The KTM factory riders went to Uddevalla looking forward to a part sandy track that should suit them but once again the rain turned it into a battle with the mud that ended in disaster for the team’s Tony Cairoli in MX1 and a difficult two races for Jeffrey Herlings in MX2.
Photos by R.Archer
First out on the rain soaked track were the MX2 riders and Jeffrey Herlings found himself with much to do after his rival Tommy Searle got away cleanly and took a handy lead. Herlings found himself right at the back after the start of the opening moto and the sand specialist then had to battle through the mud to get within striking distance of Searle. Then almost at the end of the race the British rider was forced to return to the pits and Herlings, who by then was in second, grabbed the lead. Searle quickly returned to the track and was gaining ground on KTM’s Dutch teenager. But time ran out of him and Herlings went on to take the flag.
For MX2 teammate Jeremy van Horebeek, things also did not pan out well in the opening race. He dropped out two thirds into the race and had to wheel his mud-covered bike back to the pits.
A similar fate struck KTM’s MX1 championship leader Tony Carioli two thirds of the way through his opening MX1 moto when he picked up a stone that lodged hard in the chain, locked up his back wheel and forced his to retire, leaving the glory to his rival Clement Desalle of Belgium. Kevin Strijbos was the best KTM finisher at five in the opening MX1 moto while Cairoli’s factory teammate Ken de Dycker of Belgium made a heroic dash from the back of the field to finish in a creditable eleventh.
The second MX2 moto was also a problem for Herlings who crashed and found himself right at the back of the field in lap one. Meanwhile van Horebeek was lapping very fast times eventually finished second in the moto. Herlings battled his way through the pack to eventual seventh and still managed to claim second overall even if his points lead in the championship was clipped back to 16. Van Horebeek’s second place the second moto was enough to give him overall eighth even though he had a DNF in race one. The third team member Jordi Tixier of France finished overall sixth and picked up good points to stay in fifth position in the standings but he said he struggled to have a good feeling on the Uddevalla track and had difficulty recovering from two bad starts in the mud.
Jeffrey Herlings: “I was good at the start of the first moto and worked my way up to second to pass Tommy and win. In the second I was unlucky and had a crash with my two teammates at the start. I got back to sixth then I had another crash that put me right back in the field. I managed to get back to seventh but I think more was not possible. I lost some points but I hope to make them up in the next round which is a sand track.”
Jeremy van Horebeek was philosophical about his DNF in the opening race, simply saying that it is a mechanical sport and such things can happen but in reality he had been running in a good third with only minutes to go when the bike broke putting him out. “I put that aside and focused on the second race. I had a bad start but I worked my way up to second. I felt good and I had a good pace,” he said.
Meanwhile Cairoli was back on the track for the second MX1 moto and settled into sixth place in the opening laps. Then disaster struck when he ran off the track and buried his bike up to the foot pegs in the quagmire of mud that track grooming machines had pushed to the side of the track. There was no alternative for the championship leader but to retire. Teammate de Dycker also crashed again in the opening stages leaving a lot of work to get back into the points.
Cairoli admitted that he had never had a “double zero” in his great racing career but was also philosophical about the first race incident dismissing it simply as something that can happen in Motocross. “In the second I made a little mistake on the landing of the jump but then I got stuck in the mud on the side of the track. It’s a shame when you are in good shape and the bike is running well when you can’t get back into the race. But now I am motivated for the next races and I will go on the attack and try to win back the red plate,” the five times world champion said.
KTM spirits were lifted however with Strijbos powering home on the KTM 350 SX-F to finish overall third. Cairoli’s double DNF also cost him the coveted red plate, which he will try to reclaim when riders meet again for the next round in tow week’s time in Kegums, Latvia.
Team Manager Stefan Everts: “This was one day that everything went wrong but we have put in so many good races for so many years that sooner or later this was going to happen. I think we are a really strong team and they are all willing to fight back. Tony lost the ride plate but we know his capabilities and he’s relaxed so it’s just going to make MX1 really interesting again. We also had some bad luck in MX2 but Latvia is in two weeks, the season is long and I don’t thing we have lost anything on the championships.”
MX1 Team Manager Claudio de Carli: “What happened today was unfortunate and bad luck for Tony but such things are just part of our sport. We cannot blame anyone because no one is to blame and we don’t need to find any solutions because there are no big issues.” He added though that he hoped the team could help Ken de Dycker with the problems he was having with his starts. “He is putting a lot of effort into his racing and if we can get the difficulty sorted out with his starts, then I am sure he can be on the podium,” de Carli said.
1, Clement Desalle, Belgium, Suzuki
2, Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki
3, Kevin Strijbos, Belgium, KTM
4, Sebastien Pourcel, France, Kawasaki
5, Shaun Simpson, GBR, Yamaha
9, Ken de Dycker, Belgium, KTM
14, Davide Guarneri, Italy, KTM
Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM DNF
MX1 Championship Standings
1, Desalle, 348
2, Cairoli, 345
3, C. Pourcel, 336
4, Paulin, 315
5, de Dycker, 257
6, Strijbos, 243
15, Karro, 112
16, Guarneri, 109
MX1 Manufacturers Standings
1, Kawasaki, 394
1, KTM, 392
3, Suzuki, 358
1, Tommy Searle, GBR, Kawasaki
2, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM
3, Dylan Ferrandis, France, Kawasaki
4, Jake Nicholls, GBR, KTM
5, Zachary Osborne, USA, Yamaha
6, Jordi Tixier, France, KTM
8, Jeremy van Horebeek, Belgium, KTM
9, Glenn Coldenhoff, Netherlands, KTM
10, Jose Butron, Spain, KTM
11, Romain Febvre, France, KTM
13, Valentin Guillod, Switzerland, KTM
MX2 Championship Standings
1, Herlings, 403
2, Searle, 387
3, van Horebeek, 330
4, Roelants, 263
5, Tixier, 243
6, Nicholls, 237
9, Butron, 168
13, Coldenhoff, 124
MX2 Manufacturers Standings
1, KTM, 424
2, Kawasaki, 410
3, Yamaha, 261
EMX 125 Overall Results – Round 5 in Uddevalla, Sweden
1, Tim Gajser, Slovenia, KTM
2, Pauls Jonass, Latvia, KTM
3, Magne Klingshelm, Norway, KTM
4, Davide Bonini, Italy, KTM
5, Vaclav Kovar, Czech Republic, KTM
Note: Riders finishing in positions 1-9 all on KTM bikes.
EMX 125 Championship Standings
1, Gajser, 245
2, Klingshelm, 168
3, Bonini, 147
4, Dunn, 127
3, Lundgren, 120
EMX 125 Manufacturers Standings
1, KTM, 250
2, Suzuki, 139
3, Yamaha, 90