The MXGP of Great Britain saw Jeffrey Herlings take the MXGP win at the Matterley Basin circuit, with two moto wins to his name, extending his championship lead. Second placed was Antonio Cairoli, retaining second overall in the standings.
The sunny conditions also saw Pauls Jonass as undisputed winner of the MX2 class, also with two moto wins, from Jorge Prado in second, with the same positions reflected in the overall MX2 standings.
Straight from the start Antonio Cairoli set a blistering pace, with the Holeshot and a clear track ahead he sprinted away from the MXGP field. Just behind Cairoli was another Red Bull KTM but instead of the usual Jeffrey Herlings chasing the #222 it was Glenn Coldenhoff.
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 25:51.194
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:20.021
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:24.133
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:28.038
Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:32.821
Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:35.508
Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:37.473
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:44.604
Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:46.521
Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:48.041
The unusually sunny British weather was scorching hot and when combined with the nearly 2,000 meter circuit provided testing but epic conditions for the world’s best motocross riders. The stadium like venue gave perfect viewing for all in attendance as the racing action kicked off.
MXGP Race 1 started with a Fox Holeshot from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Antonio Cairoli just ahead of his teammate Glen Coldenhoff. A few spots further back was the other Red Bull KTM of Jeffrey Herlings, the MXGP points leader.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser also had a good start and ran third after the start but by the end of the 1st official lap Herlings moved into second as Coldenhoff dropped to fifth behind the surging Clement Desalle on his Monster Energy Kawasaki.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre and Jeremy Van Horebeek ran 6th and 7th with BIKE IT DRT Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle in 8th. Febvre later jumped into 5th past Coldenhoff which he held for the remainder of the race.
Searle was looking strong before a piece of plastic caught in his chain started to distract the Brit. Meanwhile Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Julien Lieber was gaining ground and with 4 laps remaining Lieber took a spot from Searle along with Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer. Searle took the 9th back when Seewer fell in a turn and lost a handful of positions before finishing fourth.
Back at the front the battle was on between Cairoli and Herlings. A bad lap and some mistakes left Herlings in a position to take the lead but Cairoli fought back and the two carried on for the next laps. With 2 laps to go Herlings dove to the inside of Cairoli and both bobbled with Cairoli going down. Herlings took the race win but Cairoli got up quickly and managed second with Gajser 3rd.
Race 2 started just the same with Cairoli taking the FOX Holeshot and Herlings around 4th with Febvre and Desalle in between. Meanwhile Gajser lost traction and had a big save in front of Pit Lane. After the first few corners Herlings was already into 2nd and chasing down Cairoli while Desalle took 3rd from Febvre.
The front two started to pull away from Desalle after a couple of laps as both were setting their fastest laps each time around. On lap 6 Desalle fell, letting both Febvre and Gajser through before remounting his Kawasaki.
Gajser then started to close on Febvre coming within passing distance several times but couldn’t make it through. As Gajser continued to try to get by Febvre it was Desalle who ended up making it past the Slovenian.
When the 2 lap board came out Herlings was still behind Cairoli by a few seconds and realized he need to make a pass for the lead. As the pair started the final lap and came down the start straight into the first turn Herlings spotted his opportunity and took the spot!
Herlings’ pace on the final lap resulted in the fastest lap of the race with a 2:19.285 and gave him the race win for maximum points and the clear overall. Herlings win gave him his 100th World Championship podium as Cairoli finished 2nd and Febvre took 3rd.
Jeffrey Herlings – P1
“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.”
Antonio Cairoli – P2
“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.”
