It was a great day out for Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings on Sunday at the MXGP of France at Villars sous Ecot when he had a decisive 1-1 result in his two motos to pick up his 47th career victory in the MX2 class.
Herlings, a Red Bull sponsored athlete sent an early signal to his rivals in both races when he shot right across the field to take the holeshot, completely negating the fact that he had landed a poor gate pick after finishing at the back of the field in Saturday’s qualifying. He had crashed in the first half of the qualifying race and then was unable to finish the final lap after having a technical issue.
The Dutch rider, who lost half his season last year through injury cross rutted and crashed while in the lead 17 minutes into his first race but turned up the heat and chased down Valentin Guillod and Jordi Tixier, taking back the lead with three laps to go. He went on to take the race by 1.3 seconds.
He went out hard in his second moto, hit the front and although pursued hard by Tim Gajser and Tixier, delivered another fine victory. Gajser was second overall and Tixier took third, while Herlings’ team-mate Pauls Jonass of Latvia who was unwell on Saturday bounced back on race day with a 7-4 result, enough for overall fourth place.
Herlings leaves France with a decisive 112-point lead after eight of 17 rounds. Guillod is second with 246 and Jonass is third just one point behind.
Jeffrey Herlings: “I’m definitely satisfied, especially after I ran such a tough Saturday. But we sometimes say a bad Saturday makes a good Sunday and that’s what we did. We took two good starts and that was really key at this track and we made the best of it. I made it a little bit tougher than it had to be in the first moto. I fell down and gave the competition some hope again. But I fought my way past those guys and up to the front again and I won that moto. The second one was the same with a good start. The track here is not the best for me but you just have to make the best of it. That’s what I did and obviously the starts helped a lot. So it was 1-1 for the overall, some good points for the championship and now we are off to Italy.”
Pauls Jonass: “Yesterday I felt really bad and I wanted to sleep all the time. But I managed to get the holeshot and I finished fourth (in qualifying) so I got a good gate for Sunday. The first moto was still good but I made two stupid mistakes. I crashed when Valentin Guillod tried to pass me, then when we had two laps to go and I was fifth I accidentally hit neutral. That was bad luck, but I had a pretty good start in the second moto and I still finished 7-4 for fourth overall.” He said he could ‘feel every bump in the track’ on Sunday because his stomach hurt and although he was disappointed with the mistakes in the opening moto, he was happy to leave with fourth overall.
MX2 Team Manager Dirk Groebel, speaking first about Herlings and his difficulty in Qualifying, said: “We had a moment yesterday in the qualification where the bike stopped just five minute before the finish line. We had a mechanical problem and It surely isn’t good for his confidence when something like this happens. So today he had a really bad gate pick, 24. At the end of the day he made the best out of it. His riding was awesome and he had really had to earn it in the first race. He was leading and then he crashed, then he came back strong and in the end he took the victory. In the second race he had Tim Gajser in his wheels all the way so again he really had to work for it. He’s definitely on his way to being the old Jeffery like we know him to be.
“Pauls really impressed me in the second heat and he is a solid fourth place now. Without that crash in the first race he would also have been fifth or sixth. It was a really strong performance from our youngster.”
Cairoli finishes overall third in MXGP class
Red Bull KTM’s Tony Cairoli also looked strong and confident on his KTM 450 SX-F Factory machine in his opening MXGP moto and was a clear gate drop to flag winner in the big class But Cairoli missed the start in the second moto and championship leader Max Nagl was in the ascendancy. Cairoli did work his way back from a 12th at the start to finish seventh but to the joy of the French crowd, the second race and the overall MXGP victory went to their rider Romain Febvre, who also finished second behind Cairoli in the opening moto. Russian Evgeny Bobryshev was second overall after finishing both motos in third and Cairoli’s 1-7 was sufficient for the third place on the podium.
With 313 championship points in MXGP, Cairoli now trails current leader Max Nagl by 19 points.
Cairoli’s factory team-mate Ken de Dycker also had a solid day, scoring an eighth place in each moto for overall eighth. He is making good progress from a string of injuries last year.
Tony Cairoli: “It was a difficult weekend for us, but I have to say its positive because we gained two points on Max [Nagl]. But I am not happy riding on a track that is so difficult to pass. Lately it is always the starts that are the key. Everything was good in the first moto and my plan was also to have a good start also in the second moto. Unfortunately I had a mistake and I was back at around 15th. After the first lap I was already in the top 10 or 12 but after that it was difficult to make up time on the riders in front. There were also a lot of ruts and kickers in the track”.
Ken de Dycker: “Good starts helped me but then some guys passed me and I was a little nervous. But then I found my rhythm and felt good on the bike and on the track. Its now getting better and better and I no longer feel so tired. In two weeks time there is going to be some more improvement. I think I am now 100 per cent fit. I just still have some pain in the wrist. The ligaments are a bit stretched but I tape it and it’s no problem.”
Another successful day for KTM Factory Junior Team in EMX 125
It was also another good day for Stefan Everts’ KTM Factory Junior Team with young New Zealander Josiah Natzke taking the overall win in the fifth round of the EMX 125. “After five rounds I finally got it so I’m very happy. I’m slowly chipping away at it and hopefully I’ll just keep my head down and keep working hard and try and live every day as it come and just see what happens.”
