Motocross

Herlings And Jonass Dominate In The Frozen Sands Of Valkenswaard

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Red Bull KTM Racings Jeffery Hearlings (84) once again went toe-to-toe with team-mate Tony Cairoli (222) on the way to winning his home round and making it a perfect start to 2018 with two from two so far. Photo: Ray Archer.
At a freezing Eurocircuit in Valkenswaard for the second round of the 2018 FIM World Motocross Champioship Jeffrey Herlings won his second Grand Prix in a row while Pauls Jonass now has a perfect record in MX2 with four moto wins out of four contested in 2018.

After the sunny conditions in Argentina for the opening round MXGP rediscovered a harsh winter climate at the Eurocircuit for the traditional Grand Prix of Europe and the visit to southern Holland. Rain, snow and plunging temperatures that dropped as low as -2 degrees added an extra physical edge to the bumpy Dutch sand.


Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Jeffrey Herlings came to Valkenswaard with his first ever red plate in MXGP and left it with his first ever points lead in the premier class. At the start of the weekend Herlings struggled when he fell in qualifying then rejoined the race in 35th position.

Luckily for the ‰ÛÏBullet‰Û
Antonio Cairoli was onnce again runner-up in MXGP, the defending champion now has a 6 point deficit to team-mate Jeffery Hearlings in the championship race. Credit: Ray Archer
When MXGP race one started Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Antonio Cairoli took the Fox Holeshot and led the way for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP‰Ûªs Jeremy Van Horebeek along with his teammates Glenn Coldenhoff and Jeffrey Herlings.

After a quick pass on Coldenhoff, Herlings switched his focus over to the Belgian, Jeremy Van Horebeek. As Herlings chased Van Horebeek, Team HRC‰Ûªs Tim Gajser was passed for 5th by the other Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP bike of Romain Febvre.

Gajser then threw away his goggles and soon after came under pressure from the pair of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders, Max Anstie and Gautier Paulin. Just after Anstie and Paulin made their way past Gajser, Herlings moved into the second spot.

Cairoli then started to lose time to Herlings as Anstie and Paulin passed Febvre. As Hearlings inched closer to Cairoli the Italian lost balance in a rut and went down. From there Herlings took the lead and never looked back as Cairoli took second and Van Horebeek third.

Race two began with another Fox Holeshot from Cairoli as Coldenhoff and Herlings chased. Cairoli then sprinted at the start of the race to grow a gap over Coldenhoff and Herlings. Herlings found his way around Coldenhoff on lap 3 and at nearly the same time race one‰Ûªs 3rd place finisher, Van Horebeek, crashed out of the race but came away uninjured.
Frenchman Gautier Paulin rounded out the MXGP podium, finishing the day with a 7th and a 3rd. Photo: Youthstream
Herlings then started his charge to catch the distant Cairoli. Cairoli‰Ûªs lead was near 13 seconds but dropped lap after lap, at one point Herlings gained 4 seconds in a single lap. As Herlings came closer Cairoli sensed the #84 looking back on several occasions. When the time finally came Herlings made the pass look easy as he out braked Cairoli into the turn just after the finish line. Cairoli tried to retaliate but would cross the checkered flag 3.8 seconds after Herlings.

Team HRC‰Ûªs Tim Gajser‰Ûªs return to MXGP was a challenging one as he crashed twice in race two, even so he managed to finish 9th overall.

"We can back strong and we managed to win both races today," Herlings said. "It is a little bit of a shame from yesterday that we didn‰Ûªt have such a good start position but it‰Ûªs ok. I‰Ûªm looking forward to Red Sand next weekend, I have been there a lot during the winter so I kind of know the track!‰Û
Pauls Jonass (1) took the MX2 class win with a pair of victories, the Latvian now has a perfect record for the season so far, going four from four. Credit: Ray Archer
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Pauls Jonass is showing everyone exactly why he was MX2 World Champion in 2017. Jonass admitted that he wasn‰Ûªt riding or feeling his best but nevertheless the #1 took double race wins today.

