The first weekend of two back to back MXGP stops in Indonesia has been completed and will be one to remember. The intense Indonesian racing was full of action and entertainingly unpredictable. In the end Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings returned to winning form.
MXGP Overall Top Ten
1. Jeffrey Herlings 2-1
2. Antonio Cairoli 1-2
3. Romain Febvre 5-3
4. Tim Gajser 4-4
5. Clement Desalle 3-8
6. Glenn Coldenhoff 7-5
7. Gautier Paulin 6-7
8. Max Anstie 11-6
9. Evgeny Bobryshev 9-9
10. Jeremy Seewer 8-10
MXGP Championship Top Ten
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 533 points
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 521 points
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 407 points
4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 390 points
5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 368 points
6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 363 points
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 319 points
8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 279 points
9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 257 points
10. Maximilian Nagl (GER, TM), 211 points
The MXGP class is undeniably stacked with talent but mostly it is filled with some of the most dedicated, hard working, and resilient riders on the planet. On a regular basis the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing duo of Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings exemplify the traits mentioned above and today was a prime example of such.
MXGP Race 1 started with a Fox Holeshot from Herlings ahead but with Cairoli just behind. The pair led Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin and Team HRC’s Tim Gajser on the first laps but by the start of lap 3 Gajser and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle had passed Paulin.
Paulin then had Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre lurking in the distance while Cairoli was challenging Herlings for the lead. A bobble from Herlings gave Cairoli the opportunity to pass the #84 who made another mistake to give Cairoli a gap.
Herlings managed to keep Cairoli within sight for a while but realized 2nd was good enough after only breaking his collar bone 2 weeks ago. In a battle for 5th was the Frenchmen of Paulin and Febvre but Febvre took the position just past the halfway point. A few laps later Desalle took 3rd from Gajser and charged up to Herlings who then responded to hold the position. For the remaining laps the lead group stayed the same and Cairoli took the win nearly 10 seconds ahead of Herlings, Desalle, Gajser, and Febvre.
MXGP’s second and final race of the day decided the overall, was full of battles, and even through in some plot twists. On the start it was a Fox Holeshot from Herlings after he pushed wide to hold Gajser off. Herlings soon realized he had faded to far outside however as Cairoli took the lead and he found himself jostling with Desalle.
Out of the exchange off the start Cairoli took the lead and Gajser was second with Herlings third. The intensity from the top three on the first laps was incredible starting with Gajser passing Cairoli for the lead. Only a turn later Herlings railed around the outside to take second from Cairoli and proceed to catch Gajser. Gajser was then caught off guard as Herlings carried a massive amount of speed through the rollers and jump to the inside of the Slovenian in front of Pit Lane.
Cairoli was quick to pass Gajser back through the first turn but on the following lap missed a double which let Gajser back into second. Similar to the move of Herlings the lap prior Cairoli stayed to the inside down the pit lane straight and retook 2nd place.
Throughout it all Febvre was 4th with a front row view ahead of Paulin and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff. Febvre came close to the action ahead of him when Cairoli ejected over the front of the bike through turn 2. The mistake of Cairoli gave second back to Gajser and nearly gave 3rd to Febvre.
It only took another lap though before Cairoli passed Gajser for 2nd position his 3rd time. Gajser and Febvre then proceeded to battle for 4th swapping positions nearly every lap. Just passed the halfway point Febvre made a strong move past Gajser and was then able to create a gap.
As the race winded down Cairoli chipped at the lead of Herlings but was still over 5 seconds back with 4 laps to go. Just before crossing the line with three laps to go Herlings fell in the last turn. Slow to pick his bike up after seeing Cairoli take the lead Herlings seemed to be content with second. This was until Cairoli crashed in turn 2 for the second time just ahead of him.
Herlings took the lead just ahead of Cairoli who remounted his KTM with bent bars and a missing throttle grip. Cairoli tried to retake the lead but was unable to do so giving Herlings both the race win and overall for a dramatic conclusion to the weekend. Febvre took third in both the race and the overall while Gajser and Coldenhoff scored 4th in 5th place in race 2.
Jeffrey Herlings: “I pulled really good starts this weekend, especially today with 2 FOX Holeshots so I’m really happy about it. In race 1 I just tried to be smart, I felt like I could run Tony’s pace but not for 35 minutes. There is still a lot of races left and next week I want to take it a bit easy then I will home for 2 weeks before Loket and hopefully by Lommel I will be back to 100%.”
Antonio Cairoli: “It is an okay weekend overall… hopefully we can be ready for next week and hopefully have another good race at the next GP.”
Romain Febvre: “I am really happy. Everything is going better and now this is my second time on the podium, I would like to be up here every weekend.”
WATCH THE BATTLE IN THE FINAL FEW LAPS BELOW
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