Motocross

Herlings and Covington On Pole for MXGP of Bulgaria

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Herlings and Covington On Pole for MXGP of Bulgaria
MXGP Championship leader Jeffrey Herlings was once again the pace setter in Bulgaria. Photo: Youthstream
MXGP‰Ûªs first day at Sevlievo for the 2018 MXGP of Bulgaria has wrapped with impressive Qualifying race wins from Jeffrey Herlings and American Thomas Covington in MXGP and MX2 respectively.

Sevlievo, Bulgaria‰Ûªs hillsides combined with hard packed soil and changing moisture levels challenged all the riders on track. The layout and varying line options added to the racing action.


MXGP‰Ûªs points leader Jeffrey Herlings continued the dominant form from the previous races into today‰Ûªs qualifying. On the start he jumped to the early lead ahead of Team HRC‰Ûªs Tim Gajser and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team‰Ûªs Clement Desalle.
Herlings and Covington On Pole for MXGP of Bulgaria
Toni Cairoli (222) leads the MXGP class into qualifying. Photo: Youthstream
Last week‰Ûªs MXGP Qualifying Race winner from Switzerland, Antonio Cairoli, crossed the finish in 4th position after the first official lap and had Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP‰Ûªs Romain Febvre just behind.

Cairoli‰Ûªs fellow Italian and friend, Gebben Van Venroy Kawasaki Racing‰Ûªs Alessandro Lupino, was 6th but had Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP‰Ûªs Jeremy Seewer coming up fast. By lap 2 Seewer was up to 6th and Lupino pulled out of the race.

At the front Gajser was right with Herlings for the first few laps before the Dutchman started to check out. Gajser quickly lost track of the ‰ÛÏBullet‰Û
Herlings and Covington On Pole for MXGP of Bulgaria
HRC's Tim Gajser rounded out the top three in MXGP. Photo: Youthstream
Cairoli managed to maintain 6th but perhaps saved energy for tomorrow‰Ûªs point paying races. Febvre on the other hand didn‰Ûªt hold back but was still unable to get by the #25 from Belgium. Seewer lost 6th to the hard charging Max Anstie on lap 7 and then lost out to Frenchman Gautier Paulin 3 laps later.

On the final lap Herlings continued his charge and put in the fastest lap of the race to take the race win by over 19 seconds. Gajser took second with a lap time 3 seconds slower while Desalle took 3rd ahead of Febvre and Cairoli.

‰ÛÏI felt good on track. I‰Ûªm really enjoying my time being here and I‰Ûªm definitely looking forward to racing tomorrow, hopefully I get 2 good starts and we will go from there," Herlings said.
Herlings and Covington On Pole for MXGP of Bulgaria
Aussie Todd Waters Made the top 15. Photo Bavo
Team Honda RedMoto Assomotors‰Ûª Petar Petrov took 14th in what is his home GP to which he said: ‰ÛÏIt feels nice, we haven‰Ûªt been here for about 4 years. It is great to be back and great to be home. It is also nice for the spectators to see the World Championship and good for the sport in Bulgaria.‰Û
Herlings and Covington On Pole for MXGP of Bulgaria
American Thomas Covington topped the MX2 class. Photo: Youthstream
MX2 Qualifying was started with a holeshot by none other than championship leader Jorge Prado. Prado led American Thomas Covington with fellow Pauls Jonass in 3rd.

Thomas Kjer Olsen continued the Austrian manufacturers‰Ûª sandwich in 4th while Calvin Vlaanderen‰Ûªs Team HRC CRF250 joined the top 5.

Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team‰Ûªs Anthony Rodriguez was 6th but by lap 2 had Honda 114 Motorsports‰Ûª Hunter Lawrence pushing for the position. Meanwhile it was Covington who was doing the same to Prado for the lead and hoping for a mistake from the young Spaniard.
Herlings and Covington On Pole for MXGP of Bulgaria
MX2 Championship leader Jorge Prado was second fastest in MX2. Photo: Youthstream
On lap 5 Lawrence found his way past Rodriguez who immediately tried to retaliate but was unsuccessful. Covington was next to take a position but it was from Prado and for the lead. Prado was unable to pass Covington back in the remaining laps giving the American the Qualifying win. Prado maintained 2nd while Jonass took third, Olsen took 4th and Vlaanderen rounded out the top 5.

‰ÛÏIt was a little more difficult to find a way to pass out there than I expected so for me the only way really was to apply pressure and hope for small a mistake so I could get around him," Covington said. "I‰Ûªm looking forward to the races tomorrow and I hope to get a good start again, I just would really like to beat Jorge out of the gate, it is not so easy but that is a big goal for me tomorrow, I want to get 2 holeshots and then it comes a lot easier.‰Û
Herlings and Covington On Pole for MXGP of Bulgaria
Pauls Jonass rounded out the MX2 podium.
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 24:22.681
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:19.787
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:24.281
4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:33.807
5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:38.814
6. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:45.959
7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:47.883
8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:52.810
9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:55.022
10. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:57.569

MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten:
1. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), 25:08.671
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:02.615
3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:04.281
4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:10.340
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:18.398
6. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:25.301
7. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Yamaha), +0:39.556
8. Marshal Weltin (USA, Kawasaki), +0:43.879
9. Stephen Rubini (FRA, KTM), +0:45.777
10. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:50.288

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