Herlings was absolutely dominating MX2. Had almost a 30 second lead by halfway through the 2nd race!
Red Bull KTM factory riders Tony Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings sealed both the MX1 and MX2 GPs in Guadalajara Mexico on Sunday in Rd. 4 of the World Championships to move further ahead in their respective championships and retain the coveted red plates.
After a clear victory in the opening moto for Cairoli the five times world champion had to engage in a tough four-way fight for the checkered flag in the closing stages of the second moto. The final result could have gone either way right up to the last seconds but he managed to hang on to third place to grab the GP win by a slender one point. It was a fight all the way for Cairoli.
He was back at sixth at the start of the second moto but in his usual dynamic way was quickly mixing it with the race leaders. With a handful of laps to go he looked certain to challenge for the lead but then dug the front end of his 350 SX-F into the sand and sacrificed two places. Cairoli then went on the offensive on the now deeply rutted track. He managed to hang on to third but also received some assistance thanks to a last minute charge by fellow Italian David Philippaerts who spoilt the party for rivals Clement Desalle and Christophe Pourcel. Cairoli’s third place was enough to give him the overall prize.
Tony Cairoli: “We had a good race and the track today was in good condition. I enjoyed the races and I made a good start in the first and was in third place and I just waited for a chance to pass Pourcel and Desalle, who were fighting each other. Then I found the right moment and was able to pull away, I was very motivated to go out and win the second race and I was 5 or 6 at the start. I moved up the third and I watched the guys in front for an opportunity to pass. But then I slipped out in one of the corners and lost two places. Maybe I lost a bit of concentration. I pushed to get back to third and that cost me a lot of energy but I was happy to take a 1-3 result and some more points in the championship.”
It was also a very strong weekend for Cairoli’s current teammate Ken de Dycker of Belgium who is replacing the injured Max Nagl. De Dycker put in two strong motos in the tricky soft sand to finish overall fourth but with equal points to third placed David Philippaerts. The Italian finished instead of de Dycker on the podium because of his better result in the second race. Ken is currently fourth in the overall MX1 standings and is just three points behind third placed Gautier Paulin of France heading for Brazil next weekend. While Tony Cairoli competes in the big class on the light and nimble KTM 350 SX-F, de Dycker, like all other riders in the class is on the 450 cc bike.
Ken de Dycker: “I finished with equal points to Philippaerts but I am really disappointed not to be on the podium. It was very close the whole weekend and I feel like I am getting better with the bike now. But I can’t really complain as I was sick last week and wasn’t able to do any preparation the whole week. Also I did well in the points so I have to be happy about that.”
Herlings shines in MX2
Jeffrey Herlings delivered two copybook rides in MX2 to go into the record books as the first ever GP winner in Mexico by putting on a great show on his KTM 250 SX-F for the Mexican fans. Jeffrey was well supported by teammate Jeremy van Horebeek of Belgium who had two excellent starts, secured both holeshots and even led both motos in the opening stages. He twice finished third behind Briton Tommy Searle to join his teammate on the podium in third overall and has strengthened his second position in the championship standings.
Without a doubt it was the Dutch teenager who was the MX2 star of the weekend and he seemed to gain in authority and confidence as the race weekend progressed. Looking increasingly comfortable on the shale and sand track that had been heavily watered for Sunday’s race, he put in a stunning ride in the second moto to finish 25 seconds clear of his biggest rival, Searle. He now has six wins and two second from eight races and has a 40-point lead over teammate van Horebeek in the overall standings.
Jordi Tixier of France, the rookie member of the Red Bull KTM factory team can also leave Mexico satisfied with his ride. He rode well in both motos to finish a creditable sixth overall and his first moto was particularly strong when he looked like he was going to finish fourth but got passed in the final corner.
Jeffrey Herlings: ”The track was kind of sandy and so it suited me and on Sunday it was much better prepared. I managed to put in a solid gap to win the race and in the second moto I came from tenth and won by about 25 seconds. Now I am pumped to be racing another new track in Brazil next week.”
Jeremy van Horebeek: “I took two holeshots and the bike was awesome but I had to give away my second place in both races. I pushed very heard at the beginning and in the end I had to pay for that. I didn’t feel good between the heats and probably it was a combination of the heat and the altitude and the different food.’
Jordi Tixier: “I’m happy with my weekend. I had two good starts and I was fourth in the first race all through but then I got passed in the last corner so I was a little disappointed. I was also going well in the second race then I crashed when I was fighting with Roelants. I lost some power with the bike so I went off the gas and stuck to that place.”
All the riders had issues with the dust on Saturday and did not compete in the qualifying race but the organizers did well to prepare the track for Sunday’s races, which was heavily watered overnight. They also raced in very hot, dry conditions and at altitude so top levels of fitness was very important. They now immediately travel to Brazil to another new venue at Beto Carrero where they will race next week. The track is reported to be sandy so it should particularly suit Herlings and Cairoli very well.
GP of Mexico at Guadalajara – Round 4 of the World Championship
1, Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM
2, Clement Desalle, Belgium, Suzuki
3, David Philippaerts, Italy, Yamaha
4, Ken de Dycker, Belgium, KTM
5, Tanel Leok, Estonia, Suzuki
7, Kevin Strijbos, Belgium, KTM
12, Matiss Karro, Latvia, KTM
16, Davide Guarneri, Italy, KTM
1, Cairoli, 178
2, Desalle, 149
3, Paulin, 134
4, de Dycker, 131
5, C. Pourcel, 129
7, Strijbos, 103
14, Karro, 53
15, Guarneri, 46
MX1 Manufacturers Standings
1, KTM, 178
2, Kawasaki, 165
3, Suzuki, 159
1, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM
2, Tommy Searle, GBR, Kawasaki
3, Jeremy van Horebeek, Belgium, KTM
4, Joel Roelants, Belgium, Kawasaki
5, Christophe Charlier, France, Yamaha
6, Jordi Tixier, France, KTM
7, Jake Nichols, GBR, KTM
9, Glenn Coldenhoff, Netherlands, KTM
14, Valentin Guillod, Switzerland, KTM
15, Jose Butron, Spain, KTM
1, Herlings, 194
2, van Horebeek, 154
3, Searle, 153
4, Roelants, 118
5, Tixier, 107
7, Nichols, 95
12, Butron, 60
MX2 Manufacturers Standings
1, KTM, 194
2, Kawasaki, 176
3, Yamaha, 113
Photos by Ray Archer