Jeffrey Herlings claims MXGP Championship in the Netherlands

Jorge Prado tops MX2 for victory

Hunter Lawrence goes 6-10 in MX2

Jett Lawrence clean sweeps EMX250 races

Thibault Benistant wins EMX125 Championship


The FIM Motocross World Championship has crowned Jeffrey Herlings the 2018 MXGP Champion and overall winner in Assen, with Jorge Prado topping the MX2, with KTM to win both MXGP and MX2 classes for the 2018 season.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Jeffrey Herlings RA
Jeffrey Herlings – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands – Image by Ray Archer

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings has been impeccable this season and after 19 Grands Prix (of which he contested 18) and 36 motos, Herlings has won 16 and 31 respectively and never finished lower than third in those 36 starts.

He has dropped only 17 points all season and boasts a 100 per cent podium record in just his second season in the category.

Jeffrey Herlings

“It has been an amazing day and it was a blessing to be in my shoes. Everyone had been saying ‘enjoy the day’ but it just ‘went’! To do this in front of my home crowd here at the TT Circuit Assen is amazing: a special day and it was nice to do it in style. I pretty much led the whole of the first moto and then in between races it was hard to stay focussed because there are many friends, family, sponsors who want to congratulate you and I couldn’t really do my normal routine! I tried to pass Glenn in the second moto but went down and had to pick up from tenth position and then work to get back to the lead. I managed to get little gap over Tony. It was a great day and it has been a special year. I have to give it up to Red Bull KTM; we’ve been together through this all the way so a big thanks to all the team and all the guys at the factory. Going 1-1, winning the championship, home crowd: enough said.”

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Jeffrey Herlings RA
Jeffrey Herlings – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands – Image by Ray Archer

The European Championships of EMX125 and EMX250 added to massive racing event. Jett Lawrence and Raivo Dankers took advantage of their final opportunities of the season and claimed the respective overall wins in Assen.

The final rounds of the 2018 season for both European Championship classes provided great racing in front of a massive crowd over the pair of Dutch race days. While the EMX250 Champion Mathys Boisrame was crowned at the penultimate round of Bulgaria weeks ago the EMX125 title was yet to be decided. This weekend not only crowned Yamaha Europe EMX125’s Thibault Benistant the new 125 champion but also sealed the championship result of both classes for the entire field.


MXGP Race 1

Coming into race 1 Herlings needed to finish 16th or higher to clinch the title but off the gate his rival Antonio Cairoli took the FOX Holeshot. A test of Herlings’ mentality ensued and even with the option to let Cairoli get away, the Dutchman pushed forward.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Jeffrey Herlings Antonio Cairoli
Jeffrey Herlings and Antonio Cairoli – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

Giving chase to the two leaders was Glenn Coldenhoff. The second Dutch rider in the top three brought the crowd to their feet with the pressure of Max Anstie bearing down on the #259.

Massive roars from the crowd were common but none matched the magnitude of those heard as Herlings took the lead away from Cairoli. Cairoli fought back immediately along the roller straight next to the grandstands but Herlings maintained the position.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Tony Cairoli RA
Antonio Cairoli – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands – Image by Ray Archer

Lap after lap Herlings grew his lead over Cairoli while the Italian did the same to the rest of the field. Meanwhile Coldenhoff was still under pressure from Anstie for third and on lap 8 the Brit was finally past after a crash from the Dutchman. Also taking advantage of the misfortune for Coldenhoff was Tim Gajser who moved from 5th to 4th.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Glenn Coldenhoff RA
Glenn Coldenhoff – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands – Image by Ray Archer

A strong start from Shaun Simpson positioned him 7th for the first 2 laps before gaining a spot on Julien Lieber. Simpson was finished the race 6th as Herlings took an emotion charged and dominate race win lapping up to 7th position and earning him the title of MXGP World Champion for the first time in his career.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Anstie
Max Anstie – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

The celebrations started immediately for Herlings who joined his team, family, and friends while Cairoli took second and Anstie third.

