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Herlings rules the sandpit at Lommel | News

The Grand Prix of Belgium, round fifteen of twenty in 2018 MXGP, meant another dominant display by Red Bull KTM's Jeffrey Herlings with a 1-1 scorecard.

Coming to the sand meant that MXGP was firmly in ‘Herlings territory’. The Dutchman took his KTM 450 SX-F to the top of every time sheet and was undisputed in the Qualification Heat and both motos for a weekend of perfection. The championship leader’s speed and confidence was untouchable but two small crashes in each moto gave his Red Bull KTM crew a brief nervous flutter. He only lost a few seconds and fulfilled many pre-race predictions by running to a clear-cut victory. The 1-1 was Jeffrey’s ninth of 2018 and from 13 Grand Prix wins. He has 23 chequered flags from a possible 30.

World Champion Tony Cairoli had made progress from his left thumb injury and completed two lonely races in a comfortable runner-up position. The 2-2 by the Sicilian meant that Herlings only extended his margin in the standings by 6 points and the difference between the teammates is just 36. Cairoli has accumulated 13 podium results.

Herlings: “I’m really pleased with the weekend. Three good starts and fastest in each practice. This is one of my favourite tracks on the calendar so I’m happy to extend the points gap a little bit. There are five rounds left, we’re 75% ‘in’ and the end is in sight, and we’ll look forward to Switzerland. It will be a new weekend and you cannot get a more different track compared to here. I want to give a special thanks to the Red Bull KTM team; the guys did an amazing job. Also WP because the suspension was awesome and the atmosphere in the team is great so a big shout out to them and all the support I’ve had.”

Cairoli: “Overall I’m happy because I know in the sand and on this type of track Jeffrey is very fast. It would have been nice to be a little bit closer but I’ve had issues with my thumb and could not train exactly as I wanted in the sand lately. I know how to ride it but to keep this kind of speed the whole moto is very tough. Two-times second is OK and for the rest of the season we’ll try to stay as close to Jeffrey’s wheel as possible and make a win where we can. A lot can still happen in the races to go. I’m looking forward to Switzerland. It is a track I really like and hopefully we can have a better result.”

Results MXGP Lommel 2018

1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (1-1)
2. Tony Cairoli (ITA), KTM (2-2)
3. Max Anstie (GBR), Husqvarna (4-4)
4. Romain Febvre (FRA) Yamaha (3-5)
5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED), KTM (6-3)

Standings MXGP 2018 after 15 of 20 rounds

1. Jeffrey Herlings, 683 points
2. Tony Cairoli, 647
3. Clement Desalle, 503
4. Tim Gajser, 478
5. Romain Febvre, 468