HERLINGS UNBEATABLE IN MX2 AT GP OF SPAIN IN TALAVERA DE LA REINA!
Dutch teenager, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings was a force to be reckoned with on the Spanish circuit of Talavera de la Reina on Sunday when he took a double race win to seal his thirty-seventh career GP victory.
Teammate Antonio Cairoli put two hard fought MXGP motos for fourth overall and he and Herlings continue to hold the red plates as leaders in their respective championships.
It was a welcome return to Spain for the World Championship after several years’ absence from the calendar and it was the first time in 12 years since the circuit in central Spain had hosted a round. The track, a mix of soft sand and hard clay proved to be challenging for many riders, especially in the early stages of the races where it was sticky in the corners after heavy watering.
Saturday’s qualifying was tricky for Jeffrey Herlings, where he crashed several times and bent his handlebars. This left him the task of fighting back from sixteenth on the starting grid in Sunday’s races but he got things underway with his usual flair in the opening MX2 moto with a clear victory. He found himself back at eighth place at the start of the second moto but charged past leader Jose Butron with eight minutes and two laps to go to pick up his second win of the day.
Herlings: “I surprised myself with a good start in race one when I saw I was out in front at the second turn. That really made life easy and it was really cool so I enjoyed it. I didn’t have such a good start in the second race. I was in eighth place but I worked my way to the front to win both motos and add another 50 points.”
Jeffrey, who competes on the KTM 250 SX-F has a 27-point lead over second placed Arnaud Tonus in the championship, an impressive total considering he missed the GP of Brazil through Injury.
Factory teammate Jordi Tixier finished with a 4-9 result for overall fifth and is fifth in the points but the French rider came a way disappointed from the Spanish races. “My qualifying was good yesterday and I had a good feeling for the track. I didn’t have a good start in the first moto but I came back to fourth after a small crash in the first three laps.”
Tixier missed the start in the second moto and another crash put him back at ninth after he ran too high and buried the front end into the berm. “ I lost some points in the championship so from now on I don’t need to make any mistakes. I need to take a good start and make a podium every weekend.”
MXGP points leader Tony Cairoli was disappointed with the outcome of his races on Sunday, especially since he had claimed a very decisive, almost 16 second win in Saturday’s qualifying on his KTM 350 SX-F. Race day however proved more difficult, especially as he didn’t get away well at the start on the heavily watered track. Both races were hard fought but went to Cairoli’s Belgian rival Clement Desalle.
Cairoli: “I didn’t have the best of starts and I had to work a lot, especially in the first race, to make the passes, which are not easy on this track. There was a lot of water on the track and you had to be really aggressive to pass and that’s not really my style. I invented some strange lines in the second moto and when I got up to second I pushed a lot to try to pass Desalle, but he was riding very good and I couldn’t make the pass.”
Cairoli’s teammate Ken de Dycker, who returned to racing in the last round at Valkenswaard after a very long injury pause, is still short on fitness and race practice. Still troubled with a finger injury that makes gripping difficult, he finished in nineteenth in the first race on the KTM 450 SX-F and then retired in the second race after what he said was possibly a stone lodged in the rear brake.
Next Round: May 25, 2014 – GP of Great Britain, Matterley Basin
Results MXGP Talavera de la Reina
1. Clement Desalle (BEL), Suzuki (1-1)
2. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL), Yamaha (2-4)
3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL), Suzuki (4-3)
4. Tony Cairoli (ITA), KTM (6-2)
5. Steven Frossard (FRA), Kawasaki (3-5)
9. Jake Nicholls (GBR), KTM (13-6)
22. Ken de Dycker (BEL), KTM (19-21)
Standings MXGP after 7 of 18 rounds
1. Cairoli, 304 points
2. Desalle, 280
3. Van Horebeek, 276
4. Strijbos, 220
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA), Kawasaki, 205
34. de Dycker, 2
Manufacturers Standings MXGP after 7 of 18 rounds
1. KTM, 304 points
2. Suzuki, 290
3. Yamaha, 276
Results MX2 Talavera de la Reina
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (1-1)
2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA), Kawasaki (3-3)
3. Arnaud Tonus (SUI), Kawasaki (2-5)
4. Romain Febvre (FRA), Husqvarna (5-4)
5. Jordi Tixier (FRA), KTM (4-9)
6. Jose Butron (ESP), KTM (8-6)
Standings MX2 after 7 of 18 rounds
1. Herlings, 294 points
2. Tonus, 267
3. Febvre, 232
4. Ferrandis, 225
5. Tixier, 215
9. Butron, 159
10. Valentin Guillod (SUI), KTM, 153
Manufacturers Standings MX2 after 7 of 18 rounds
1. KTM, 324 points
2. Kawasaki, 293
3. Husqvarna, 238