Reigning MX2 World Champion Jeffrey Herlings of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team continued on his storm course of multiple victories at the weekend when he took his sixth GP win of the 2013 season in Agueda Portugal to be unbeaten in any race so far.
It was the young Dutch rider’s twenty-second career victory and he finished far ahead of the field in both motos. Factory teammate Jordi Tixier was not quite so fortunate on the technically difficult track at Agueda but pulled back enough in race two to finish fourth overall and still sits second behind Jeffrey Herlings in second place in the World Championship.
Meanwhile in MX1, Tony Cairoli continued the defense of his title finishing second overall with a 3-1 result for the two motos and extended his ownership of the red plate. Teammate Ken de Dycker finished fourth in the GP and is fourth in the championship points.
Herlings strong in MX2 opener?
Herlings rode another attacking racing in his opening MX2 moto, grabbing the holeshot and never looking back until he got to the flag. He was !:18 minutes ahead of the rest of the pack and had lapped up to 14th place. Teammate Tixier was not so lucky, twice coming unstuck and hitting the dirt on the unpredictable and very technical dirt track.
Bad Luck for both KTM factory riders in MX1 opener
The opening MX1 moto was also full of drama with De Dycker crashing in the early stages after being hit by the wheel of Clement Desalle’s bike. But Cairoli took the holeshot and led for the opening laps before being passed by Gautier Paulin. The two riders then engaged in a cat and mouse game that lasted right up to the final lap. With Desalle in third place, Cairoli knew he needed to go for the win and spectators at the Portuguese circuit were expecting one of his classic last lap attacks.
Just as he was setting himself up to pass, he changed lines into a new rut and hit a large concealed stone. Cairoli flew over the handlebars and had to scramble back up the slope to retrieve his KTM 350 SX-F, only to discover that his clutch lever and front brake were wrecked in the spill. In the meantime Desalle had shot past to take second but the Italian managed to still bring the bike home in third carrying the broken cable in his hand. Still able to raise a smile, Cairoli said at the end of the moto: “It was a big crash but luckily I’m not hurt. I’ve never had anything like that happen before.”
Teammate Ken de Dycker managed to make a good recovery from his crash and advanced from dead last to seventh at the end of the opening MX1 moto.
Herlings strikes again in second MX2 moto.?
Clearly taking no prisoners, Herlings had a ripping, winning, if not faultless race in his second MX2 moto. As the track got rougher and more rutted, he made two mistakes but had such a leading margin to the rest of the field, he simply remounted his KTM 250 SX-F and stayed at the front of the field. “This weekend I did my best and I worked hard on my starts. I took the three holeshots and was leading in every lap. The speed was unbelievable. I was as fast as the MX1 guys so I couldn’t ask for more,” Herlings commented”
Although teammate Tixier had a better race in the second MX2 moto he was still not happy with his weekend. “I struggled at some places on the track so I was not so happy with my riding. I missed the podium by one point but I didn’t get hurt when I crashed, I made some good points for the championship and I’m ready for the next GP in Brazil.”
Cairoli strong in second MX1 moto
A committed Cairoli grabbed the holeshot in his second moto and immediately distanced himself from the hard charging Paulin and Desalle. He stayed in front for the entire race and his 3-1 result was enough to give him second place in the GP and more points for the championship. “Paulin was trying to attack all the time but I was still able to win. It’s a shame it wasn’t enough to win the GP but it was still good for the points and the championship,” Cairoli said. He also said he thought Paulin had improved a lot on last year and now considered him his main contender for the MX1 title.
De Dycker salvaged a fourth place in race two and fourth overall in MX1, advancing one place after Clement Desalle crashed in the final stages of the second moto. But he said he didn’t have a good feeling all weekend and was nervous about making mistakes at the track broke up. “Now I need to be better for the next race but I have a good bike and I am not scared of any track. I know if I get a good start I can run with Tony and all the other guys,” De Dycker said. MX1 & MX2 riders now have a two weeks break and race next in Brazil.
EMX125 & 250 victoroes for KTM
The Portuguese venue also played host to the EMX125 and EMX250 classes and KTM riders took 1-2 in both classes. Pauls Jonass of Latvia took a decisive win in the EMX125 Round 2 with Germany’s Henry Jacobi takings second. Swiss KTM rider Valentin Guillod and Belgium’s Damon Graulus (KTM) took the top two spots in the EMX250s.
Young KTM factory rider Pauls Jonass, a former 85 cc World Champion, said it was a good feeling to be 21 points ahead in his championship after only two rounds. “My next (EMX125) race is in Latvia so it’s my home race and its good to be going there with the red plate. Maybe I will have some pressure racing in front of the fans but I hope I can make good races,” he said.