The Herlings and Prado Show Rolls On At MXGP of Bulgaria


Jeffrey Herlings took his the fifth event in a row and extended his advantage in championship to 73 points. Photo: Youthstream
With three rounds remaining in the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship‰Ûªs Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado extended their championship points lead with Overall wins in MXGP and MX2 respectively at the MXGP of Bulgaria.

The natural terrain and old school style of motocross track was an instant favorite among many riders and lead to great racing throughout the weekend.


MXGP‰Ûªs Race 1 started with a season first Fox Holeshot from Team HRC‰Ûªs Tim Gajser but the Slovenian quickly lost the lead to championship leader Jeffrey Herlings. Third off the start and not far off the top two riders‰Ûª pace was Belgian Clement Desalle.

Following Desalle was the two French riders, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP‰Ûªs Romain Febvre and Frenchman Gautier Paulin. Paulin‰Ûªs teammate Max Anstie lost control on the opening lap and collided with Febvre‰Ûªs Monster Energy Yamaha teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek.

Van Horebeek stayed up but Anstie went down just in front of Antonio Cairoli causing the Italian to lose positions. Cairoli was 10th across the line during the first official lap and put a charge on but only reached 8th after passing his Red Bull KTM teammate Glenn Coldenhoff.
Team HRC‰Ûªs Tim Gajser has claimed his sixth podium of the year today by finishing the MXGP of Bulgaria in second place overall after a second and a third in the two races contested today at Sevlievo. Photo: Youthstream
After Cairoli‰Ûªs pass for 8th on lap 4 the top 9 remained the same for the entirety of the race. Anstie pulled off the track to regroup for Race 2 while Herlings took a 15.9 second win over Gajser, Desalle, Febvre, and Paulin.

Race 2 saw a renewed Cairoli take the Fox Holeshot but similar to Gajser in race one the lead was shot away quickly at the hands of the ‰ÛÏBullet‰Û
Cl̩ment Desalle consolidated his third place in the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship with his seventh podium of the series in the Bulgarian GP. Photo: Youthsteam
Coldenhoff took over 5th once Febvre fell but had Anstie apply pressure from 6th. Anstie‰Ûªs teammate, Paulin, only kept Febvre at bay for a single lap before he lost 7th. Febvre continued on to pass both Anstie and Coldenhoff which threw off the Dutch rider enough for Anstie to also move past a lap later.

At the finish Herlings topped Cairoli by just over 14 seconds with Gajser 3rd, Desalle 4th, and Febvre 5th. The overall win went to Herlings along with the full 50 points up for grabs. Gajser took 2nd and Desalle rounded out the podium while Cairoli just missed the box in 4th but more importantly lost 16 championship points to Herlings.

The series now heads to Turkey next weekend for the first time since 2009. Herlings‰Ûª championship lead is now 73 points with three rounds to go.

‰ÛÏI had 2 great races, yesterday started off good and then today in the first race I was behind Tim who had a good start and I got around him pretty quick, then managed to ride my own pace to take the win. In the second race it was similar but with Tony. We are already looking forward to Turkey in 7-day time," Herlings said.
Australian Todd Waters had another rough round finishing 18th overall. Photo: Bavo
Tim Gajser's late season form contiues and the Honda man was happy to notch up another podium.

‰ÛÏI am really happy to be back on the podium after missing it for a couple of GPs. I was feeling good today and also with the team. During the weekend we made some changes with the bike and today it payed off," Gajser said.

Clement Desalle rounded out the podium saying, ‰ÛÏA podium is really consistent and is good to be here this season. I was on the podium last weekend in Switzerland and now again here. I had 2 good races and my riding was good but we have to keep working."

Australian Todd Waters had a difficult round and finished nineteenth and sixteenth in the two motos to finish eighteenth overall.
With the win in MX2 Jorge Prado has now won 10 Grands Prix and missed the podium only twice all season. Photo: Youthstream

MX2 racing was full of action especially in race one where championship leader Jorge Prado took the Fox Holeshot but had main championship competitor Pauls Jonass just behind.

American Thomas Covington and Thomas Kjer Olsen were in 3rd and 4th with American Marshal Weltin on his new F&H Racing Team Kawasaki 5th.

Honda 114 Motorsports Hunter Lawrence was 6th but took 5th from Weltin on lap 2 only to gift it back the next lap when he fell and remounted in 7th behind Team DIGA-Procross‰Ûª Brent Van doninck. It only took Lawrence a lap to get back into his starting position of 7th.

