Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey “Bullet” Herlings was once again in blistering form at the French circuit of Saint jean d’Angely on Sunday when he delivered two typically powerful MX2 motos to seal his eighth GP from nine so far held this season.
Herlings did not race in Brazil because of a shoulder injury, but has dominated every other outing this season. He now has a commanding 45-point lead in the championship. Factory teammate Jordi Tixier finished in third overall after racing to a 4-3 result on the hard pack French circuit, last visited by the MX World Championship in 2012. Both ride the KTM 250 SX-F machines.
The MX2 was typical Herlings, who has now evolved into a top rider on all surfaces, as well as his personal specialty of racing on sand. It was also his 39th career GP win.
Jeffrey Herlings: “I had a good heat race yesterday so I came out in pole position today and really checked out in the first moto. The second moto was a little more competitive. Tonus was really close for the first 15 minutes but then I was also able to make a gap on him. Now I have 45-points on Tonus so I really had a good weekend.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s multiple world champion Tony Cairoli had his share of bad luck in the MXGP of France on Sunday but still salvaged a 2-3 result for overall third.
The Italian rider got two excellent starts in his motos and although being pursued hard by rival Clement Desalle, looked a winner right up to the final stages of each race. He was more than two seconds clear of Desalle in his first moto when he made a mistake and slipped off the track only to see Desalle go flying past. Cairoli put in some stunning fast laps to cut the four seconds he lost in the incident to just a bike length only to see Desalle cross the line in front of him.
Cairoli surged into an early lead in his second moto, again with Desalle in hot pursuit. He managed to distance himself from the Belgian rider by 2.2 seconds and seemed set to take the decisive moto win and the overall GP victory. Again, with only a couple of laps left to ride, Cairoli had a slip in concentration and this time both Desalle and Jeremy van Horebeek charged past him. His third place finish in the second moto was enough to give him overall third.
Tony Cairoli: “I was riding a good pace in the first moto and was controlling the race but then I found some strange ruts, I lost the back and slid off the track. Then I got stuck in the mud and Clement passed me. I came close to catching him but it was not enough to take the win. I took the holeshot in the second race but I was not focused enough and the track was very sketchy. I’m pretty happy with my riding but this mistake cost me the GP win.”
Riders now have a week’s break and the competition returns for the GP of Italy at Maggiora on June 15, 2014.
MXGP of France at Saint-Jean d’Angély – Round 9
1, Clement Desalle, BEL, Suzuki, (1 – 1)
2, Jeremy van Horebeek, BEL, Yamaha, (3 – 2)
3, Tony Cairoli, ITA, KTM, (2 – 3)
4, Steven Frossard, FRA, Kawasaki, (6 – 4)
5, Evgeny Bobryshev, RUS, Honda, (5 – 5)
MXGP Standings after Rd. 9
1, Cairoli, 393
2, Desalle, 373
3, Van Horebeek, 358
4, Strijbos, 276
5, Paulin, 205
MXGP Manufacturers Standings after Rd. 9
1, KTM, 393
2, Suzuki, 383
3, Yamaha, 358
1, Jeffrey Herlings, NED, KTM, (1 – 1)
2, Arnaud Tonus, SUI, Kawasaki, (2 – 2)
3, Jordi Tixier, FRA, KTM, (4 – 3)
4, Romain Febvre, FRA, Husqvarna, (5 – 4)
5, Valentin Guillod, SUI, KTM, (3 – 9)
MX2 Standings after Rd. 9
1, Herlings, 394
2, Tonus, 349
3, Febvre, 297
4, Tixier, 291
5, Ferrandis, 278
MX2 Manufacturers Standings after Rd. 9
1, KTM, 424
2, Kawasaki, 375
3, Husqvarna, 303
Red Bull KTM Extreme Enduro rider Jonny Walker of the UK was in incredible form on Sunday when he tackled and conquered Austria’s notorious ‘Iron Mountain’ in the Red Bull Hare Scramble, the crowning event at the annual Erzbergrodeo.
Billed as the ultimate extreme event, the Hare Scramble sees 500 starters attempt to complete the mind-blowingly difficult Extreme Enduro track up and down Erzberg, where iron ore has been mined for centuries. It was the twentieth annual staging of this very special event.
Jonny Walker, who won in 2012, not only took the victory he did it by a winning margin that has rarely, if ever been seen before. He got a near perfect start on his KTM 300 EXC and literally never looked back as he charged up the mountain and over and through obstacles that had other riders dazed and confused.
“I can’t complain,” Walker said in typical understated fashion the finish area. “I had a perfect race. I wanted to get a good start and battle for the win and I managed to get a break. It feels awesome to have won like that.”
Walker finished the race in a startling 1 hour 37.38 and had given the winner’s interview before second placed Graham Jarvis of Britain passed through the winner’s arch, registering a time of 1:50:50. Jarvis was followed by KTM factory rider Andreas Lettenbichler of Germany about two minutes behind. Alfredo Gomez of Spain and KTM rider Paul Bolton of Britain completed the top five.
Results: Red Bull Hare Scramble 2014
1, Jonny Walker, GBR, KTM, 1:37:38
2, Graham Jarvis, GBR, Husqvarna, 1:50:50
3, Andreas Lettenbichler, GER, KTM, 1:53:01
4, Alfredo Gomez, ESP, Husqvarna, 1:53:53
5, Paul Bolton, GBR, KTM 1:55:21
6, Dougie Lampkin, GBR, KTM, 2:05:31
7, Cory Graffunder, CAN, Husqvarna 2:05:51
8, Ben Hemingway, GBR, Beta, 2:18:01
9. Taylor Robert, USA, KTM, 2:19:24
10. Cody Webb, USA, Beta, 2:20:06