Herlings and Prado Consolidate Championship Leads at Swiss MXGP


Jeffrey Herlings battled with Clement Desalle, eventually taking the upper hand and going on to another round win. Photo: Youthstream
Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado solidified their 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship charges with victory in the MXGP and MX2 classes respectively at the Swiss MXGP.

In front of an enthusiastic crowd the 16th round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship took place at Switzerland‰Ûªs unique Schweizer Zucker circuit in Frauenfeld-Gachnang hosted some close racing with the hard pack, technical, and rutted surface testing the best riders.


MXGP Race 1 kicked off with a Fox Holeshot from defending champion Antonio Cairoli but he lost out coming into to turn two where Belgian Clement Desalle took over the lead.

Current championship leader Jeffrey Herlings then managed to take the lead from Desalle before completing the first lap while Cairoli ran 4th behind Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP‰Ûªs Romain Febvre. Glenn Coldenhoff, was 5th with the local superstar Jeremy Seewer on his Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP bike in 6th.

Frenchman Gautier Paulin was the next rider in the running order but his teammate Max Anstie was in 30th position after banging bars with Herlings down the start straight and going off the track.
Clement Desalle and Antonio Cairoli battle it out for the holeshot. Credit: Youthstream
Anstie was already up to 15th by the time the first official lap was recorded. Julien Lieber and Team HRC‰Ûªs Tim Gajser collided on the first lap and were also left to fight through the field.

Gajser was able to gain positions throughout the race from 31st on lap one to 12th at the finish but Lieber would have to pull into Pit Lane to repair the damage suffered to his Kawasaki. Lieber rejoined in 36th but only rebounded to finish in 30th.

At the front Cairoli struggled to find a way past Febvre and started to push the issue eventually taking over 3rd on lap 5 but while trying to catch Herlings the Sicilian made a rare mistake and stalled the bike up the face of the wall jump sending him over the bars and out of 3rd.

With his bike and body clearly banged up Cairoli rejoined in 7th behind Paulin but took 6th from the Frenchman 2 laps later. Paulin who looked to have lost his focus and rhythm earlier mounted a charge to pass Cairoli back on 13 along with his resurgent teammate Anstie.

Anstie not only took 7th from Cairoli but continued into 6th past his teammate to cap off an amazing comeback through the field. Across the finish Herlings won by 4.8 seconds over a much improved Desalle whom Herlings nearly lapped in Lommel with Febvre 3rd, Coldenhoff 4th, Switzerland‰Ûªs Jeremy Seewer in 5th.
Yamaha's Romain Febvre continues his good lates season form taking second overall for the round. Credit: Youthstream
Race 2 was off to a much less dramatic start when Julien Lieber took his first Holeshot in his MXGP career with his teammate Desalle taking the lead on the exit of turn 2. Febvre had another good start in 3rd with Cairoli 4th and the iFly JK Racing Yamaha of Ivo Monticelli in 5th.

Herlings quickly took 5th from Monticelli while Febvre took second from Lieber who tried to fight back but instead missed his line and lost spots to both Cairoli and Herlings. Monticelli then went down, with help from Gajser, and took Paulin with him.

Herlings then took 3rd from Cairoli and Gajser pushed the reigning champ back another spot to 5th. Herlings was quick to take second from Febvre but then struggled to get past Desalle. Herlings‰Ûª attempts to take the lead were at first unsuccessful which encouraged Febvre. Putting in a pair of fast laps Febvre was all over the rear wheel of Herlings but couldn‰Ûªt find a passing spot. Herlings sensing the pressure responded by making a pass stick on Desalle stick and growing a second and a half gap in less than a lap.

Febvre also passed Desalle and did so with much less effort than Herlings but never the less the ‰ÛÏBullet‰Û
Australian Todd Waters had a better round carding a 14-18 day. Credit: Bavo
At the finish Herlings won by 14 seconds over Febvre, Gajser, Desalle, Anstie, and Cairoli. The championship lead of Herlings now extends to 58 points over Cairoli whose condition at the moment remains unknown.

‰ÛÏI felt good all weekend I must say, we had a good weekend, obviously a little bad luck in Qualifying," Herlings said. "It is a great day for the championship going 1-1 for the full 50 points, my nearest rival didn‰Ûªt have the best of GPs, he crashed but I hope he is ok. I am looking forward to Sevlievo in 7 days.‰Û
Spaniard Jorge Prado finished on equal points with team-mate and challenger Pauls Jonass but still holds a 28 point lead in the MX2 championship. Credit: Youthstream

MX2 Race 1 started with a Holeshot from Spaniard Jorge Prado and an impressive 2nd place start from Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team‰Ûªs Anthony Rodriguez. Pauls Jonass managed to take 2nd quickly from Rodriguez but American Thomas Covington had a much more difficult time getting past the Venezuelan.

Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori‰Ûªs Michele Cervellin had a great start to the race as well and ran 5th behind Covington on lap 1. Cervellin however dropped a spot to Honda 114 Motorsport‰Ûªs Hunter Lawrence on lap 2.

New recruit to the F&H Racing Team, Marshal Weltin was in 7th before losing the spot to Team HRC‰Ûªs Calvin Vlaanderen but only a lap later the Honda of Vlaanderen had an electrical issue which left him with a DNF.

Stephen Rubini took the over the 6th spot from Vlaanderen for the next 3 laps before Kemea Yamaha Official MX2‰Ûªs Ben Watson took the position after starting in 11th. Back at the front Jonass was the new leader with a pass on Prado.

Rodriguez held 3rd for the first 14 laps but lost the position with 3 laps remaining to Covington. Prado tried to catch Jonass and make a move for the race win but instead made a mistake and had to settle with second. Jonass to the race win by 5.1 seconds with Prado 2nd, Covington 3rd, Rodriguez 4th, and Lawrence 5th.
Pauls Jonass finished second in MX2 but tied on points with Prado which saw him fail to gain any ground in the championship chase. Photo: Youthstream
Race 2 was started by the 21st Holeshot of the season for Prado as he led Watson and Jonass. Vlaanderen was back in 4th and still relatively fresh after only completing 3 laps in race 1. Prado was quick to put in fast laps and was extremely strong at the start of the race while Jonass fought past Watson.

By the time Jonass was into 2nd Prado had grown a decent gap over the rest of the field. On lap 3 both Vlaanderen and Lawrence were also passed Watson and a battle between the Honda‰Ûªs ensued.

Lawrence came out ahead of Vlaanderen on lap 8 as Watson came under threat of losing another spot to Olsen. Olsen took 5th from the Brit on lap 11 as Jonass started to catch Prado. Prado started to lose time but with 2 laps to go Jonass made a mistake on the entry of the waves losing not only momentum but the time he had previously gained.

At the finish Prado managed to fight through physical issues to hold on the lead and win by 4.7 seconds over Jonass, Lawrence, Vlaanderen, and Olsen. In the overall result for the GP, Prado took the win but tied in points with Jonass in second while Lawrence finished on the podium since the first round of the year at the MXGP of Patagonia in Argentina.

‰ÛÏThe weekend went pretty well for me, I felt good on the track and the bike. I am really happy with the 2nd race since I managed to push really hard in the last laps.‰Û
Australian Hunter Lawrence was back on the podium admitting it was the best he has felt in a long time. Credit: Youthstream
MXGP Results:

MXGP Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:48.985
2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:04.858
3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:22.604
4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:32.224
5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:35.436
6. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:54.059
7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:59.626
8. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +1:03.860
9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:05.416
10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +1:07.702

MXGP Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:40.600
2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:14.868
3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:17.722
4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:26.984
5. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:37.939
6. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:46.833
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:51.700
8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:55.465
9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:04.298
10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:09.295

MXGP Overall Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points
2. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 42 points
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 40 points
4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 32 points
5. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 31 points
6. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 29 points
7. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 28 points
8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 24 points
9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM), 24 points
10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 21 points

MXGP Championship Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 733 points
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 675 points
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 543 points
4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 510 points
5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 507 points
6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 455 points
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 420 points
8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 371 points
9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 350 points
10. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 298 points

MX2 Results:

MX2 Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 35:26.036
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:05.197
3. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:12.769
4. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Yamaha), +0:16.499
5. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:19.838
6. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:40.346
7. Stephen Rubini (FRA, KTM), +0:56.347
8. Marshal Weltin (USA, Kawasaki), +0:59.004
9. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +1:03.162
10. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +1:21.726

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35:10.156
2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:04.721
3. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:10.128
4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:15.833
5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:18.773
6. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:20.291
7. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:26.271
8. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Yamaha), +0:49.115
9. Marshal Weltin (USA, Kawasaki), +0:51.889
10. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:52.247

MX2 Overall Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 47 points
2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 47 points
3. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 36 points
4. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 35 points
5. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, YAM), 31 points
6. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 29 points
7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 27 points
8. Marshal Weltin (USA, KAW), 25 points
9. Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 23 points
10. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 18 points

MX2 Championship Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 692 points
2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 664 points
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 519 points
4. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 482 points
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 462 points
6. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 452 points
7. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 346 points
8. Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 314 points
9. Henry Jacobi (GER, HUS), 278 points
10. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 229 points

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