The MXGP of Turkey proved a brilliant return to form for KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings, under perfect weather conditions and in front of large crowds. The penultimate round of the FIM Motocross World Championship marked the 85th GP win for Herlings, his first GP win of the season on a hard park track he fitted well.
Herlings won the MXGP of Turkey in the MXGP class with 1-1 results, while second was fellow Dutchman Glenn Coldenhoff with 3-2 and third Pauls Jonass with 2-5. Herlings came to Turkey with further mileage under his belt after a domestic race appearance in Germany the previous weekend, with the 2018 world champion rapidly gaining shape and form at the highest level.
In the MX2 class it was Jorge Prado who once again went 1-1 for his 30th GP win of his career, while Jago Geerts was second overall with 2-5 and third was Roan Van De Moosdijk who went 5-3. Aussie Mitch Evans went 14-9 for 11th overall.
MXGP Race 1
In the first MXGP race, it was Pauls Jonass who took his first FOX Holeshot of the season and led from Glenn Coldenhoff, Jeffrey Herlings, Jeremy Seewer and Tim Gajser. Further back was Arnaud Tonus, Brian Bogers, Alessandro Lupino, Kevin Strijbos and Jeremy Van Horebeek.
Herlings quickly moved into second place, and Gautier Paulin entered the top ten in ninth position. Herlings took the lead as the riders entered the second lap while Gajser moved into fourth place, then went down hard and dropped well back in 14th position.
Three laps in and the lead by Herlings was two seconds from Jonass, followed by Coldenhoff. Seewer was fourth and Bogers in fifth place. While Herlings led, Jonass, Coldenhoff and Seewer were not letting the KTM rider get too far ahead with just three seconds separating the top four.
After seven laps Herlings had opened the lead up to two seconds over Jonass, and Gajser moved back into the top ten as he rounded in 10th place, while Tonus moved past Bogers for fifth, and Gajser did the same to move into ninth position. Paulin and Van Horebeek also both passed Bogers.
After 10 laps the lead by Herlings was three seconds over Jonass but Herlings made a mistake and slipped over while Jonass caught right up to his back wheel.
Gajser moved back into seventh place as he passed both Bogers and Van Horebeek and he managed to finish in sixth position while Paulin moved into fifth place. Herlings meanwhile won his second race of the season from Jonass and Coldenhoff.
MXGP Race 2
When the second MXGP gate dropped and Coldenhoff led from Seewer and Herlings, with Gajser in fourth and Bogers in fifth place. Herlings was quickly past Seewer, who dropped to sixth place, and Gajser moved to third on the first lap.
Seewer crashed hard and dropped to 16th position and after three laps it was Coldenhoff, Herlings, Gajser, Monticelli, and Bogers rounding up the top five. Ivo Monticelli passed Gajser for third place, as the World MXGP champion crashed and dropped to fifth position.
Herlings was all over the leader Coldenhoff for the lead on lap seven, as the two Dutch riders showed they are in great form for the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations in three-week’s time. Bogers and Jonass had battled with Jonass moving into fifth and Bogers dropped back to sixth.
Herlings started reeling in Coldenhoff for the lead and on lap 10 they were locked together while Gajser moved into third place followed by Monticelli and Jonass. Coldenhoff continued to lead, but Herlings was hounding him, and Gajser was 23 seconds further back in third place.
A few seconds before the end of the race a sensational pass was made by Herlings as he took the lead on the final lap and took the third race win of the season and the GP overall for the first time in 2019.
Tommy Searle after a crash during the warm up on Sunday morning wasn’t able to race this 17th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship and he was forced to withdraw from the race.
Tommy Searle posted the twelfth fastest lap in both practice sessions on Saturday and later qualified in eleventh position for the GP. But during the warm up on Sunday morning Tommy crashed and suffered a shoulder contusion which forced him to withdraws from the GP. Tommy Searle normally will be back on track next weekend in China for the final round of the 2019 championship.
