Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings put injury behind him on Sunday and rose to the occasion to score a double victory at the Dutch Lierop track in front of his home crowd. Herlings 1-1 in the deep sand rounded off a top season where he secured his second MX2 world title with three rounds in hand.
Herlings was joined on the podium by teammate Jordi Tixier of France in third place, while in MX1, 2013 World Champion Tony Cairoli finished third with KTM teammate Ken de Dycker in fifth. Both Tixier and de Dycker had some injury issues that held them back on what was a very difficult Lierop track.
Photos by Ray Archer.
Cairoli, who settled his seventh world title at Matterley Basin UK in the previous round, opted to ride the KTM 450 SX-F machine instead of his usual KTM 350 SX-F. He finished fourth in the opening moto after some minor technical difficulties but had decisive win in the second moto, crossing the line 53 seconds ahead of second-placed Kevin Strijbos. The final GP result was very close when competition heated up between the five leading riders. Going into the last lap, Cairoli was in with a chance to finish second or third in the GP, depending on the outcome of the minor places. The eventual outright win by outsider Shaun Simpson was a popular one.
Tony Cairoli: “I was quite cautious at the beginning of the first race with the KTM 450, but then I really went for it in the second moto. I had my best lap times and the speed was good.”
Herlings performance on the badly cut up sand track was all the more remarkable because it was just three weeks after fracturing his shoulder blade at the Belgium GP. He had made a snap decision on Friday to race, even though doctors said he should be off the bike for six weeks. The wet and heavy track also played into his hands because he and other riders shied away from challenging jumps that would have jarred his injured shoulder.
Herlings won the opening moto by 24 seconds and quickly opened up a 12 second lead at the start of the second race before a crash trimmed his lead by eight seconds. He scrambled back in the action and put in some of his fastest laps in the closing stages.
Tixier, already second in the championship finished 3-4 on the difficult track. Spanish KTM rider Jose Butron, who is no friend of sand tracks finished back at sixteenth place but was still picked up enough points to finish third in the championship. “My goal for the season was top five so I am very happy to finish top three,” Butron said.
The final EMX title, for the EMX 250 class was also settled in Lierop and was won by Swiss KTM rider Valentin Guillod. “This weekend I showed everybody I can also ride in sand and I am very strong mentally and physically,” he said. KTM’s Pauls Jonass, already the EMX125 champion rode in the EMX 250 race this weekend and finished an excellent fourth.
The final round wrapped up another great year for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team. As well as the MX1 & MX2 titles KTM was also top manufacturer in both classes.
The KTM factory riders now prepare for the Motocross of Nations at Germany’s Teutschental circuit the last weekend in September.
GP of Benelux (NED) at Lierop – Round 17 of the World Championship
MX1 Results (individual moto results in parenthesis)
1, Shaun Simpson, Great Britain, Yamaha, [1 – 3]
2, Kevin Strijbos, Belgium, Suzuki [2 – 2]
3, Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM [4 – 1]
4, Evgeny Bobryshev, Russia, Honda [3 – 5]
5, Ken de Dycker, Belgium, KTM [5 – 4]
11, Matiss Karro, Latvia, KTM [14 – 12]
1, Cairoli, 761
2, Desalle, 671
3, de Dycker, 607
4, Strijbos, 553
5, Paulin, 539
MX1 Manufacturers Standings
1, KTM, 788
2, Suzuki, 719
3, Kawasaki, 649
MX2 Results (individual moto results in parenthesis)
1, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM [1 – 1]
2, Dylan Ferrandis, France, Kawasaki, [2 – 3]
3, Jordi Tixier, France, KTM [3 – 4]
4, Petar Petrov, Bulgaria, Yamaha, [4 – 5]
5, Romain Febvre, France, KTM [6 – 7]
9, Glenn Coldenhoff, Netherlands, KTM [23 – 2]
10, Jake Nicholls, Great Britain, KTM [11 – 14]
12, Harri Kullas, Finland, KTM, [13 – 13]
16, Jose Butron, Spain, KTM [15 – 15]
1, Herlings, 742
2, Tixier, 609
3, Butron, 518
4, Charlier, 490
5, Coldenhoff, 472
7, Nicholls, 424
MX2 Manufacturers Standings
1, KTM, 835
2, Yamaha, 640
3, Kawasaki, 498
Motocross European Championship at Lierop, Netherlands
EMX 125 Results of Round 8
1, Frederik van der Vlist, Netherlands, Yamaha, 30:41.404
2, Davy Pootjes, Netherlands, KTM, 30:51.870
3, Cyril Genot, Belgium, Yamaha, 31:36.504
4, Bas Vaessen, Netherlands, KTM, 31:39.894
5, Anton Lundgren, Sweden, KTM, 31:58.294
EMX 125 Championship Standings after Round 8
1, Pauls Jonass, 193
2, Dercourt, 168
3, Vlaanderen, 152
4, Lundgren, 150
5, Jacobi, 142
EMX 125 Manufacturers Standings after Round 8
1, KTM, 219
2, Yamaha, 188
3, Suzuki, 114
EMX 250 Results of Round 8
1, Valentin Guillod, Switzerland, KTM, 32:31.418
2, Mike Kras, Netherlands, Suzuki, 32:46.810
3, Brian Bogers, Netherlands, KTM, 33;03.040
4, Pauls Jonass, Latvia, KTM, 33:03.881
5, Nick Kouwenberg, Netherlands, Yamaha, 33:32.325
EMX 250 Championship Standings after Round 8
1, Guillod, 189 [European Champion 2013}
2, Seewer, 152
3, Graulus, 119
4, Bogers, 109
5, Kras, 81
EMX 250 Manufacturers Standings after Round 8
1, KTM, 191
2, Suzuki, 181
3, Kawasaki, 96