Roczen who despite his mixed day on the French track still has a firm hold of the red plate as championship leader was out of the gates like a rocket in the first moto. He took the holeshot, relinquished the lead for a brief time during the first lap then systematically built up a massive advantage, taking the checkered flag almost 14 second ahead of his nearest rival. Relaxed and confident at the end of the moto, Roczen said: “I had an awesome start and I was able to take control of the race and save some energy for the second moto.” Despite this, Roczen admitted after the race that he had struggled with the track and had arm pump problems the whole weekend.
Meanwhile sand specialist Jeffrey Herlings had his share of problems in the first moto. He was fourth going into the opening corner then crashed, fought his way back through the field, crashed again and finally scraped through at seventh at the flag.
But the tables were turned in the second moto. Again Roczen charged to the front but his chances of domination were cut short when he had a huge off that sent him cartwheeling high above the track. He scrambled to get back into the race but shortly after was in the dirt again on a track that had been made slippery and heavy after a big storm on Saturday night. But while Ken was locked in combat with the track at the French venue, Herlings had taken control of the second moto and right up to the final three laps he looked set to dominate. But the 16-year-old Dutch rider had knocked his ankle in the heat of the battle and in the final laps had to relinquish the lead to Tommy Searle. Herlings: “I was leading the race right up to the last three laps but then I was overtaken so I wasn’t on the podium. But I closed one point on Ken in the championship so while I didn’t win, I didn’t lose either.”