Natzke’s 14-year-old team-mate Jorge Prado Garcia of Spain finished second overall: “Yes, I’m really happy. The track was really rough yesterday and I could not find my lines or my riding style, so I was really motivated to make a good race today and to ride like I usually do.”
Stefan Everts: “Of course it is really nice to the podiums of Josiah and Jorge. Josiah was by far the fastest guy of the weekend. He confirmed his form and also why I took him on board and what I expected him to do. He is just 15 points behind and there are three races to go so anything is possible. It’s going to be an exciting championship to watch. Jorge made a really smart race and didn’t lose any points in the championship. He did a great job of defending his second place, especially in the second moto.
The weekend was not so successful for the third team member, Conrad Mewes who said he was disappointed with his weekend. “The second race was a really bad start and I had a crash so I’m very not happy about this weekend so on to the next one,” the British rider said.
MXGP of France at Villars sous Ecot – Round 8
- 1. Romain Febvre, FRA, Yamaha, (2 – 1)
- 2. Evgeny Bobryshev, RUS, Honda, (3 – 3)
- 3. Antonio Cairoli, ITA, KTM, (1 – 7)
- 4. Maximilian Nagl, GER, Husqvarna, (6 – 2)
- 5. Dean Ferris, AUS, Husqvarna, (4 – 4)
- 6. Glenn Coldenhoff, NED, Suzuki, (9 – 5)
- 7. Jeremy van Horebeek, BEL, Yamaha, (5 – 9)
- 8. Ken de Dycker, BEL, KTM, (8 – 8)
- 9. Shaun Simpson, GBR, KTM, (7 –
- 10. Todd Waters, AUS, Husqvarna, (12 – 13)
- 15. Steven Frossard, FRA, KTM, (16 – 14)
- 1. Nagl, 332
- 2. Cairoli, 313
- 3. Clement Desalle, BEL, Suzuki, 291
- 4. Febvre, 282
- 5. Gautier Paulin, FRA, Honda, 252
- 7. Simpson, 169
- 10. De Dycker, 133
MXGP Manufacturers Standings
- 1. Husqvarna, 339
- 2. KTM, 330
- 3. Suzuki, 319
- 1. Jeffrey Herlings, NED, KTM, (1 – 1)
- 2. Tim Gajser, SLO, Honda, (4 – 2
- 3. Jordi Tixier, FRA, Kawasaki, (3 – 3)
- 4. Pauls Jonass, LAT, KTM, (7 – 4)
- 5. Valentin Guillod, SUI, Yamaha, (2 -13
- 6. Aleksandr Tonkov, RUS, Husqvarna, (6 – 7)
- 7. Petar Petrov, BUL, Kawasaki, (5 – 8)
- 8. Jeremy Seewer, SUI, Suzuki, (10 – 6)
- 9. Max Anstie, GBR, Kawasaki, (12 – 5)
- 10. Vsevolod Brylyakov, RUS, Honda, (11 – 11)
- 1. Herlings, 358
- 2. Guillod, 246
- 3. Jonass, 245
- 4. Tixier, 229
- 5. Tonkov, 218
- 6. Gajser, 209
- 7. Seewer, 208
- 8. Dylan Ferrandis, FRA, Kawasaki, 205
- 9. Julien Lieber, BEL, Yamaha, 184
- 10. Anstie, 183
MX2 Manufacturers Classification
- 1. KTM, 380
- 2. Kawasaki, 329
- 3. Yamaha, 282
WMX Results after Round 4
- 1. Kiara Fontanesi, ITA, Yamaha, (2 – 1)
- 2. Nancy van de Ven, NED, Yamaha, (3 – 2)
- 3. Madison Brown, BEL, Yamaha, (5 – 3)
- 4. Livia Lancelot, FRA, Kawasaki, (1 – 14)
- 5. Amandine Verstappen, BEL, KTM, (8 – 4)
EMX125 Results of Round 5
- 1. Josiah Natzke, NZL, KTM, (1 – 1)
- 2. Jorge Prado Garcia, ESP, KTM, (3 – 2)
- 3. Maxime Renaux, FRA, Yamaha, (2 – 3)
- 4. Nathan Renkens, BEL, KTM, (4 – 6)
- 5. Filippo Zonta, ITA, Husqvarna, (9 – 5)
- 6. Glen Meier, DEN, KTM, (5 – 9)
- 8. Gianluca Facchetti, ITA, KTM, (8 – 10)
- 9. Conrad Mewse, GBR, KTM, (6 – 14)
- 10. Stephen Rubini, FRA, KTM, (28 – 4)
EMX125 Standings after Round 5
- 1. Prado Garcia, 205
- 2. Renaux, 200
- 3. Natzke, 190
- 4. Sihvonen, 136
- 5. Mewse, 130
EMX125 Manufacturers Standings after Round 5
- 1. KTM, 247
- 2. Yamaha, 200
- 3. TM, 133