MXGP Race 1 Top Ten

  1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:42.385
  2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:38.961
  3. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:08.037
  4. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:10.886
  5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:11.149
  6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:18.646
  7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s)
  8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), -1 lap(s)
  9. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s)
  10. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s)

MXGP Race 2

MXGP Race 2 came just two hours later and Herlings lined back up with the new number 1 plate. The Dutch crowd were again full of vigor as Coldenhoff took the Fox Holeshot. Herlings ran second while Cairoli was 5th but the Italian jumped to third by the second straight.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Glenn Coldenhoff RA
MXGP Start – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands – Image by Ray Archer

Herlings then made a rare mistake and fell while in pursuit of Coldenhoff for the lead. The fall dropped Herlings to sixth behind Anstie but only briefly as he jumped long to get by the Brit. Next on the running order for Herlings was Gajser but Cairoli was making successful moves for the lead on Coldenhoff. With Cairoli in the lead Herlings quickly dispatched both Gajser and Coldenhoff to reclaim 2nd. Anstie also moved by Gajser and closed on Coldenhoff the following laps.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Gajser
Tim Gajser – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

Herlings then lined up Cairoli for a pass but the Sicilian responded well to keep the new World Champion at bay. Not long after the pass attempt for Herlings lapped riders and bad line choice from Cairoli allowed the Dutchman into the lead.

At the finish it was a massive victory for Herlings ahead of Cairoli, Coldenhoff, and Anstie. In the Overall standings it was a clear victory and strong finish to a perfect weekend for Herlings with Cairoli second and Anstie third.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Jeffrey Herlings RA
Jeffrey Herlings – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands – Image by Ray Archer
Antonio Cairoli – P2

“I feel good. It has been a long season and many things happened. At the beginning I was good and very prepared but in the last part I made a lot of mistakes and also mentally I was going up and down with some crashes, mistake and this-and-that. No complaints, like Jeffrey said he won 16 races from 19, so he was the fastest and the strongest all the time. We have to work if we want to keep with him and it’s an honour to finish behind Jeffrey because he is the fastest rider in the world at the moment; I didn’t finish second to a slow guy. I know I can still be competitive and have to work a bit harder to be strong the whole race but it is a nice challenge. Thanks to Red Bull KTM for making all this happen and being 1-2 in the championship again. We’ll see for the next two races. For sure Italy in a couple of weeks will be very busy for me and then the Motocross of Nations also. There was an incredible crowd here and it was good for the sport.”

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Tony Cairoli RA
Antonio Cairoli – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands
Max Anstie – P3

“I’ve been working hard during the last few GPs to get to the point where I am right now and it feels good to be able to battle for the podium. I’m feeling better and better. I’ve had some good races and some not so good races over the last couple of months but now it seems that everything comes together and I am able to show my speed. This weekend I had some good battles and one of them was with Glenn [Coldenhoff] for third in the last moto. At first I didn’t know if I had to beat him to get on the podium or not, so I was doing my best to make this pass. Once my pit crew told me that fourth was enough to get that podium result, I was able to relax and ride my own pace. It feels nice to be up on the box in this tough category.”

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Anstie
Max Anstie – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

MXGP Race 2 Top Ten

  1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:57.897
  2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:07.631
  3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:40.172
  4. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:41.933
  5. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:12.454
  6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:27.244
  7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:44.321
  8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:53.877
  9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), -1 lap(s)
  10. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s)
MXGP Rnd Netherlands MXGP Podium
MXGP Podium 1. Jeffrey Herlings, 2. Antonio Cairoli, 3. Max Anstie – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands – Image by Ray Archer

MXGP Overall Top Ten

  1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points
  2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 44
  3. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 38
  4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 36
  5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 34
  6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM), 30
  7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 27
  8. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 26
  9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 23
  10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 22

MXGP Championship Top Ten

  1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 883 points
  2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 782
  3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 645
  4. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 625
  5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 544
  6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 541
  7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 511
  8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 445
  9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 404
  10. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 366

MX2 Race 1

The MX2 Championship coming into Assen was separated at the front by 24 points between Jorge Prado and Pauls Jonass, while the Qualifying Race gave Prado the advantage with pole position.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Covington Start
MX2 Start – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

The first gate pick took Prado to his 24th Fox Holeshot of the year while Jonass crashed in the first turn, Prado then had the lead stolen away by Hunter Lawrence just before the waves on the opening lap and then came under pressure from Thomas Covington.