Jeffrey Herlings – P1
“It is getting better and better, in Sweden I wasn’t that prepared, but now just after three weeks on the bike, it is amazing what I can do. It has been a crazy weekend and I am super happy with my win. I had that line and I knew I had to make it perfect. I want to thank my mum the team and everyone who supported me and I wish to congratulate Glenn, he rode amazingly.”
Glenn Coldenhoff – P2
“We are close to the end of the Championship and I really need those points as I still have a chance for third in the standings. I’m pushing hard for that. I don’t like to get passed on the last lap but it’s really amazing to see two Dutch flags on the box so I am really happy.”
Pauls Jonass – P3
“It’s been a really good GP, but it didn’t start the best way. I had to work really hard to come back from my start crash in my qualifying race on Saturday, but it also gave me some good confidence coming into today’s motos as I knew I had good speed and I also liked the track. Getting the holeshot in the first moto today was awesome – I’ve been working hard on my starts and to get a first MXGP holeshot is really positive. I felt good the whole race. After Herlings passed me I rode well and, yeah, second place was great. The second race was also good – a good start but then I made a few small mistakes and dropped a few positions. I kept a good pace and managed to move into a position to get on the overall podium, which is a great way to finish the GP. I’m looking forward to China now.”
Tim Gajser – P4
“It was a tough weekend, but yesterday I felt okay. My speed was good, I just had that crash in the qualification race which meant I wasn’t completely 100% today. I got a good start in the first race, but crashed in the wave section and managed to climb back to sixth place after remounting in around 15th. I still knew I could better and I wanted to prove that in race two and again I got a good start, in the top three where again I felt I could I run with the leaders. However I made a small mistake in a corner, tipped over and dropped to fifth. By the time I got back to third they were gone so that’s where I finished. I am disappointed but I will try to take some positive things from this GP and do better next weekend in China. A big thanks to the whole team for their work again and helping me feel comfortable out on the track, and thanks for all the birthday wishes from everyone.”
Gautier Paulin – P6
“Actually my starts cost me a good result this weekend. A good start was important today with the track being so rutty it was difficult to change your line to make a pass. Everything else was there. The track was really rough, but I enjoyed it and I felt good. My YZ450F was really good too, both suspension and engine. Physically I felt awesome, so I am looking forward to China.”
Jeremy Seewer – P7
“Overall today I had the speed to be on the podium. Fourth in the first moto with a gap to the riders behind me and I could control the position. In the second moto, I took the holeshot and for some reason it felt like I was standing still, and a lot of riders passed me. I made a small mistake, and I tried to keep Pauls Jonass behind me, but neither of us closed the throttle and I got put over the berm. After that I had a good pace and came back to eighth. I am sad because I could have been on the podium today, but happy because my second place in the championship is pretty safe now.”
Arnaud Tonus – P11
“Race 1 was alright considering I had a bad feeling on the track yesterday. In the second moto, I was completely ‘off’ and tired for some reason. I don’t even know how I ended up, but I was completely drained of energy. So, I will try to recover and regain some energy for China next week.”
Prado led the opening MX2 race, with Maxime Renaux in second, then Tom Vialle, Richard Sikyna, Adam Sterry, Roan Van De Moosdijk. Van De Moosdijk quickly dropped to eighth position, and Calvin Vlaanderen moved into seventh place.
After a lap the lead by Prado was two seconds, with Renaux second, Jago Geerts third, Vialle fourth and Mathys Boisrame fifth.
Thomas Kjer Olsen, struggling with a virus, was holding down ninth position and Vlaanderen and Van De Moosdijk were in a battle for sixth. Van De Moosdijk then went after Sterry, passed him, but crashed to lose positions.
After eight laps Prado held a 10 second lead over Geerts, with Vialle third, Renaux fourth and Boisrame in fifth. After 12 laps Prado lead over Geerts was 15 seconds, followed by Renaux and Boisrame who got passed and Vialle. Olsen pulled out of the race with his sickness finally catching up.