Romain Febvre – P3
“It was a really tough weekend, but I am happy to be back on the podium. I got injured in Latvia after I connected with another rider but still, I was almost on the podium in Germany but I crashed again and hurt my foot pretty bad. Last week was not good, I saw many doctors and they suggested that I take four weeks out, but I wanted to at least try and score some points and now I am on the podium. I can’t thank everyone who supports me enough, especially the guys at Yamaha, the physiotherapist and everyone, without them I would probably not have been able to race let alone stand on the podium. “
Clement Desalle – P4
“I’m frustrated to miss another podium! In the first race I finished fourth; that was my place as I didn’t found any solution in some sections of the track to go faster and keep the pace with the guys in front of me. My second start was better; I was second for a time until Herlings passed me. It’s always tough to keep him behind but I stayed third and kept focusing on my lines. But then I crashed when my front wheel slid out in a corner and I lost two positions. I didn’t want to give up and I came back behind Febvre and Gajser; I passed Gajser but I ran out of time to try to pass Febvre and get the podium result.”
Tim Gajser – P5
“The first moto was good and I was happy with the result. For a good twenty minutes I was able to stay with Jeffrey Herlings and Toni Cairoli and my pace was good. I had another great start in race two but the track was watered a lot in the first corner, so I had a near-crash and lost a bunch of places. I then made a couple of passes but after that I got stuck behind Romain Febvre and, despite trying hard everywhere, I couldn’t overtake him. I lost a lot of energy there because I was fighting with the bike and pushing too hard, so in the last three laps I concentrated on keeping the pace that I had. A really disappointing end to the weekend, but we’ll come back fighting in France.”
Glenn Coldenhoff – P6
“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 Race 1 Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:58.965
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:10.188
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:14.527
Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:32.384
Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:47.533
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:50.591
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:58.183
Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:01.933
Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:06.611
Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Suzuki), +1:09.122
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:26.698
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.150
Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:40.145
Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:42.049
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:54.266
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:58.266
Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:59.513
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +1:01.221
Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Suzuki), +1:32.712
Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:39.421
MXGP Overall Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 44
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 36
Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 36
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 36
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 30
Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, SUZ), 23
Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 23
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 22
Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 17 p
MXGP Championship Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 436 points
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 382
Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 314
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 291
Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 267
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 257
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 237
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 207
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 198
Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 162
Jorge Prado has clearly been reading the playbook of his older teammate Antonio Cairoli as he took the Holeshot of the MX2 Qualifying Race and checked out from his competitors. Prado rode full of confidence and flow throwing whips and scrubbing jumps all while gaining time on the rest of the field.
Chasing Prado from the first turn was the MX2 points leader and his championship rival Pauls Jonass aboard another Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine. Jonass simply couldn’t match the pace of Prado and was instead in a battle of his own to hold off Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen.
Lawrence was 7th on the opening lap but by the time he made his way to 6th he had a gap up 5th. Lawrence was able to reel in Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen and made the pass on lap 6.
Also coming up through the field was F&H Racing Team’s Jed Beaton after an early fall. Beaton was able to charge his way forward and pass Vlaanderen for 6th with 2 laps to go.
MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 26:32.136
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:06.044
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:07.270
Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:12.487
Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:13.580
Jed Beaton (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:14.388
Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, Honda), +0:19.818
Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:25.368
Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, Husqvarna), +0:28.663
Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Kawasaki), +0:35.801
Much like in the MXGP class tension is building within the MX2 championship as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass and Jorge Prado each try to assert themselves as the top rider. Prado who won yesterday’s Qualifying Race by a near mile took the Race 1 Holeshot but Jonass responded before the pair excited turn 3.
While Jonass was leading and Prado held second F&H Racing Team’s Ruben Fernandez was off to a blistering start. Fernandez ran third in front of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington and Thomas Kjer Olsen. Fernandez held the position the first 5 laps before Covington took the spot.
On the same lap as Covington’s move forward his teammate, Olsen, was shifted back by Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen. The following lap both Vlaanderen and Olsen moved Fernandez down the running order.
Things then started happening fast for the #70 of Fernandez dropping another 2 positions the next lap and 4 more after that. Olsen however found his groove again and passed Vlaanderen back and went even further forward to pass Covington.
Olsen then faced a mechanical issue and was unable to finish the race while Jonass and Prado crossed the finish line followed by Covington, Vlaanderen, and Jumbo No Fear Vamo Honda’s Marshal Weltin, who had a stellar ride. Also impressive was Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team’s Ben Watson who after having an issue on the start came back from dead last to finish 6th.
