From the first race of MX2 to the final race of MXGP the racing was incredible and challenged the world’s best riders. The MX2 title chase is now even with both Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders Pauls Jonass and Jorge Prado tied at 550 points, while the fights in MXGP continue with new faces battling for wins!
The competitors in the 2018 MXGP World Championship are as tough as nails or in Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings case tough as the plate and screws of his recently fractured collar bone. Herlings came into the Indonesian trip unsure of his situation but by the end has come away with 97 championship points of the 100 available.
At the drop of the gate for MXGP Race 1 Herlings was the fastest to the first turn but lost the Fox Holeshot and lead when he bobbled on the exit of the corner. Taking over the lead position and the Fox Holeshot was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin in 3rd and Monster Energy Kawasaki Factory Racing’s Clement Desalle in 4th.
The opening lap action continued with Team HRC’s Tim Gajser making his way to third and second in front of Herlings briefly. Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Julien Lieber collided on the uphill triple which sent Seewer tumbling, neither rider was injured but Seewer did not rejoin the race.
Herlings struggled to keep momentum at the start of the race and was passed by both Gajser and Paulin on lap 2 with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre closing in as well. Cairoli’s lead was then taken by Gajser and Febvre was past Herlings who was immediately under pressure from Desalle.
Febvre and his fellow frenchman, Paulin, kicked off a battle for third swapping positions all in front of Herlings. Herlings took advantage of the battle and was into 4th past Paulin. Desalle then banged bars with Paulin eventually finding a way by the Frenchman.
Herlings made a move around the outside of Febvre and was then past Cairoli in the same lap. From that point Herlings gained time on Gajser and made a pass lap 13 just before Febvre crashed out of 4th. At the finish Herlings took the win with Gajser 2nd and Cairoli 3rd.
Race 2 was started with a second Fox Holeshot from Cairoli with Herlings, Desalle, and Seewer alongside. Febvre was back for Race 2 but fell on the start and had to fight back from dead last. Cairoli’s good start was short lived when he dropped 5 position in the first 3 turns back to 6th. Desalle was in the lead next but Herlings took it away in before the first lap was complete.
Cairoli lost more positions early in the race to Lieber and TM Factory Racing’s Max Nagl. Back at the front Desalle was charging to insides of Herlings and showing the red plate holder a wheel as Paulin crashed while under pressure from Lieber.
Seewer was also riding well and up in 4th while Cairoli made a pair of passes to take back fifth from Nagl and Lieber. On lap 13 Seewer would also lose his position to Cairoli whose forward progress wouldn’t be enough to catch Gajser in 3rd.
At the finish Herlings took his 2nd race win of the day with Desalle 2nd, Gajser 3rd, Cairoli 4th, and Seewer 5th. In the overall result Herlings took the clear win with 1-1, Gajser took 2nd with 2-3, and Desalle returned to the podium for the first time since winning the MXGP of Russia with 4-2 for 3rd.
“I don’t think we could have dreamt of these results. We came to Indonesia totally unprepared but to go 2-1 last week and then even better today – with the Qualification Heat and both motos – is absolutely awesome. We couldn’t have wished for anything better. This is not the ‘normal’ Jeffrey Herling yet but to leave Indonesia with two GP wins is a blessing. Red Bull KTM have done such an incredible job and I loved spending all this time with them. The team gave me a perfect bike and I would not be winning without them. I’m now looking forward to Loket in two weeks time. It is not my favourite track but the goal will be as many points as possible.”
“It feels good to be on the podium again. Today I felt quite good on the bike. The first race was amazing: the speed was good and I managed to stay in the lead for many laps. In the end I was passed by Jeffrey but I was able to stay with him and tried to get back to first place, but it was too late. My start to the second race was not the best, but came through the pack and made a couple of passes and pushing towards the front, too. I made a couple of mistakes in the central part of the race and lost touch with Jeffrey and Clement. Third place was enough to get second overall, so I’m happy to leave Indonesia with a second-place finish. I would like to thank the team for their hard work and look forward to the next round at Loket!”