Vlaanderen was on another charge when he moved into fourth place, putting Boisrame in fifth. Renaux was showing an amazing speed as he started pushing Geerts for second place, he then went down, but only lost one spot as he picked himself up in third place, but soon after Vlaanderen passed him.
Prado won MX2 Race 1 from Geerts and Vlaanderen by a generous 20-second margin.
MX2 Race 2
Prado led the second MX2 race, this time from Vialle, Evans, Geerts, Van De Moodsijk, Boisrame, Renaux, Vlaanderen, Sterry and Pichon. After a lap it was Prado, Vialle, Geerts, Renaux, Van De Moosdijk, Evans, Vlaanderen, Pichon and Sterry.
Three laps in and Prado held four seconds over Vialle and Van De Moosdijk moved into third place while Geerts was back in fourth, and Renaux fifth. Vlaanderen was on the gas as he battled with Geerts and Renaux for fourth.
The lead was six seconds on lap six and the top ten was Prado, Vialle, Van De Moosdijk, Renaux, Vlaanderen, Geerts, Evans, Sterry, Forato, and Guadagini in tenth. Sterry worked his way past Evans for seventh place, and on lap nine the lead was 10 seconds.
Vlaanderen made a mistake and lost ground on Van De Moosdijk and Renaux and then he lost a place to Geerts who pushed past the South African.
Prado continued to pull away from the field, and he managed to win race 1 and the MXGP of Turkey with a perfect 1-1 with Geerts and a surprising Van De Moosdijk, who claimed his first MX2 Podium rounding out the top three.
Jorge Prado – P1
“Two enjoyable races today and they were made way-easier thanks to the good starts. I didn’t have to deal with any roost and could ride my own speed. I did well today; I was not using much energy. It felt like a perfect weekend. I was really motivated to go 1-1 after missing out on the overall in Sweden.”
Jargo Geerts – P2
“It was a pretty good weekend, a first good race for second place and the second race I got another good start, but I wasn’t very comfortable, I finished fifth for second overall. I am happy with that.”
Roan Van De Moosdijk – P3
“Unbelievable! I had a really good Qualifying which gave me a good gate-pick for today but the first moto was quite tough. I battled for many laps with my teammate, then I had a little crash but picked it up quickly to take fifth. I could soon move to third in race two and pushed really hard in the beginning to follow Prado and Vialle for a long time. I kept looking at the pitboard, ten minutes to go, eight minutes, it felt like a really long moto, longer than I have raced most of the year but I made it. I rode two GPs in 2017 and Portugal earlier this year as a wild card but this was my first full-time GP and I already made the podium. I’m speechless!”
Calvin Vlaanderen – P4
“It feels like the start of the year, when I was close to getting on the podium at the first three rounds of the season. To miss out by such a small margin is very disappointing but sometimes that is how it goes. My speed was good all weekend and I showed that with a clear track that I was one of the fastest guys, I just couldn’t make the passes when I needed to and that is what cost me my podium shot. Now I head to China determined not to let this happen again, and looking to round out the season on a good note.
“Not so bad finally. I didn’t have a good feeling in the first moto and wasn’t very confident on the track but improved for the second race. I’m happy for that and how we finished. 5th overall and 35 points was satisfactory and I’m just 10 behind Jago now. The goal is to push for 3rd in the championship and we’ll have to make two good starts and go for it in China.”
Thomas Kjer Olsen
“It’s been a very tough weekend for me. Without giving too many details I was extremely ill all Friday night, also with a very high temperature. I knew that if I completed one-lap of my qualifying race I could, if I felt ok, try and race on Sunday, which is what I did. I gave my all in the first moto today, but I just had no power in my muscles. The track was fast and it was just too risky to continue. It’s really disappointing but I hope I can recover and be ready to finish the season with strong results in China.”
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