Race 2 was another Fox Holeshot from the fast starting spaniard, Jorge Prado. Race 1 winner Jonass was behind Prado from the start but didn’t let the #61 get far away. In third was STC Racing Husqvarna’s Henry Jacobi with Olsen and Vlaanderen giving chase.
Just outside the top 5 was F&H Racing Team’s Jed Beaton in 6th but on his third time around he ejected of the uphill triple and did not finish the race. Inheriting 6th position from Beaton was LRT KTM’s Davy Pootjes.
On around lap 6 the battle for 3rd intensified between Jacobi and Olsen. Olsen went around the outside of Jacobi but the German fought back which caused him to miss his line and as Olsen tried to charge by again Jacobi slammed the door causing Olsen to go down.
The battle allowed Vlaanderen to pass both and jump into third. Olsen tried to rebound from the fall but his bike again gave out forcing another DNF.
Just after the battle for third was decided Pauls Jonass charged past Prado for the lead. Meanwhile Watson was again fighting forward after another bad start and with 2 laps to go the British hero took 4th from Jacobi as Jonass won the race ahead of Prado and Vlaanderen. The overall finished the same as race 2 with Jonass on the top step, Prado second, and Vlaanderen taking 3rd for the second time.
Pauls Jonass – P1
“I was struggling with the track on Saturday but turned it around for today. I had the chance to pass Jorge in the first moto after he had the holeshot; and that was really good because once Jorge gets a rhythm it can be difficult to overtake him. I was happy about that and then controlled the race but it was not that easy with Jorge always pushing. In the second moto I made a couple of mistakes at first but then found my lines and flow quite quickly. I was disappointed with my results in Germany, so this was much better and when I saw Jorge escaping again in the second moto I thought ‘not again…’ I think the second race was one of the best of the season for me. I tried to do a ‘Jeffrey’! We trained together last week in France and we motivated each other a bit.”
Jorge Prado – P2
“The race went really well. This weekend Pauls was pushing really hard and we were so far ahead of third position in the first moto so you can imagine how hard we were going every single lap. I’m happy because I did my best; this weekend Pauls was the fastest and maybe next weekend it will be me. We are very similar right now and small details can make the difference. I’ve never had a podium here so I’m pleased about that also. I think the bikes and team we have here are the best-of-the-best.”
Calvin Vlaanderen – P3
“It was a hard-fought podium, that’s for sure. I didn’t have the best start in race one and had to scythe through the pack a bit. Fourth was a good result; I was a little bit lucky with Olsen’s retirement, but we will take it. In the second moto I was pumped and ready for battle: I came off the start really well but I got pushed wide at the first corner. I made a few mistakes early on but then I got in a little bit of a groove and tried to follow the guys in front of me. I kept calm and focused because I knew it was going to be a long race, and it was great to finish third. To be getting a podium here in England is awesome: it’s good for myself, the team and everyone around me. We are working hard and we’re getting it done, which is what we need to be doing.”
Ben Watson – P4
“It’s been a real positive weekend in ways, and then really frustrating in other ways. I am really happy leaving here, it has been a consistent day for me and an even better day for the championship as I’ve closed to 9-points on third place. It’s still a long championship and there is still a lot to play for, so I just want to keep being consistent and taking solid points in each race. It was nice to come to the home GP and show the fans how I can ride. The result could have been better, but I am happy.”
Thomas Covington – P5
“Things worked quite well for me this weekend and I enjoyed the British GP. I had a decent start in the opening moto and managed to put myself in a good position. We had a great battle with Thomas [Kjer-Olsen] and I was happy to secure a third place result. My start was not as good in the second moto and I had to battle my way from the back of the leading pack. A small crash halfway through the moto made things harder, so I had to settle for ninth at the line. Overall, it was a positive weekend and I’m happy we’ve made some big improvements since the last GP.”
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