Clement Desalle – 3rd Overall
“It feels so good to be back on the podium after being so many times fourth or fifth in recent GPs, particularly as sometimes I had scored the same points as the third place on the podium! I had two consistent motos today after two good starts. In the first race I lost several positions when I went wide at the third corner, but I could recover to fourth at the finish; then I took the lead before the second corner in the second moto to finish second after a strong ride. My speed was much better than yesterday; we worked on some points last night and I’m happy with my work especially in the second moto. Now the goal is to score more podiums in the coming weeks. But first I will be so happy to see my family again after nearly two weeks away.”
Tony Cairoli – 4th Overall
“I was very worried this week because I had a lot of pain and until Friday I could barely ride around on a scooter! I tried on Wednesday and it was so painful so I knew it would be hard to race, especially at this hard-pack track that is so tough on the landings. On Saturday it was almost impossible to ride without painkillers and for Sunday we decided to have an injection. The pain slowed a little bit but only for 15-20 minutes. The first moto was good actually; third place and I didn’t expect that I could be top five with this problem. It was a surprise. I had a good start in the second moto but was pushed a little bit wide by Jeffrey on the first corner and we both lost the lead as we were 1-2. I made another mistake on the jump, came short and hurt the thumb again so I dropped back to ninth and I knew I needed to regroup. In the end fourth was good and just one point from the podium. We know we have lost some points for the championship but there are still a lot of GPs to come.”
Tommy Searle – 5th Overall
“I’m happy with today! I knew I could be fast even though I didn’t have a good gate pick and I knew it would be a hard day but I stayed positive and pushed through the pack in both races for fifth overall. I was very fast in the first race, posting the third fastest lap of the race on the very last lap! It wasn’t easy with many riders to pass in both races but both the bike and my fitness felt great.”
Todd Waters – 12-16
“It was another difficult day for me as unfortunately my health did not improve during the night. I did all my best out there but I was obviously lacking strength, and I was not already on top of my game after making a late season debut and injuring my collarbone in Latvia. We are now going back to Europe and we’ll have a few days to recover and then get ready for the next round, where hopefully I will be able to step up my game.”
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 33:54.179;
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:01.786
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:13.879
Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:17.519
Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:20.604
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:22.007
Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:35.278
Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:49.077
Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:59.110
Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +1:24.278
…12. Todd Waters (HON, AUS)
…14. Lewis Stewart (HUS, AUS)
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:21.626
Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:05.537
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:11.311
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:18.393
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:21.214
Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:25.998
Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:27.988
Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:29.546
Maximilian Nagl (GER, TM), +0:32.666
Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:40.658
…16. Todd Waters (HON, AUS)
…18. Lewis Stewart (HUS, AUS)
MXGP Overall Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 42
Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 40
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 38
Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 28
Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 27
Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KAW), 26
Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 26
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 23
Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 17
…13. Todd Waters (HON, AUS)
…18. Lewis Stewart (HUS, AUS)
MXGP Championship Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 583 points
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 559
Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 447
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 410
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 400
Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 389
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 329
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 295
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 280
Maximilian Nagl (GER, TM), 227
…26. Todd Waters (HON, AUS)
The MX2 Championship fight is in full force after today’s MXGP of Asia in Semarang. Race one began with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado taking the Fox Holeshot ahead of his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate Pauls Jonass.
Jonass had Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen just to his inside down the Pit Lane straight after the start and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Thomas Kjer Olsen to his outside. Vlaanderen grabbed a handful of front brake on the entry to the next turn resulting in him going down and just moments later Olsen was down.
For Olsen his crash came from landing short on the next jump and he took out his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing teammate Thomas Covington in the process.
