Herlings, Prado Top Fiat Professional MXGP of Belgium

Jeffrey Herlings gets the job done in the sand at Lommel, Belgium, to win the MXGP class, while teammate Jorge Prado Garcia wins the MX2 class.

LOMMEL, Belgium, August 6, 2017–The 2017 Fiat Professional MXGP of Belgium finished in amazing fashion today! After a soggy Saturday, race today started with the sun shining as the best MXGP and MX2 riders took to the demanding sands of Lommel. Focus, strength, and skill all combined into winning performances for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado Garcia on an historic day when the KTM brand swept both the MXGP and MX2 overall podiums.

Jeffrey Herlinngs rolled to a 1-1 sweep of the MXGP glass at the 2017 Fiat Professional MXGP of Belgium on August 6. The event was round 15 of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship. PHOTO BY RAY ARCHER/KTM IMAGES.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings came into Belgium focused on winning on the sand and as MXGP Race 1 started he found himself second on the first lap sandwiched between his teammates, Glen Coldenhoff, and Antonio Cairoli.

Coldenhoff led the his fellow countryman while Cairoli gave chase to the two Dutch riders. Coldenhoff managed to hold his own against the man known as the sand master, Herlings, for the first laps. It was on lap six that Herlings found his way into the lead and looked to check out from Cairoli and the rest.

While Herlings led, Coldenhoff responded to the charges of Cairoli well for the next five laps at which point Cairoli went by him. The battle for the position wasn’t over, though, and thanks to a mistake from Cairoli, Coldenhoff slid back by for another lap before Cairoli reclaimed the spot and took second and 27 seconds behind Herlings.

As Coldenhoff took third it looked as if Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Romain Febvre would take fourth, but the french rider fell on the last lap, which gave his teammate, Jeremy Van Horebeek, the position. Finishing out the Race 1 in the top five was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl.

Herlings (84) had an epic battle with MXGP series points leader Antonio Cairoli (222) in the second moto. The two Red Bull KTM teammates gave no quarter, but Herlings was eventually able to escape for the second-moto win. PHOTO BY RAY ARCHER/KTM IMAGES.

MXGP Race 2 started with another FOX Holeshot from Cairoli, but Herlings was second across the chalk, and he went to work quickly, making a pass on the Italian before even reaching the green flag. From there the two newly found rivals went all out in a brilliant race.

Behind the battle for the lead and ultimately the race win was the MXGP championship points second-place man, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing’s Clement Desalle. The Belgian soon made a mistake that opened the door for Team Suzuki World MXGP’s Arminas Jasikonis and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie.

Desalle picked himself up behind Anstie but then Jasikonis crashed out of the race moving Anstie to third and Desalle to fourth, ahead of Coldenhoff. Confidence from his Race 1 podium pushed Coldenhoff to pass Desalle for the position and two more overall points.

Up front, Herlings and Cairoli were having the battle that fans had been dreaming of. Cairoli showed aggression in the rutty Belgium sand, making a pass for the lead and pushing Herlings out wide. Half a lap later Herlings dove to the inside of Cairoli, but it was answered immediately by the Sicilian. Banging bars for several laps, Herlings again passed Cairoli in the same corner, but this time brake checked him in the process. Herlings’ antics provided him with the lead as he sprinted away from Cairoli.

Cairoli backed off in MXGP Race 2, claiming an easy second-place overall finish to mitigate his points loss. He is still comfortably ahead as he seeks his seventh career MXGP and 10th overall World Championship. PHOTO BY RAY ARCHER/KTM IMAGES.

Cairoli backed off from his charge and settled for second in the race and second overall, dropping his pace the final laps.

“I’m really happy for sure, fighting against Jeffrey,” Cairoli said. “He is one of the fastest in the world in this kind of soil, and we had good racing. Also, with Glenn in the first race, he was very fast, so it was fun.”

Herlings not only took double race wins and the overall in Belgium, he also leapt past Desalle for second in the MXGP World Championship chase.

“I had a really good weekend,” Herlings said. “I won yesterday, won both motos today, and I had a pretty good start last race. I’m happy with that. It was clean racing, and I enjoyed it. I’m happy a got the better of him [Cairoli] this weekend.”

Coldenhoff took the final podium spot making it a Red Bull KTM Factory Racing sweep as Desalle and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin round out the top 5.

“It’s great,” Coldenhoff said. “It has been a while since I have sat here, so it’s really good. I had a good weekend. Coming into this GP I felt really strong, and I’ve had some very competitive days in the sand.”

Last year’s Motocross World Champion, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, struggled with mistakes in the Belgdium sand, including a fall which resulted with an 11th overall.

Red Bull KTM’s Jorge Prado Garcia mastered the sand in Lommel, Belgium, and claimed the overall win in the MX2 class. PHOTO BY RAY ARCHER/KTM IMAGES.

