Herlings back to winning ways at MXGP of Indonesia | News
Red Bull Factory KTM's Jeffrey Herlings has won the FIM Motocross World Championship MXGP of Indonesia only two and a half weeks after breaking his collarbone.
The Championship leader talked of settling for points and “damage control” in Indonesia but ran to Pole Position on Saturday and then posted a strong and surprising results sheet of 2-1 in the sweaty motos on Sunday.
Once again Herlings’ most direct rival was teammate and reigning world champion Tony Cairoli. The Sicilian won the first race (his sixth chequered flag of the year and from 23 motos) but suffered from several mistakes in the second outing. The veteran rode superbly to close a gap to front-running Herlings – who made a dramatic Grand Prix finale by crashing with three laps remaining – but then made an error immediately after assuming the lead and damaged the front brake and had to deal with an injured thumb. Herlings was able to retake control and his second race spoils (his seventeenth win in ’18) meant a ninth triumph of the term. The duo continues to be split by just 12 points.
Glenn Coldenhoff’s 7-5 gave Red Bull KTM three 450 SX-Fs in the overall top six as the Dutchman again recorded a solid haul of points.
Herlings: “I’m very happy with the weekend and we couldn’t have dreamed it would have gone like this just two and a half week after breaking my collarbone. I wasn’t sure I would be able to race here so to come out with a win is pretty amazing. I lost a bit of feeling on the bike with the surgery and lack of bike time but physically I was OK and we’ll work to come back to 100%. Injury is part of this game when we are pushing. We’ll try and get the best out of the situation next week now.”
Cairoli: “Overall a good weekend except for the pain I have in my thumb. I hope it will get better but I worried it might be something I’ll have to deal with for a few weeks. When Jeffrey and I pushed we were able to make a big difference over the others and at a high level. Jeffrey made a very good race on his comeback from injury. I had a crash on the third lap of the second moto but came back and had the lead but made another mistake, which cost me the win and hurt my thumb. I hope it will be a bit better for next week. The gap in the championship has stayed the same so overall I’m happy.”
The majority of the MXGP paddock will remain in Indonesia this week and head south and east of Jakarta to Semarang for the second stop in the country and round thirteen of the series.
Results MXGP Pangkal Pinang 2018
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (2-1)
2. Tony Cairoli (ITA), KTM (1-2)
3. Romain Febvre (FRA), Yamaha (5-3)
4. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda (4-4)
5. Clement Desalle (BEL), Kawasaki (3-8)
Standings MXGP 2018 after 12 of 20 rounds
1. Jeffrey Herlings, 533 points
2. Tony Cairoli, 521
3. Clement Desalle, 407
4. Romain Febvre, 390
5. Tim Gajser, 368