suzuki WMX1's Ken de Dycker set fastest time during qualification for the Grand Prix of Ireland with a blistering fast lap that was over half a second quicker than the second placed rider.

Meanwhile reigning MX1 World Champion Steve Ramon - who's currently second in the MX1 series standings - finished the session in sixth which sets him up well for tomorrow's points-paying races.

The circuit for the 13th round of the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship was a strange one for the riders as the event organisers tipped tonnes of wood chips on to the grassy surface of the track that's situated on a flat and featureless - except for the many man-made jumps - piece of ground within the confines of the Fairyhouse horse racing circuit.

The difficult and ever-changing conditions didn't deter De Dycker from setting the fastest lap during the 30-minute timed qualification session though. After powering his factory RM-Z450 around the 1.6km circuit over half a second faster than anybody else, he is confident of success going into tomorrow's races.

"The circuit here is difficult," said De Dycker. "It's not bumpy but it's very slippery with the wood chip sat on top of the grass. Every lap the berms push wider - sometimes by as much as two metres - but it's okay, it's the same for everyone and you won't hear me complaining seeing as though I set the fastest lap.

"The qualifying session went okay for me. I put in quite a fast lap early in the session but it wasn't fast enough so I had to go out and improve it. It wasn't easy as the track kept changing so much but I managed to set a good time that was fast enough for pole.

"I don't have anything to lose and my plan is still to win the World Championship so I definitely need to win the next three races - here in Ireland, in Holland and also Italy."

Ramon is currently sitting just seven points behind the series leader David Philippaerts and is in a prime position to recapture his MX1 crown. After qualifying sixth in today's timed session, Ramon's as confident as ever going into tomorrow's races even though the circuit is not to his liking.

"I don't like the track here because there's way too much wood on top and it's very slippery," said Ramon. "But of course it's the same for everyone and it must be raced by us all. Today went okay for me and I was sixth in qualifying which is quite okay for the start tomorrow. There are many riders going fast and it's going to be a tough race again, it's very slippery and like always the start will be important - it will also be important to concentrate hard on the track. I'm looking forward to it though, I'm feeling fit, my speed is good and my bike is excellent like always."

The weather forecast for today's race should much the same as it was for Saturday's qualifying session - overcast with temperatures in the region of 17 degrees Celsius.

MX1 Timed Practice: 1 Ken De Dycker (Suzuki - BEL) 1:45:660, 2 Tanel Leok (Kawasaki - EST) 1:46:239, 3 Billy MacKenzie (Honda - GB) 1:46:564, 4 Jon Barragan (KTM - ESP) 1:46:595, 5 Sebastien Pourcel (Kawasaki - FRA) 1:46:639, 6 Steve Ramon (Suzuki - BEL) 1:46:847, 7 David Philippaerts (Yamaha - ITA) 1:47:067, 8 Max Nagl (KTM - GER) 1:47:098, 9 Clement Desalle (Suzuki - BEL) 1:47:176, 10 Josh Coppins (Yamaha - NZL) 1:47:698.