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Herlings wins 2020 MXGP opener in Great Britain | News

Factory KTM's Jeffrey Herlings won the British Grand Prix on his KTM 450 SX-F for the first round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.

The large and popular Matterley Basin circuit was hit by a variety of weather conditions, from incessant rain on Friday, to showers, strong winds and cold on Saturday to sunshine and bright conditions on Sunday. The track was rough, rutty and a decent technical challenge for the riders and a fine stage to open the 2020 season. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing lined-up with Tony Cairoli, Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado (with a combined total of fifteen titles) in MXGP and Tom Vialle as well as Rene Hofer in MX2.

All three MXGP riders made a fast start in the sunny first moto at Matterley Basin and it was Herlings who hit the front early and controlled the race until the chequered flag. Cairoli was a steady fourth in front of Clement Desalle while Prado rode to a solid debut MXGP inside the top ten to ninth.

Herlings could do little about the escaping Tim Gajser in the second moto once he passed Cairoli for 2nd place. The Dutchman kept a consistent pace to ensure a 1-2 for the day and confirm his overall triumph; the 87th of his career. Cairoli’s 3rd place was good enough for the same step of the rostrum – equalling Stefan Everts’ all-time record – and a satisfactory result considering it was his first Grand Prix since last summer and with the nagging doubt of a stretched right knee ligament. Jorge Prado claimed 12th for 10th place overall and 21 valuable points after precious little time riding his motorcycle and just three months after breaking his left femur.

Jeffrey Herlings: “The first race out of twenty and I was consistent: two good starts, led the whole first moto, got into third pretty quick behind Tony and took second. The track was sketchy and the sun was really low. It is still that time of the year where it gets dark quite early, so it was hard with the shadows. I didn’t want to take any risks and I was happy with second. It was a good weekend and I think we improved the bike over the winter because this was the first real test, let’s say. I am looking forward to Valkenswaard now and my home GP.”

Tony Cairoli: “It is nice to be back on the podium after so many months without racing. My shoulder has improved a lot in recent weeks but last week in Belgium I twisted my right knee and heard a crack. I thought ‘the season is finished already’. I went to the doctor and he confirmed a second-degree PCL tear. I taped the knee very hard yesterday and today and all the ruts out there were not helping. I just need to work as much as possible on the muscle to make it as stable as possible. So to be on the podium at this track and these conditions is amazing and I’m motivated again to work really hard and try to build it up. We will see what we can do next.”

Jorge Prado: “I’m a world champion so finishing 10th is not something I am used to; the last two years have been really good. But if I look at it the other way and after just two weeks of riding then I have to feel very happy about today. I didn’t have any pain and I have been working hard: this was the best I could do. I would say that last 6-7 minutes and two laps of the second moto were quite hard. The track was super-rough and I was pretty tired. I did not want to crash, and the sun was very low. First race of the season, first race with the 450 and the last time I raced was in Assen: what a weekend.”

Results MXGP Great Britain 2020

1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (1-2)
2. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda (8-1)
3. Tony Cairoli (ITA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (4-3)
4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Yamaha (2-8)
5. Mitch Evans (AUS), Honda (3-7)

Standings MXGP 2020 after 01 of 20 rounds

1. Jeffrey Herlings 47
2. Tim Gajser 38
3. Tony Cairoli 38
4. Jeremy Seewer 35
5. Mitch Evans 34