GP victory of Herlings, podium third for Cairoli in Agueda

Red Bull KTM factory riders put in a good weekend of racing at the Agueda circuit in Portugal with Jeffrey Herlings taking the MX2 GP victory and Tony Cairoli securing a podium third in MX1. Both riders retained their red plates as championship leaders.

R.Archer photos.

Despite rain during the first of the MX2 motos, Herlings was clearly in good form and enjoying his racing. He and factory teammate Jeremy van Horebeek took a seemingly effortless 1-2 in the opening race with the Dutch teenage crossing the line with an impressive 24 seconds lead on his teammate. It was also a very solid ride from van Horebeek who is currently carrying an injured foot from the last round.

Jeffrey was also on track in the second moto to take a 1-1 sweep but got caught up in traffic in the last lap of the race and conceded the win to his biggest rival for the title, Britain’s Tommy Searle. Herlings 1-2 was in any case sufficient to give him the overall title when compared to Searle’s 3-1 and these two were again joined on the podium with van Horebeek in overall third. Herlings remains the man to beat in the MX2 class and has a 14-pint lead over Searle with van Horebeek in third place. Jordi Tixier of France, the third member of the MX2 factory team on the KTM 250 SX-F finished a solid overall sixth after having scored a fourth in the opening moto, his best result for the season. Tixier then had a series of crashes in the second moto, broke his goggles and finished eleventh.

Jeremy van Horebeek: “I felt really good in the first race. I was second at the start and Jeffrey and I pulled away from the rest but after five laps I had to throw away my goggles and I had to let him go. Still it was good to be second and it was a good race, I wanted to stay close to Jeffrey because he has the speed. I also had a good start in the second race but I was a bit off the pace then I twisted my bad ankle again and I was in a lot of pain.”

Jordi Tixier: “The track was not easy this weekend. It was very slippery, bumpy and heavy but I got a good start in the first race and had a good feeling with the bike. My fourth place was my best result this season.”

Tony Cairoli also had a good day at the office in the MX1 class on the KTM 350 SX-F even if a small crash in the opening moto knocked him down to third place. The closing stages of the second moto had the Portuguese crowd on their feet as Cairoli and Gautier Paulin of France fought a battle right to the line. Cairoli, well known for his last lap attacks had even managed to slip past the Frenchman only a couple of corners from the flag. The competition in this class is particularly hard fought between Belgian Clement Desalle, the two Frenchmen Paulin and Christophe Pourcel and five-times world champion Cairoli. He now has a cushion of 37 points going into the next event, the GP of Belgium next weekend.

Cairoli’s factory teammate Ken de Dycker of Belgium rounded off his day with an impressive ride in the second MX1 moto. He was back in the field at 18 at the start of the race and managed to fight his way to fifth place for overall sixth. While Cairoli prefers the light and agile KTM 350 SX-F, de Dycker, since the last two rounds of the competition, is riding the latest factory model of the KTM 450 SX-F.

Tony Cairoli: “I made some mistakes in the first race when I crashed and I lost contact with the first guys and went back to fifth, anyway third was okay. I wanted to go for the win in the second race and I did get past Paulin briefly in the last lap but it was hard to block him because `I didn’t want to make contact and crash l anyway third was not what I expected because I wanted to win but it was still good for the championship.”

Ken de Dycker: “I can’t complain. I had two good races. I was a bit tired after the first race but I had a much better feeling in the second moto. I was also coming off a crash yesterday and had to start from the last place. This is good for the championship and I had the same speed and was almost closing on the first guys so I was happy with the races.”

The venue also hosted the third round of the EMX 125 championship which on Sunday saw KTM riders clean sweep the podium led by Slovenian racer Tim Gajser with Dutch rier Calvin Vlaanderen and James Dunn of Britain taking the minor podium places.

MX1 Results
1, Clement Desalle, Belgium, Suzuki
2, Gautier Paulin, France, Kawasaki
3, Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM
4, Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki
5, Ken de Dycker, Belgium, KTM
Other KTM
13, Kevin Strijbos, Belgium, KTM
14, Matiss Karro, Latvia, KTM
15, Davide Guarneri, Italy, KTM

MX1 Championship Standings
1, Cairoli, 295
2, Desalle, 258
3, Paulin, 255
4, C. Pourcel, 254
5, de Dycker, 211
Other KTM
8, Strijbos, 171
14, Karro, 102
16, Guarneri, 85

MX1 Manufacturers Standings
1, Kawasaki, 306
2, KTM, 306
3, Suzuki, 268

MX2 Results
1, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM
2, Tommy Searle, GBR, Kawasaki
3, Jeremy van Horebeek, Belgium, KTM
4, Max Anstie, GBR, Honda
5, Jake Nichols, GBR, KTM
Other KTM
6, Jordi Tixier, France, KTM
8, Romain Febvre, France, KTM
9, Glenn Coldenhoff, Netherlands, KTM
14, Jose Butron, Spain, KTM

MX2 Championship Standings
1, Herlings, 317
2, Searle, 293
3, van Horebeek, 268
4, Roelants, 204
5, Anstie, 191
Other KTM
6, Tixier, 187
7, Nichols, 175
9, Butron, 126
14, Coldenhoff, 87

MX2 Manufacturers Standings
1, KTM, 330
2, Kawasaki, 316
3, Yamaha, 197


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