74 wins and 100 podiums for Herlings at British GP as KTM sweep MXGP again | News
Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings and Tony Cairoli went 1-2 respectively for the fifth time this year at the MXGP of Great Britain.
Sunshine and warm conditions greeted the FIM World Championship field for the annual visit to Winchester in southern England and the atmospheric British round of MXGP. The vast Matterley Basin site entertained top level racing for the first time since the Motocross of Nations in October.
Saturday’s practice and qualification saw Red Bull KTM complete a rout in both categories. Tony Cairoli rode to his second Pole Position of the season with the works KTM 450 SX-F and headed a 1-2-3 with Jeffrey Herlings in second place and Glenn Coldenhoff in third. In MX2 Jorge Prado claimed his fifth Pole of 2018 on the KTM 250 SX-F – with yet another holeshot in the Qualification Heat – and led teammate Pauls Jonass.
Fans were treated to another KTM duel in the premier class as the contest between Cairoli and Herlings intensified and the pair again separated from the rest of the MXGP pack in both motos. Cairoli fronted the first race until a coming together between the #84 and #222. Herlings powered out of a corner and contract left the world champion on the floor. Cairoli remounted to finish second behind the current series leader.
In the second moto Herlings took his time to pursue a holeshotting Cairoli, who led for thirteen laps, before moving past on the last circulation. The Dutchman posted his sixth 1-1 and seventh win in nine rounds, maintained his 100% podium record in 2018 (with his 100th career trophy) and extended his margin in the MXGP standings to 54 points. Cairoli took the second step of the rostrum with a 2-2 and to again uncork champagne after missing out in Germany two weeks ago.
Glenn Coldenhoff completed a trio of ‘6’s. The Dutchman had a typically solid and sturdy day at Matterley (and scene of his maiden GP triumph five years earlier) by going 6-6 for 6th overall.
Herlings: “KTM have been a family to me and to achieve 100 podiums with one brand is not something that happens often. 74 GP wins is simply amazing so a big thanks to everyone at KTM and especially Pit [Beirer] for believing in me almost ten years ago and bringing me to where I am now. We’ll go to France next with the same goal of making the podium. If we can take a win then great, if not – or even a podium – then we’ll do our best and see how it turns out. The start is really important at St Jean and it is tough to pass. We’ll see how things go.”
Cairoli: “It was a positive weekend and one in which I found the good starts that were missing in Germany as well as excellent race pace, even if it was not enough to win. I had a great feeling in practice on a track that was well prepared and full of lines, and in the qualifying race I managed to ride as I wanted and win. Today in both heats I managed to ride well; unfortunately the contact with Jeffrey in race one was unexpected but motocross is like this sometimes. In race two I tried to get away but in the end he caught and passed me. It’s a shame to lead 25 of the 28 laps without winning the Grand Prix but we must also say that the pace compared to the others is much higher and we have improved a lot compared to last year. We will not give up and will continue to attack next week in France.”
Coldenhoff: “We struggled with set-up on Saturday but made some changes and the bike worked great; to take 3rd and make a 1-2-3 for KTM was really nice. I felt motivated to do well on Sunday but they had really watered the track for the first moto and it was difficult on the first lap. By the time I settled then I was sixth and everyone was running the same lap-times. I didn’t have a good start in the second moto but made a decent first lap. I was just a little off the pace of the guys ahead of me. After a very good Saturday I expected a bit more from today but on the other hand I had two solid results and points.”
MXGP heads over the Channel this week and forms-up at the hillside and hard-pack circuit of St Jean D’Angely for the popular Grand Prix of France as the 2018 campaign reaches round ten and the midway point.
Results MXGP Matterley Basin 2018
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (1-1)
2. Tony Cairoli (ITA), KTM (2-2)
3. Romain Febvre (FRA), Yamaha (5-3)
4. Clement Desalle (BEL), Kawasaki (4-4)
5. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda (3-5)
Standings MXGP 2018 after 9 of 20 rounds
1. Jeffrey Herlings, 436 points
2. Tony Cairoli, 382
3. Clement Desalle, 314
4. Romain Febvre, 291
5. Gautier Paulin, 267