Meanwhile Covington’s teammate Thomas Kjer Olsen fought over 4th with Ben Watson. The Dane of Olsen took the spot and then moved on to catch Covington.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Jorge Prado RA
Jorge Prado – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands – Image by Ray Archer

Prado then took the lead from Lawrence in a switchback section by going inside to inside as opposed to the outside inside approach of the Australian. Lawrence then fell out a second time a couple of laps later which moved Covington and Olsen forward to second and third.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Thomas Covington
Thomas Covington – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

Jonass was pushing his way through the field up into the top ten from the first turn crash. Covington lost 2nd to Olsen and then nearly lost 3rd to Lawrence but another mistake from the Australian gave Covington breathing room. Jonass eventually made it up to 8th after passing Conrad Mewse while Prado took the win with Olsen 2nd and Covington 3rd.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Thomas Kjer Olsen
Thomas Kjer Olsen – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

MX2 Race 1 Top Ten

  1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 34:14.374
  2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:06.207
  3. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:10.027
  4. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:12.331
  5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:23.068
  6. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:29.770
  7. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:36.515
  8. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:36.858
  9. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:38.351
  10. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:43.764

MX2 Race 2

MX2 Race 2 started in the same order for the top three as Race 1 finished with Prado scoring Fox Holeshot number 25 ahead of Olsen and Covington. Calvin Vlaanderen had the Dutch crowd behind him as he passed Covington for third along the tribune and again several laps later as he took second from Olsen.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Covington Start
MX2 Start – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

Watson passed Jonass for 5th and held the position for 5 laps before the Latvian was back past. Jonass was unable to leave the #919 behind however and Watson made a pass stick with 3 laps to go. A lap prior to Watson’s pass Covington took over 3rd from Olsen after a mistake sent the Dane down.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Covington
Thomas Covington – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

At the finish Prado took his second race win of the day with Vlaanderen second, Covington third, Olsen 4th, and Watson 5th. The overall result had Prado on top with 50 points while Covington took second and Olsen third making it the second consecutive MX2 round that Husqvarna has both factory riders on the podium.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Pauls Jonass RA
Pauls Jonass – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands – Image by Ray Archer
Jorge Prado – P1

“First of all congrats to Jeffrey, he did a great job this season. My weekend went pretty well and the Qualification Heat win gave me some good confidence. Two moto wins: it was a good day. I’ve always done quite well here and have always been on the podium. I think the track just suits my style of riding and I had good starts, which meant I could enjoy myself. I think I only need to finish 15-16th for the title now but I don’t want to finish 15th-16th! I will try to do my best as always. I have been working hard all season and will keep on doing the same in the last round.”

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Jorge Prado
Jorge Prado – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands – Image by Ray Archer
Thomas Covington – P2

“The weekend didn’t start that well but I managed to turn things around. I had a crash in the Qualifying Race and put a hole on my radiator, so I was not able to finish the race. I had to start both final motos from the complete outside and with the way the starting gates are angled it seemed kind of impossible to get a good start. Nevertheless, I did my best out of the gates in both motos and got some good speed to be inside the top three in the first corner. After that, I did my best to keep it on two wheels. The track has been really sketchy over the weekend and it was crucial to stay out of trouble. I felt like I rode a little bit on the safe side in moto one, but then in the second moto I had to dig deep. It’s good to have the whole Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team up on the podium this weekend.”

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Covington
Thomas Covington – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands
Thomas Kjer Olsen – P3

“My riding was good over the weekend. I had a good feeling in both motos, but I made a small mistake in the final race and had a fall. I wasn’t satisfied with my performance during the Qualifying Race, but I knew that once the racing got started I could be up front and battle. I got two good starts and felt that I was riding great. I am happy to be back on the podium for the second GP in a row. I’m happy about my weekend here in The Netherlands and our eyes are now set to the big final in Italy in two weeks time.”

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Kjer Olsen
Thomas Kjer Olsen – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands
Pauls Jonass – P6

“Normally I like sand a lot but since I had the crash in Turkey with Jorge I damaged the ligaments in my knee and in the last two weeks I couldn’t do much. I think I went cycling three times and tried to ride once but couldn’t do anything. Today it was not too bad because I took some painkillers but I didn’t have much strength in my legs. After two weeks lying on the couch I knew I wouldn’t be able to do much: it is difficult to get into good shape but it is so easy to lose it! It is disappointing and upsetting to lose points. Jorge just needs four now…but it is still not over until it’s over.”