Race 1 started with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing bikes of Pauls Jonass and Jorge Prado at the front with a Fox Holeshot from Jonass. Behind the KTM‰Ûªs was Thomas Kjer Olsen.

Having a breakthrough performance was Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team‰Ûªs Jago Geerts. Geerts who race the EMX250 championship last season ran 4th early in the race.

The local MX2 rider Davy Pootjes was followed by Honda 114 Motorsport‰Ûªs Hunter Lawrence. Later when Lawrence tried to pass Pootjes on the outside he instead had the door closed and clipped the back of the KTM sending him to the dirt. Pootjes later dropped to 8th while Lawrence got back up to 6th just behind Conrad Mewse. Meanwhile Jonass took the win followed by Prado, Olsen, and Geerts.
Jorge Prado made it a 1-2 for KTM with second overall in MX2 when he finished bhind team-mate Pauls Jonass in both motos. He now sits 4th in the standings. Photo: Youthstream
Race two started just as did race one with a FOX Holeshot from Jonass just ahead of Prado and a Husqvarna. However this time the Husqvarna in 3rd belonged to the STC Racing Husqvarna rider Henri Jacobi. Jacobi ran in third for 8 laps before crashing and then pulling of the track.

Assuming third was again Olsen as Jorge Prado was doing everything he could to catch his teammate Jonass. Prado would gain time on Jonass one lap and the Jonass would reply with his own gains the next.

In 4th and 5th was Conrad Mewse and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing‰Ûªs Thomas Covington. Covington who won Saturday‰Ûªs qualifying race finished 7th in race 1.
Thomas Kjer Olsen rounded out the MX2 podium with third overall following a pair of third places. Photo: Youthstream.
At the finish Jonass crossed the line only 0.38 seconds ahead of Prado while Olsen was another 37 seconds back in third.

‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs nice to start defending the title with 1-1 in the two first GPs and I so happy with the results so far. Today wasn't so easy because I was a bit sick after Argentina," Jonass said. "I was a bit stiff and not so aggressive as usual. Anyway, we have one week now to get ready for Spain. I hope it is warmer there because here was so cold! I was happy to see a lot of Latvian flags out there!‰Û
Aussie Hunter Lawrence finished sixth overall but maintains a top three in the standings despite admitting he couldn't find his groove in the freezing conditions. Photo: ShotbyBavo
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:25.408
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:17.536
3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:29.712
4. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:35.842
5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:39.777
6. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:41.582
7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:41.778
8. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:00.045
9. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:07.341
10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +1:15.242.

MXGP Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:46.875
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:03.882
3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:06.699
4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:09.303
5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +1:15.542
6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:17.843
7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:46.947
8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +1:54.337
9. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:56.307
10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +1:57.072.

MXGP Overall Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 44 Points
3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 34 Points
4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 34 Points
5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 31 Points
6. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 30 Points
7. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 27 Points
8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 24 Points
9. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 20 Points
10. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 20 Points

MXGP Championship Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 97 points
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 91 Points
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 67 Points
4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 65 Points
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 64 Points
6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 55 Points
7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 54 Points
8. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 45 Points
9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM), 39 Points
10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 38 Points

MX2 Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 35:38.265
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:09.342
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:16.508
4. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:22.579
5. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:25.932
6. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:42.179
7. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:49.290
8. Jed Beaton (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:53.611
9. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +0:58.452
10. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:00.167.

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 35:35.397
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:00.381
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:37.477
4. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:39.263
5. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:46.360
6. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:47.057
7. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:51.600
8. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:05.208
9. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +1:08.867
10. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +1:10.665.

MX2 Overall Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 50 points
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 44 Points
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 40 Points
4. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 34 Points
5. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 30 Points
6. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 30 Points
7. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 26 Points
8. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 25 Points
9. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), 24 Points
10. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 18 Points

MX2 Championship Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 100 points
2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 82 Points
3. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 67 Points
4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 63 Points
5. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 61 Points
6. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 51 Points
7. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 46 Points
8. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 44 Points
9. Jed Beaton (AUS, KAW), 44 Points
10. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, YAM), 42 Points

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