Lap 3 would be the end of the Bulgarian campaign for Team HRC‰Ûªs Calvin Vlaanderen when he fell in an attempt to avoid the downed Ben Watson and his Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team YZ250F. Vlaanderen then had Stephen Rubini collide with his bike and him. Though the South African got up under his own power he rode straight back to the Team HRC truck.
Defending champion Pauls Jonass now has to find 30 points with 150 left to win in Turkey, Holland and Italy to successfully defend his MX2 title. Photo: Youthstream
While many eyes were on Vlaanderen it was Jonass making moves as he took the lead from Prado during lap 4. Prado was unable to respond and quickly lost time to Jonass. The other teammates that were running 3rd and 4th also swapped positions when Olsen took third from Covington.

At the halfway point Lawrence passed Weltin to take 5th for the second time while Watson moved the American back another spot to seventh. At the finish it was win for Jonass over Prado and Olsen.

Race 2 was started with Prado‰Ûªs 10th Fox Holeshot in a row with Jonass breathing down the #61‰Ûªs neck. Olsen and Covington had a massive change of fortune when both went down in the first turn.

Jonass was in a perfect position to score his first double race win since the MXGP of Great Britain but instead lost the front end on the opening lap. Though Jonass only lost two spots to Lawrence and Watson he and his bike suffered damage.

Olsen was perhaps the most impressive in the opening laps coming from essentially last, after the first turn fall, to 5th by lap 3! Olsen‰Ûªs progress was halted there however as Jonass was sure to give up no further championship points.

At the front Lawrence steadily closed on Prado who backed off the pace early but the Spaniard eventually dug deep to hold off the Australian.

Prado took the race win along with the overall while Jonass made a late pass on Watson taking 4th in the race and 2nd overall. The final spot on the podium went to Lawrence with his 5-2 score, slightly improved from his 5-3 podium earning result last week in Switzerland. Prado now leads the points by 30 after gaining 2 on Jonass this weekend.

‰ÛÏRiding was good and it was a tough track for me with the hard pack but I am happy to take the win," Prado said.

Despite mising the win Pauls Jonass remains confident with three rounds to go, ‰ÛÏI felt pretty good all weekend, I enjoy racing this track," Jonass said. "It is an old school style track and there is a few on the calendar but this is one that I really enjoy racing on. I managed to get third in race 2 which is not so bad but not what we want. There are still 3 rounds to go, 6 races, and we will not give up easy, we will fight until the last meter."

Hunter Lawrence took his second podium in a row but was a little dissapointed with his first race. ‰ÛÏI am a little disappointed about the first race, I was feeling really good all weekend and I threw it away myself with mistakes. We improved from last weekend though and it is a step in the right direction," Lawrence said.

The 18th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place in Afyon, Turkey, in 1-week time
Australian Hunter Lawrence made the podium for the second week in a row. Photo: Youthstream

MXGP Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:25.270
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:15.942
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:21.352
4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:32.744
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:34.895
6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:36.747
7. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:41.023
8. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:57.391
9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:06.591
10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +1:13.023

MXGP Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:21.881
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:14.366
3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:25.658
4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:34.633
5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:44.829
6. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:47.752
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:50.922
8. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:54.196
9. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:54.943
10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:57.488

MXGP Overall Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 42 points
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 38 points
4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 35 points
5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 34 points
6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 28 points
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 26 points
8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 23 points
9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 22 points
10. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 21 points

MXGP Championship Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 783 points
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 710 points
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 581 points
4. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 549 points
5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 544 points
6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 483 points
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 446 points
8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 393 points
9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 373 points
10. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 313 points


MX2 Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 34:34.818
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:05.471
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:11.590
4. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:19.707
5. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:23.308
6. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:27.786
7. Marshal Weltin (USA, Kawasaki), +0:57.001
8. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Husqvarna), +1:03.808
9. Bas Vaessen (NED, Honda), +1:12.535
10. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, Yamaha), +1:20.790

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 34:56.251
2. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:00.605
3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:18.043
4. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:19.346
5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:47.383
6. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Yamaha), +0:57.950
7. Marshal Weltin (USA, Kawasaki), +1:17.981
8. Tom Koch (GER, KTM), +1:20.188
9. Michael Sandner (AUT, KTM), +1:25.606
10. Gustavo Pessoa (BRA, Kawasaki), +1:27.378

MX2 Overall Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 47 points
2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 45 points
3. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 38 points
4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 36 points
5. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 33 points
6. Marshal Weltin (USA, KAW), 28 points
7. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 28 points
8. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, YAM), 22 points
9. Tom Koch (GER, KTM), 21 points
10. Bas Vaessen (NED, HON), 21 points

MX2 Championship Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 739 points
2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 709 points
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 555 points
4. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 515 points
5. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 480 points
6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 462 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), 267 points

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