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Pauls Jonass RA
Pauls Jonass – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands – Image by Ray Archer

Lawrence can also feel disappointed because the Australian rider actually led the first moto after making the pass for the lead on the fourth corner. Unfortunately a few laps later he misjudged the treacherous track surface and crashed, eventually finishing the race in sixth place. Another good start on board his CRF250R in the second race gave him a great chance to redeem himself but a mistake in turn two dropped him down the field and any chance of a podium went with it.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Lawrence
Hunter Lawrence – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands
Hunter Lawrence – P8

“My speed was a lot better than the last sand race in Lommel, but the results really don’t do my riding level justice. We were second in timed qualifying but I couldn’t capitalise on that because I got caught up in a first turn crash. I got back up to ninth and felt good about my riding. And then today, I was third in warm-up and then the first moto started off really good. I got an awesome start on my Honda CRF250R, ending up second around the second corner and then on the fourth turned I made the pass for the lead. I was leading for the first few laps and that was great but I chose a bad line and got passed and then when I pushed to try and get back past him, I made a mistake and that cost me. The second moto I made another stupid mistake in the second corner and another great start and that meant I had no chance of a good result overall. It’s disappointing but I’m keeping my head up for the final round where hopefully the results will be much better.”

MXGP Rnd Netherlands Lawrence
Hunter Lawrence – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten

  1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 34:24.408
  2. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:07.591
  3. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:15.909
  4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:18.212
  5. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:19.609
  6. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:26.899
  7. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:42.290
  8. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:48.350
  9. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:50.004
  10. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:51.541
MX2 Overall Top Ten
  1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 50 points
  2. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 40
  3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 40
  4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 38
  5. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 34
  6. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 28
  7. Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 28
  8. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 26
  9. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 24
  10. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 20
MXGP Rnd Netherlands MX Podium
MX2 Podium 1. Jorge Prado, 2. Pauls Jonass, 3. Thomas Kjer Olsen – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

MX2 Championship Top Ten

  1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 823 points
  2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 777
  3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 633
  4. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 585
  5. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 565
  6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 521
  7. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 366
  8. Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 365
  9. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 331
  10. Henry Jacobi (GER, HUS), 311

EMX250

The previous round of the EMX250 Championship in Bulgaria crowned Mathys Boisrame 2018 champion a few weeks ago leaving the weekend open for others to take the final win of the season.

The finale was taken advantage of first by Dylan Walsh but Jett Lawrence took the spot by the end of the first lap. Tom Vialle then took the lead from Lawrence before Walsh went out with a mechanical issue.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands LAWRENCE I MOTOCROSS GP NED
Jett Lawrence – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

Several riders were swallowed up by the technical sand such as Gianluca Facchetti and Brian Moreau. Kevin Horgmo took third position from Jeremy Sydow while Lawrence reclaimed the lead and won the race by 13 seconds. Taking second was Vialle followed by Horgmo and Sydow while the series champion, Boisrame, finished 19th.

Lawrence took the lead and held on to it until the finish under the watchful eye of Horgmo who ran 2nd the entire race as well. Vialle was again riding strong in 3rd but a mistake dropped him to 9th.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands BOISRAME I
Mathys Boisrame – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

The 3rd place spot of Vialle was then given to Steven Clarke ahead of Walsh in 4th. Gold plate holder Boisrame had a much better race 2 with a top ten start he moved from 9th all the way up to 4th past Freek van der Vlist.

At the finish double race wins gave Jett Lawrence his first EMX250 Overall win ahead of Horgmo and Clarke. In the overall top three Lawrence and Horgmo again took the top two spots but Vialle took 3rd with his 2-7 finishes.

EMX250 Race 1 Top 10

  1. Jett Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), 29:59.962
  2. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:13.121
  3. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), +0:19.664
  4. Jeremy Sydow (GER, KTM), +0:20.825
  5. Alberto Forato (ITA, Honda), +0:22.458
  6. Erik Willems (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:30.519
  7. Todd Kellett (GBR, KTM), +0:33.302
  8. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:35.824
  9. Caleb Grothues (AUS, Yamaha), +0:43.782
  10. Josiah Natzke (NZL, Honda), +0:46.647