The Belgium weekend wouldn’t be complete without the MX2 racing, and the KTM bikes proved strong again. To start Race 1, Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer took the FOX Holeshot, but the young Spaniard, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Jorge Prado Garcia, took the lead immediately. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider and points leader Pauls Jonass was around fifth off the start but by the end of the first lap had already passed LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber and Hitachi KTM UK’s Ben Watson.

Jonass took only three laps to catch Seewer in second before passing him on lap four. Jonass then put his head down and caught Prado, who remained determined putting up a fight to hold his position even against his points-leading teammate. Jonass eventually broke away from Prado and took the win while Seewer took third ahead of Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Benoit Paturel and Lieber.

Race 2’s FOX Holeshot went to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington with Seewer again toward the front. A mistake in the first turn swallowed up a handful of riders including Race 1 winner Jonass and Paturel. Jonass was among the last to get going again, and he found himself in 32nd place on the opening lap.

In the meantime, Prado led with Covington and Lieber battling for second. As Lieber passed Covington, Seewer fell out of fourth. The golden opportunity to gain points on Jonass started to slip away as Seewer remounted in ninth.

Jonass was instead moving forward through the pack at an amazing pace gaining 12 positions by lap two, and he didn’t stop there. By the end he would pass 27 competitors to place fifth.

American rider Thomas Covington (64) pulled the holeshot in the second MX2 moto but finished well outside the top 10. PHOTO BY RAY ARCHER/KTM IMAGES.

“I had that crash in the second race, and I came from dead last to fifth place, so it was not so bad,” Jonass said. “They say you win the championship on your bad days, and think this was one of the days.”

Seewer moved forward too, but only back to where he had started, fourth.

Covington fell out second and he would not rejoin the race which gave Lieber second behind Race 2 and Belgium MX2 overall winner Prado.

“I’m feeling pretty happy, you know,” Prado said. “it is pretty difficult to win a GP. Eeverybody is riding really fast, so it is hard work. This weekend the track was pretty tough, and you really have to give it your all, which I did.”

Jonass took second behind Prado but ahead of Lieber, Seewer, and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen.

“I’m really happy to be back on the podium after a long time,” Lieber said. “I have struggled a lot the last races but this weekend was good.”

2017 FIM Motocross World Championship
Fiat Professional MXGP of Belgium
Stedelijk Motorcrossterrein Lommel vzw
Lommel, Belgium
Results: August 6, 2017 (Round 15 of 18)

(Left to right) Cairoli, Herlings and third-place finisher Glenn Coldenhoff gave Red Bull KTM Factory Racing a sweep of the Lommel MXGP podium. PHOTO BY RAY ARCHER/KTM IMAGES.

MXGP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:34.225; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:27.342; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:39.296; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:53.580; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:56.056; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:00.579; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:02.065; 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +1:06.221; 9. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:08.869; 10. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +1:22.939.

MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:44.270; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:23.346; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:41.147; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:53.174; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:55.569; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:57.337; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +1:00.060; 8. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +1:17.957; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +1:32.207; 10. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:43.308.

MXGP Overall Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 44 p.; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 31 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 29 p.; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 28 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 27 p.; 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 27 p.; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 26 p.; 10. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 24 p.

MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 567 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 468 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 462 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 446 p.; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 376 p.; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 365 p.; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 336 p.; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 320 p.; 9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 303 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 302 p.

MXGP Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 609 points; 2. Husqvarna, 498 p.; 3. Yamaha, 473 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 462 p.; 5. Honda, 454 p.; 6. Suzuki, 318 p.

Garcia (center) celebrates his MX2 win. Series point leader Pauls Jonass (left) was second overall, and Julien Lieber (right) was third overall. PHOTO BY RAY ARCHER/KTM IMAGES.

MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 36:03.639; 2. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:04.963; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:27.982; 4. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:32.972; 5. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:33.010; 6. Ben Watson (GBR, KTM), +0:42.319; 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:43.909; 8. Conrad Mewse (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:47.263; 9. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:47.324; 10. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +1:15.566.

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 36:39.880; 2. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:11.832; 3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:13.661; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:20.345; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:33.847; 6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +0:36.833; 7. Conrad Mewse (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:51.589; 8. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +1:01.363; 9. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +1:01.803; 10. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), +1:03.628.

MX2 Overall Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 47 points; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 41 p.; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 38 p.; 5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 34 p.; 6. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 31 p.; 7. Conrad Mewse (GBR, HUS), 27 p.; 8. Ben Watson (GBR, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), 22 p.; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 21 p.

MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 589 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 539 p.; 3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 437 p.; 4. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 429 p.; 5. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 412 p.; 6. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 351 p.; 7. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 315 p.; 8. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 294 p.; 9. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, SUZ), 246 p.; 10. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 246 p.

MX2 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 647 points; 2. Suzuki, 554 p.; 3. Husqvarna, 521 p.; 4. Yamaha, 476 p.; 5. Kawasaki, 316 p.; 6. Honda, 226 p.; 7. TM, 124 p.