With some room to breathe early Jonass pushed to pass Prado but then fell himself after losing the front end. Quick to get up Jonass was still second ahead of Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team’s Ben Watson and Yamaha SM Action M.C. – Migliori’s Michele Cervellin. F&H Racing Team’s Adam Sterry was in 5th with Honda 114 Motorsport’s Bas Vaessen giving chase.
Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team’s Anthony Rodriguez passed Vaessen on lap 3 and then got by Sterry on lap 6 for 5th. Vaessen continued to push but had a big crash just before the downhill triple and was slow to get going again before eventually pulling off the track.
Back at the front Jonass had again caught Prado with the help of lapped riders and mistakes from the Spaniard. Jonass made the impressive pass for the lead on lap 9 and then started to pull away. A few spots further back Rodriguez was searching for a way into 4th and eventually took the spot from Cervellin.
Also making big passes to finish the race was Vlaanderen who came back from last to finish 5th ahead of Cervellin and Covington. Winning the race was Jonass with Prado 2nd and Watson 3rd followed by his teammate Rodriguez in 4th.
Race 2 was off to another wild start with Jonass crashing in the first turn while Prado took the Fox Holeshot and lead. Vlaanderen had another strong jump off of the grid and kept the mistakes to a minimum in 2nd. Covington also rebounded from the bad luck of race 1 and found himself 3rd on the first laps followed by Watson and Olsen.
4 laps into the race Covington took 2nd from Vlaanderen, Jonass was up to 10th and Olsen made a pass on Watson for 4th on lap 5. Prado was able to manage his lead well as every time Covington gained ground Prado responded.
The top 5 remained unchanged for the next 10 laps until Vlaanderen made charge with 2 laps to go and reclaimed 2nd from Covington. In the meantime Jonass had clawed his way back to 6th in a massive effort. Crossing the finish first was Prado with Vlaanderen, Covington, Olsen, and Watson finishing out the top 5.
On the overall podium it was Prado by 7 points over Jonass and 9 ahead of Vlaanderen. Prado’s effort has tied the MX2 Championship standings at 550 points for both himself and Jonass. Jonass will however maintain the red plate with more race wins as the series heads to Loket for the MXGP of Czech Republic in 2 week time.
Aussie Jy Roberts went 12-15.
“I had a great weekend. The track looked really good when we arrived on Friday and I thought this would be a decent place for me, even if the dirt is not the best for my riding style. I really enjoyed it and I’m happy with the overall win and to level with Pauls on points; I could not wish for a better weekend.”
“This GP was much better than the last so I cannot be too disappointed as I tried my best and just had some bad luck at the beginning of the second moto. The speed and the fitness was there as was my feeling on the track. I’m really looking forward to get back to Europe. It has been a long week and I want to get back to a normal training programme and focus on making some more points again in the championship and to get that gap again.”
“It feels great to be on the podium again and go back to back. I had a good day and overall I’m happy. My mechanic showed me 3 laps to go in race 2 and that’s when I took a deep breath, pushed the last few laps to make a pass and thats what happened.”
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 34:59.013
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:04.137
Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:22.101
Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Yamaha), +0:41.937
Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:43.971
Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:44.344
Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:57.170
Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:03.984
Brent Van doninck (BEL, Husqvarna), +1:14.133
Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +1:23.303
…12. Jy Roberts (HUS, AUS)
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35:13.784
Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:02.931
Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:05.084
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:21.652
Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:28.770
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:40.860
Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Yamaha), +0:50.117
Bas Vaessen (NED, Honda), +1:13.213
Brent Van doninck (BEL, Husqvarna), +1:19.115
Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:28.895
…15. Jy Roberts (HUS, AUS)
MX2 Overall Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 47 points
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 40
Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 38
Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 36
Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 34
Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, YAM), 32
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 28
Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 25
Brent Van doninck (BEL, HUS), 24
Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 24
…14. Jy Roberts (HUS, AUS)
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