EMX250 Race 2 Top 10

  1. Jett Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), 29:48.870
  2. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), +0:02.580
  3. Steven Clarke (GBR, Honda), +0:54.657
  4. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Honda), +0:57.423
  5. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:59.377
  6. Freek van der Vlist (NED, Honda), +1:07.073
  7. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +1:08.327
  8. Martin Barr (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:09.381
  9. Caleb Grothues (AUS, Yamaha), +1:10.155
  10. Mel Pocock (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:11.486
MXGP Rnd Netherlands Boisrame
Mathys Boisrame – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

EMX250 Overall Top 10

  1. Jett Lawrence (AUS, SUZ), 50 points
  2. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), 42
  3. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 36
  4. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, HUS), 29
  5. Caleb Grothues (AUS, YAM), 24
  6. Todd Kellett (GBR, KTM), 22
  7. Alberto Forato (ITA, HON), 22
  8. Steven Clarke (GBR, HON), 21
  9. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, HON), 20
  10. Martin Barr (GBR, HUS), 20

EMX250 Championship Top 10

  1. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, HON), 366 points
  2. Mel Pocock (GBR, HUS), 312
  3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, YAM), 274
  4. Martin Barr (GBR, HUS), 273
  5. Steven Clarke (GBR, HON), 264
  6. Dylan Walsh (NZL, HUS), 239
  7. Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, KAW), 237
  8. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 227
  9. Pierre Goupillon (FRA, KAW), 205
  10. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), 191

EMX125

Two days of racing scheduled Race 1 of EMX125 as the first EMX event Saturday morning and all eyes were on Thibault Benistant and Mattia Guadagnini. The red plate holder Benistant came into the race with the chance to become Europe Champion and Guadagnini was the only one who could potential spoil the party.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands START SUN
EMX125 Start – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

When the racing kicked off however it was neither Benistant or Guadagini in the lead, it was instead Kjell Verbruggen. Guadagnini was all the way back in 14th on the first lap while Benistant was well outside the points scoring positions in 26th. The poor starts combined with the challenging sand of Assen created a massive amount of work for the Frenchman and the Italian.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands BENISTANT
Mattia Benistant – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

Benistant moved his way forward but so too did Guadagnini. Guadagnini made it up to 7th after his 14th place start and Benistant went from 26th to 17th but fell on the last lap still finishing 20th position for a single championship point.

The single point however was the only one needed to give the 26-point gap required to clinch his first ever European championship title in dramatic fashion. Verbruggen won the race with Filip Olsson 2nd, Rick Elzinga 3rd, Raivo Dankers 4th, and Mario Lucas Sanz in 5th.

MXGP Rnd Netherlands DANKERS
Ravio Dankers – MXGP 2018 The Netherlands

Race 2 started off with yesterday’s 4th place finisher Dankers in the lead with Matias Versterinen chasing along with Florian Miot. Versterinen held a strong second as Dankers was long gone for 12 laps but on the 13th both Miot and Elzinga went past to take over 2nd and 3rd. The new champion, Benistant, started race 2 in 16th and quickly worked his way through the field to 8th were he slotted in behind Guadagnini.

At the Finish it was a race and overall win for Dankers with Miot second, and Elzinga 3rd. The Overall podium led by Dankers was completed by Elzinga with his 3-3 finishes and Verbruggen with his win in race 1 and 6th in race 2.

EMX125 Race 1 Top 10

  1. Kjell Verbruggen (NED, KTM), 29:52.376
  2. Filip Olsson (SWE, Husqvarna), +0:01.008
  3. Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:18.741
  4. Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), +0:34.695
  5. Mario Lucas Sanz (ESP, KTM), +0:50.480
  6. Mike Gwerder (SUI, KTM), +0:54.219
  7. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:55.047
  8. Lion Florian (GER, KTM), +0:57.676
  9. Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), +0:59.916
  10. Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +1:07.566

EMX125 Race 2 Top 10

  1. Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), 30:11.381
  2. Florian Miot (FRA, KTM), +0:13.746
  3. Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:17.612
  4. Matias Vesterinen (FIN, KTM), +0:28.880
  5. Raf Meuwissen (NED, KTM), +0:33.604
  6. Kjell Verbruggen (NED, KTM), +0:33.654
  7. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:47.227
  8. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:55.572
  9. Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), +1:00.850
  10. Lion Florian (GER, KTM), +1:03.262

EMX125 Overall Top 10

  1. Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), 43 points
  2. Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 40
  3. Kjell Verbruggen (NED, KTM), 40
  4. Florian Miot (FRA, KTM), 29
  5. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 28
  6. Lion Florian (GER, KTM), 24
  7. Mario Lucas Sanz (ESP, KTM), 24
  8. Filip Olsson (SWE, HUS), 22
  9. Raf Meuwissen (NED, KTM), 21
  10. Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), 21

