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Riding with a bruised heel from an injury in the Dutch Nationals last weekend, Jeffrey Herlings managed to put aside the pain and deliver two near perfect motos with his KTM 250 SX-F on the wide but challenging British track. Even though he had a difficult qualifying on Saturday, when it came to race day, he never looked threatened.
Herlings said on the morning of the races he was experiencing so much pain that he didn’t dream of such a good outcome. “But we managed to do it and turn a negative weekend into a very good one. We leave here with almost a 150-point lead and its looking very good and very steady. There’s seven rounds to go and three are in the sand, so I am looking forward to my home GPs like in Lommel and Assen.” Herlings is widely considered the finest rider in sand.
The Dutch rider, who was plagued with injury in the past two seasons, has only dropped three points since the opening round in Qatar and now has a commanding 148-lead. Dylan Ferrandis of France was overall second and Herlings’ factory teammate Pauls Jonass was overall third with a 4-3 result.
Jonass: “After yesterday’s qualifying race when we had so much bad luck I don’t think anyone thought I could be on the podium, I had the 24th gate pick so was not the best start position but still in the first race I managed to lead some laps from the start after I made a pass at the second corner. I started to ride a bit tight and Jeffrey and Ferrandis passed me. Then with three corners to go on the last lap I over-jumped and Jeremy (Seewer) went by, I got a pretty decent start in the second race and moved up to second quite quickly. Then Dylan (Ferrandis) passed me. Maybe I didn’t ride the best lines and didn’t get the best flow but I finished third. Its not so bad to be back on the podium.”
Davy Pootjes rejoined the factory team lineup after an injury lay-off and managed to finish 16th in the opening #moto, but registered a DNF in the second. Pootjes said he was quite happy with his comeback but had to find his rhythm again. “I had some problems with arm pump but I just need to feel at home on the track and that’s the most important thing at the moment.”
KTM Factory #racing Team Manager Dirk Gruebel said the start of the weekend had been difficult because of Herlings’ injury. “He was riding stiff yesterday and really cautious but he was already much better this morning. But when its race time, its typical #jeffreyherlings. He had two solid races, and was twice first for his 11th win of the season, so he was outstanding. The surprise was Pauls – a negative one in the first race because he lost some positions in the last lap. But in the second we really fired him up and gave him a different briefing on how he should handle the pressure. He got is reward because he was back on the podium.” Gruebel said it was something of a rough return to #racing for Pootjes, commenting that his riding was okay but he was prone to arm pump through lack of fitness and less riding because of his recent broken collarbone.
Despite a strong first #moto and a second place finish for the factory team’s Tony Cairoli on the KTM 450 SX-F, it turned out to be a difficult day for the two #mxgp riders. By the time they were set to race their second #moto, rain descended on the British circuit cutting visibility and throwing up nasty roost as track conditions deteriorated at the end of a busy race weekend. At the end of the day Cairoli had salvaged overall sixth after a 10th place finish in the second #moto. Teammate Glenn Coldenhoff finished 10-15 for overall 12th and in the last stages of the second #moto had to return to the pits for new goggles.
Cairoli: “This was another weekend with ups and downs. The first #moto was very good and I came from fourth to second. Then there was some bad reaction on the start and Bobryshev came all the way over to my side and closed me out, but that’s normal, that’s #racing. I came back very good and was back in the top 10 but then I cased the big quad jump, my wrist was very painful and I had to slow down for two laps. My wrist was beginning to swell but I kept riding because I need the points. Hopefully it is not too bad and we try to recover for Mantova because that’s my home GP."
Coldenhoff: “Saturday was okay. I got a bit of arm pump in qualifying but still managed to get tenth, which was good enough for a gate pick. Then in the first #moto I had a very bad start and I was pretty far back. I went quite well in the first laps and the riding felt good and I passed Nichols in the last lap for tenth. I got a better start in the second #moto but then Charlier crashed in front of me and I had to start again dead last.”
KTM Factory Junior and Spanish teenager Jorge Prado had two strong starts and kicked off his race day with a fourth place in his opening #moto, but a 13th in his second race dropped him down the order to overall seventh. Prado is currently fourth in the points, having moved up from winning the EMX125 title in 2015. The class saw a home win for British rider Steven Clarke (2-1), ahead of US rider Darian Sanayei (1-2), and point leader Thomas Kjer Olsen of Denmark.
Prado: “The first #moto felt really good actually. I took the holeshot and I led for the three laps. Then Darian passed me and in the last laps I felt a bit tired, my lap times were slower and two other riders passed me. But it was a good #moto and I think this one and France were my best so far. I was first into the corner in the second #moto but the track was really hard. I couldn’t brake well and Darian passed me again. I started to slip back, I couldn’t find the grip on the track and I had a small crash and lost positions. I think Mantova and Lommel will be good tracks for me, also I will finish my exams and I can concentrate on motocross.” Prado is still only 15.
Next Race: June 26, 2016 – Mantova (ITA)
Results #mxgp #matterleybasin 2016
1. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda (1-1)
2. Max Nagl (GER), Husqvarna (7-2)
3. Gautier Paulin (FRA), Honda (5-3)
4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS), Honda (4-5)
5. Valentin Guillod (SUI), Yamaha (3-7)
6. Tony Cairoli (ITA), #ktm (2-10)
10. Jose Butron (ESP), #ktm (13-9)
12. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED), #ktm (10-15)
Standings #mxgp 2016 after 11 of 18 rounds
1. Gajser, 482 points
2. Roman Febvre (FRA), Yamaha, 408
3. Cairoli, 403
4. Nagl, 378
5. Bobryshev, 367
8. Shaun Simpson (GBR), #ktm, 212
10. Coldenhoff, 201
Results #mx2 Matterley Basin 2016
1. #jeffreyherlings (NED), #ktm (1-1)
2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA), Kawasaki (2-2)
3. Pauls Jonass (LAT), #ktm (4-3)
4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Suzuki (3-5)
5. Max Anstie (GBR), Husqvarna (8-4)
8. Brian Bogers (NED), #ktm (10-7)
9. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP), #ktm (11-10)
19. Davy Pootjes (NED), #ktm (16-31)
Standings #mx2 2016 after 11 of 18 rounds
1. Herlings, 547 points
2. Seewer, 399
3. Jonass, 370
4. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS), Yamaha, 298
5. Benoit Paturel (FRA), Yamaha, 293
22. Pootjes, 53
Results EMX250 #matterleybasin 2016
1. Steven Clarke (GBR), Husqvarna (2-1)
2. Darian Sanayei (USA), Kawasaki (1-2)
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN), Husaqvarna (3-3)
4. Nicolas Dercourt (FRA), #ktm (5-4)
5. Ruben Fernandez (ESP), Kawasaki (9-6)
7. Jorge Pardo Garcia (ESP), #ktm (4-13)
9. Kevin Wouts (BEL), #ktm (6-17)
35. Josiah Natzke (NZL), #ktm (29-33)
Standings EMX250 2016 after 7 of 10 rounds
1. Kjer Olsen, 316 points
2. Sanayei, 260
3. Bas Vaessen (NED), Suzuki, 191
4. Prado, 183
5. Anton Gole (SWE), Husqvarna, 175
6. Wouts, 175
8. Nicoulas Dercourt (FRA), #ktm, 164
9. Miro Sihvonen (FIN), #ktm, 136
30. Natzke, 22
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