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Jeffrey Herlings delivered a stunning display of skill on his KTM 250 SX-F machine in both motos. He launched his attack with style and ease, and in both motos registered a faster lap time than Tim Gajser, the winner in the #mxgp class. The fact that the track was difficult and gnarly, and pitted with deep ruts by the end of the race weekend seemed to mean nothing to the Dutch rider. He was simply in a class of his own.
Herlings: “We made a very good weekend. We were fastest in the time practice and although I had a bad start in the qualifying I managed to work my way to the front for the win to have a good gate pick for today. I had an average start in the first #moto but I was in the lead after 10 minutes and won the race by around 30 seconds. Then I was second at the start of the second #moto but I was in the lead after two turns and from then on we dominated.” Herlings added that his fitness level and the amount of training were his best weapons against the heat.
KTM rider and fellow Dutchman Brian Bogers had a career best overall second with a 2-3 #moto result and Dylan Ferrandis completed the podium. Red Bull #ktm factory rider Pauls Jonass made an impressive comeback in the second #moto to finish in second behind Herlings, but his 10th place finish in the first put him at fifth overall. The team’s rookie, Davy Pootjes (NED), had a strong start in the opening #moto and went on to finish eighth. He then had a DNF in the second for overall 13th.
Jonass: “Today I had a pretty okay start in the first race then a rider crashed in front of me in the second corner and I had nowhere to go. I crashed into him and had to start again from last and went on to finish tenth. I got a better start in the second race and I think I was fourth in the first laps. I quickly came back to second and went on to finish in second. I got some good points so that’s a good way to go into a three-week break.”
Pootjes admitted that he had suffered under the heat, especially in the second #moto where he was dizzy and had to pull out of the race. He is also still recovering fitness after recent injuries. “I rode the whole first #moto in fifth although I dropped back to eighth at the end. But I’m happy with my riding. I just need more bike time after all my injuries and to be fit again.”
Herlings has accrued 597 points, a 169-point advantage over second placed Jeremy Seewer. #paulsjonass is in third place in the points.
While championship leader Gajser was again the overall winner in the #mxgp class it was the riding of Tony Cairoli in the second #moto that lit up the circuit and had his army of local Italian fans on their feet. Carrying a hand injury that required pain-killing injections, Cairoli fought back to sixth in his first race after difficulties at the start. Then when riders lined up for the second #moto, he was out of the start gate light lightning, grabbed the holeshot on his KTM 450 SX-Fand put on a dazzling display of clever race craft and defensive riding to keep the ambitious Gajser under control right up until the final five minutes. Cairoli did make a couple of small mistakes in the final stages and finish third, but he won the hearts and minds of the pundits and the fans with his riding skill and determination.
Cairoli: “Its very tough at the moment. You have to get a good start and it’s definitely the key to the race. In the first race I got stuck in the gate with Van Horebeek and Tixier and I was last. I made 27 passes to come back to sixth and that’s a lot on this tiny track. The second #moto was amazing. I got a good start with Tim (Gajser). He’s fast at the moment and in top form. For me it was a bit tough but I was able to control him. A race victory was possible but unfortunately I over-jumped on one of the tables and hurt my wrist. I slowed down for two laps and he found a way through. Then I made another small mistake in the last lap and Paulin passed me.” Cairoli said his training had been interrupted because of his hand injury and he had not been on the bike at all last week.
Mantova was also a very good weekend for Red Bull #ktm factory rider Glenn Coldenhoff who registered an 8-6 #moto result for overall sixth.
Coldenhoff, who is delivering improved results, gaining in confidence and says he’s feeling better on the bike, but this weekend he did struggle with the heat. “I never like riding in such hot conditions,” he said. “I had a good start in the first #moto but I dropped back a bit but with my eighth place I was able to stay in the top 10. My start wasn’t quite as good in the second race and I had to come back from seventh to fourth. I rode a good race but in the end Desalle passed me and I finished fifth. Also my riding was a bit tight in both motos.”
While Gajser has a commanding lead in the points after 12 of 18 rounds, Cairoli is second with a 32-point cushion over reigning #mxgp champion Romain Febvre in third place. Febvre is currently injured.
Mantova also hosted the eighth round of the EMX250 championship, which saw #ktm Factory Junior Jorge Prado take an 8-7 #moto result for overall fifth place. Teammate Josiah Natzke made an admirable recovery in his second #moto for a fifth place finish and overall 12th. Prado, the Spanish 15-year-old who last year won the EMX125 class and has been busy with end of school year exams, commented: “My riding was not too bad but I didn’t have the power to make the 25 minutes plus two laps. It wasn’t the best weekend but overall fifth wasn’t that bad.”
Next Race: July 24, 2016 – Loket (CZE)
Results #mxgp Mantova 2016
1. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda (1-1)
2. Gautier Paulin (FRA), Honda (3-2)
3. Clement Desalle (BEL), Kawasaki (2-4)
4. #tonycairoli (ITA), #ktm (6-3)
5. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL), Yamaha (5-7)
6. #glenncoldenhoff (NED), #ktm (8-5)
9. Jose Butron (ESP), #ktm (10-9)
Standings #mxgp 2016 after 12 of 18 rounds
1. Gajser, 532 points
2. Cairoli, 440
3. Romain Febvre (FRA), Yamaha, 408
4. Max Nagl (GER), Husqvarna, 401
5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS), Honda, 396
8. Coldenhoff, 230
9. Shaun Simpson (GBR), #ktm, 212
Results #mx2 Mantova 2016
1. #jeffreyherlings (NED), #ktm (1-1)
2. Brian Bogers (NED), #ktm (2-3)
3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA), Kawasaki (3-6)
4. Thomas Covington (USA), Husqvarna (4-5)
5. #paulsjonass (LAT), #ktm (10-2)
13. Davy #pootjes (NED), #ktm (8-DNF)
Standings #mx2 2016 after 12 of 18 rounds
1. Herlings, 597 points
2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Suzuki, 428
3. Jonass, 403
4. Benoit Paturel (FRA), Yamaha, 325
5. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS), Yamaha, 320
21. #pootjes, 66
Results EMX250 Mantova 2016
1. Bas Vaessen (NED), Suzuki, (3-1)
2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN), Husqvarna (2-2)
3. Anton Gole (SWE), Husqvarna (6-4)
4. Alberto Forato (ITA), Honda (4-6)
5. Jorge Prado (ESP), #ktm (8-7)
6. Miro Sihvonen (FIN), #ktm (5-10)
12. Josiah Natzke (NZL), #ktm (40-5)
Standings EMX250 2016 after 8 of 10 rounds
1. Kjer Olsen, 360 points
2. Darian Sanayei (USA), Kawasaki, 285
3. Vaessen, 236
4. Prado, 210
5. Gole, 208
6. Kevin Wouts (BEL), #ktm, 185
9. Miro Sihvonen (FIN), #ktm, 163
26. Natzke, 38
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