Red Bull KTM Factory Racings Jeffrey Herlings on Sunday took yet another impressive MX2 GP victory in the sands of the Hyvinkää circuit in Finland on Sunday to equal his team manager Stefan Everts’ 12 victories in a single season. And while Herlings was taking care of that, factory teammate Tony Cairoli picked up an impressive 1-1 in MX1 to make it a perfect day for the KTM factory team.
Herlings teammate Jordi Tixier of France finished with a podium third in MX2 and MX1 factory rider Ken de Dycker was fourth in MX1.
After a crash in MX2 qualifying the day before, Herlings tweeted that Saturdays didn’t seem to suit him. But it was clear from opening moto that he has no problems with Sundays. He started at ninth on he grid and while fellow Dutch rider Glenn Coldenhoff grabbed the holeshot, Herlings was way out in front before the end of the opening lap. He was seven seconds in front at the close of the second lap, half way through the race he had extended his lead to 24 seconds and by the time he cross the finish line he had amassed a terrifying winning margin of 59 seconds. He then repeated the performance in the second moto, winning by 52 seconds. Herlings perfect scorecard shows he has dropped only eight points in 24 races, of which he has won 22. He has a lead of 151 points over teammate Tixier in second place and there are 250 more up for grabs in the remaining races.
Herlings said he was able to put Saturday behind him and he came out strong on the Sunday. “I was in front after a few corners in the first moto and I managed to win by a big gap. Then I got a top five start in the second moto, I was in front after about one and a half laps and I could control the race. The track was bumpy like it is in Holland and it was a fun race.”
It was also a strong race for Tixier who showed courage, stamina and determination to put a first lap crash behind him and doggedly fight his way back to overall fifth. Tixier went out very determined in the second moto, was the only rider to go anywhere near Herlings and finished second to pick up a podium third.
Tixier said later he had had a bad start in the opener and ran off the track and when he came back, another rider hit the wheel of his bike and he crashed. “I was completely last and I had a big fight to come back to fifth. The first moto was pretty tough and I used a lot of my energy. But then I got a good start in the second moto, I had a good feeling with the bike and I pushed hard to make a gap. It was nice to be on the podium and I made some good points.”
Meanwhile in MX1 Cairoli showed little sign of being troubled by his niggling knee injury as he raced his way to a 1-1 and 50 more championship points. It was his eighth GP win of the season as he too lays down the groundwork to defend his MX1 World Championship title.
Cairoli is not only a great rider but also a great tactician and in the first moto he again rode a careful race and chose his overtaking maneuvers with attention to the fine details. He managed to work his way carefully to the front to finish 6.7 seconds ahead of Clement Desalle while his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate de Dycker was third. But in the second moto Cairoli followed Kevin Strijbos into the first corner and immediately took over the lead. He then settled in to control the race for the remaining laps. De Dycker was down at around nine in the opening phase but moved up to sixth at the finish for his overall fourth.
Cairoli said he was pleased to pick up the double moto because he has been doing very little training on his injured knee. “Now its much better and that’s good for my confidence and motivation. I can push a bit more and you can survive on a tough track like this. It was a nice weekend for me with two good motos and the top spot on the podium, even if my starts were not so good.”
Ken de Dycker said he had some difficulty in the second moto and had to keep focusing so he didn’t make any mistakes. “Twice I didn’t make a very good start and here it is hard to pass and that costs a lot of energy. But I’ve had three podiums in the last races and today I was (at fourth overall) close. My riding was okay and I still have the speed so I just have to be ready for the next race.”
Guillod second in EMX250s
Hyvinkää also hosted Round 5 of the EMX250 championship, which saw KTM’s Valentin Guillod of Switzerland pick up a pair of second places for second on the podium. Valentin holds the red plate as championship leader but said he wanted to work on his starts before the next round. “I’m not a sand specialist. Today I made two bad starts but I was able to finish second twice and that’s good for the championship. I have the red plate so there’s no pressure for me. My goal is always to be on the podium and I managed that.”
Cairoli now has a 99-point lead over Gautier Paulin in the championship, which if he wins will be his career eighth. He has had a 3-race winning streak during the championship’s visit to the European north, winning in Sweden, Latvia and now Finland.
Everts said he was happy with his riders and payed tribute to all the factory team, which he said had done a great job. “I love to come to Scandinavia, including Finland, where we haven’t been for a long time. I think it was a successful GP.”
The competition now has a one-week break before resuming in Germany’s Teutschenthal. All four Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders will attend the Stefan Everts and Friends Charity Race in between. It is the eighth edition of this charity fund-raiser organized by Everts and will be on July 21, 2013.
“This is the only time the race fans can see me on the bike,” Everts said. “there will be a lot of GP riders there and I am thankful for their support. this year the big star will be F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen.”
GP of Finland at Hyvinkää – Round 12 of the World Championship
1, Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM
2, Clement Desalle, Belgium, Suzuki
3, Kevin Strijbos, Belgium, Suzuki
4, Ken de Dycker, Belgium, KTM
5, Jeremy van Horebeek, Belgium, Kawasaki
7, Rui Goncalves, Portugal, KTM
13, Matiss Karro, Latvia, KTM
15, Jonathan Barragan, Spain, KTM
16, Davide Guarneri, Italy, KTM
1, Cairoli, 564
2, Paulin, 465
3, Desalle, 456
4, de Dycker, 441
5, Strijbos, 365
9, Goncalves, 230
10, Guarneri, 195
MX1 Manufacturers Standings
1, KTM, 576
2, Suzuki, 484
3, Kawasaki, 474
1, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM
2, Dean Ferris, Australia, Yamaha
3, Jordi Tixier, France, KTM
4, Jose Butron, Spain, KTM
5, Aleksandr Tonkov, Russia, Honda
6, Harri Kullas, Finland, KTM
9, Glenn Coldenhoff, Netherlands, KTM
11, Jake Nicholls, Great Britain, KTM
13, Romain Febvre, France, KTM
16, Tim Gajser, Slovenia, KTM
1, Herlings, 592
2, Tixier, 441
3, Butron, 383
4, Charlier, 343
5, Coldenhoff, 326
7, Nicholls, 292
MX2 Manufacturers Standings
1, KTM, 597
2, Yamaha, 428
3, Kawasaki, 344