EMX125 Championship Top 10

  1. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 249 points
  2. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 224
  3. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 202
  4. Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), 194
  5. Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), 189
  6. Petr Polak (CZE, KTM), 186
  7. Filip Olsson (SWE, HUS), 156
  8. Emil Weckman (FIN, KTM), 150
  9. Lion Florian (GER, KTM), 145
  10. Raf Meuwissen (NED, KTM), 141

WMX Race 1

The women of motocross made the trip to Assen this weekend for the penultimate round of the 2018 FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship. Just as the MXGP and MX2 World Championships are finishing out the season with the final two rounds of the Netherlands and Italy so are the women. Taking her first overall victory of the 2018 season via double race wins today was Kiara Fontanesi.

In the days prior to the event Yamaha announced that the Red Plate holder Courtney Duncan would miss the remainder of the championship with injury. While the news was not what anyone wanted to hear, it did give a new outlook to the championship.

Race 1 took place Saturday morning and tested each of the riders on track with the rough and sandy conditions. The early lead went to Germany’s Larissa Papenmeier with Stephanie Laier 2nd and Fontanesi 3rd.

Fontanesi quickly got by Laier and then took over the lead from Papenmeier after the German fell on lap 5. Papenmeier got back up in 9th and worked her way forward to 6th by the finish. Fontanesi managed to ride a crash free race and take the win after struggling here the past several years. Taking second was Laier as Nancy van de Ven took 3rd in front of her home crowd.

WMX Race 1 Top Ten

  1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), 25:21.346
  2. Stephanie Laier (GER, KTM), +0:01.524
  3. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:12.250
  4. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), +0:14.668
  5. Natalie Kane (IRL, Honda), +0:37.076
  6. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Suzuki), +0:51.221
  7. Line Dam (DEN, Honda), +0:59.770
  8. Shana vander Vlist (NED, KTM), +1:10.008
  9. Avrie Berry (USA, KTM), +1:18.956
  10. Lynn Valk (NED, Yamaha), +1:45.216

WMX Race 2

Race 2 was again led by Papenmier off of the start with KTM Silver Action’s Amandine Verstappen in second, Laier 3rd, and Fontanesi chasing the group in 4th. Papenmeier’s strong start and lead was under pressure from the hard charging Verstappen.

Papenmeier held off the Belgian at first but then both her and Verstappen were passed by Fontanesi at the end of the finish straight. 2 laps later Papenmeier fell and again dropped a hand full of spots for the second day in a row.

Taking over second was Van de ven after passing Verstappen on the same lap. Fontanesi was too far ahead though. The #8 took the win while 2nd in the race and overall was Nancy van de Ven as Verstappen took third in the race and 4th overall leaving the final overall podium spot to Laier.

Fontanesi’s strong finish and consistent weekend allowed her to not only claim the win and overall but also the championship leaders red plate before heading into her home round and season finale at Imola in 2-week time.

WMX Race 2 Top Ten

  1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), 25:00.293
  2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:06.534
  3. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), +0:11.180
  4. Stephanie Laier (GER, KTM), +0:13.730
  5. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), +0:34.684
  6. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Suzuki), +0:40.534
  7. Line Dam (DEN, Honda), +0:49.130
  8. Lynn Valk (NED, Yamaha), +0:56.684
  9. Avrie Berry (USA, KTM), +1:04.307
  10. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), +1:45.727

WMX Overall Top Ten

  1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, YAM), 50 points
  2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 42
  3. Stephanie Laier (GER, KTM), 40
  4. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), 38
  5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 30
  6. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), 29
  7. Line Dam (DEN, HON), 28
  8. Lynn Valk (NED, YAM), 24
  9. Avrie Berry (USA, KTM), 24
  10. Natalie Kane (IRL, HON), 23

WMX Championship Top Ten

  1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, YAM), 213 points
  2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 205
  3. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 191
  4. Courtney Duncan (NZL, YAM), 184
  5. Stephanie Laier (GER, KTM), 152
  6. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), 146
  7. Natalie Kane (IRL, HON), 132
  8. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), 122
  9. Line Dam (DEN, HON), 90
  10. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 86

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