He may be still on the road to recovery from a fractured right ankle, but Dutchman Jeffery Herlings is certainly on his way back to his best again after a solid display at the GP of Sweden at the weekend.
With the Motocross of Nations just around the corner and Herlings teaming up with fellow MXGP star Glenn Coldenhoff and either Calvin Vlaanderen or Roan van de Moosdijk with MX2 class duties for that event at Assen on September 28-29, it was important for Herlings to be back in action sooner rather than later.
He won the MXGP qualifying race on Saturday and then led early in the first of the two MXGP races the following day, before eventually pulling out after a small crash. Arm pump had been a problem leading up to that spill.
He bounced back to finish fourth in the next MXGP race, a truly impressive performance for a rider on a comeback from serious injury.
Meanwhile, a motocross world champion was crowned at the Uddevalla circuit at the weekend as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado took his back-to-back title in MX2 class and two surprising winners went on top of the Podium in the MXGP and MX2 classes.
Standing Construct KTM’s Coldenhoff won his second GP of the season in the MXGP class and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle combined his 2-2 results for an overall win in MX2.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team rider Herlings marked his return not only with a pole position from Saturday’s qualifying, he took the holeshot and led the opening MXGP race from Standing Construct KTM’s Coldenhoff, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team’s Romain Febvre. Gajser was quickly into second place after passing Coldenhoff while Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team’s Jeremy Seewer slipped over in the first lap.
Gajser was all over Herlings, but the Dutchman remained calm and in the lead at this debut after a few weeks off the bike. Gajser went down in a corner and dropped back to fourth place giving Herlings a major lead. After two laps the lead was more than two seconds as Coldenhoff and Febvre battled for second place.
Herlings held the control of the race, but wasn’t getting far away from Coldenhoff while Febvre and Gajser closed in on the Dutch riders while Jonass remained in fifth place. Coldenhoff moved into the lead on lap 10 after Herlings’ mistake and Febvre was also all over Herlings. Febvre and Gajser both went past Herlings, who started to really struggle with arm-pump.
After 12 laps Coldenhoff continued to lead followed by Febvre, Gajser, Jonass, and Herlings in fifth place found himself fighting with Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha’s Arnaud Tonus for 5th when suddenly Herlings crashed and Tonus ran into him and both went down. Herlings got going again, although Tonus was done for the race as his bike started blowing smoke. Herlings decided to retire from the race.
Coldenhoff and Febvre battled side by side in the last laps but Coldenhoff managed to hang on and he won his third race of the season ahead of Febvre and Gajser.
The second MXGP gate dropped and Febvre took the holeshot followed by Gajser, Tonus, Seewer, Jonass, Monster Energy KRT’s Tommy Searle, Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha’s Gautier Paulin, Herlings and Coldenhoff.
Febvre and Gajser were pushing hard to ensure the lead as the French held only a bunch of seconds lead over the Slovenian after five laps while back in the leading pack Seewer and Coldenhoff battled for fifth place. Finally, on lap nine Coldenhoff moved past Seewer while Gajser was still looking for a way past Febvre.
Gajser went for a wild pass on Febvre, but the Frenchman managed to remain in the lead. In the meantime Herlings managed to reach the sixth position after a start in 8th as Tonus dropped back in the field in 7th. On lap 13 Gajser eventually moved into the lead followed by Jonass, Coldenhoff and Seewer.
JWR Yamaha rider Kevin Strijbos moved into 10th place in the late stages of the race and Herlings was closing up on Seewer for fifth position. Febvre crashed down hard and was forced to a DNF; Febvre was taken to the hospital for further examinations.
Coldenhoff was all over Jonass in the last lap and was fighting hard for the overall victory. Coldenhoff went through Jonass ensuring a second GP win of the season while Gajser won his 16th race of the season from Coldenhoff and Jonass.
Coldenhoff won the MXGP of Sweden ahead of Gajser and Jonass.
Glenn Coldenhoff: “It was a tough weekend but I’m very satisfied. Jeffrey was in front of me in the beginning of the first race, and it is really difficult and Febvre was close at the end and I got a little nervous, but I kept it on for the win. I’m very happy about my riding now”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado led the field into the first lap of the opening MX2 race but it was team-mate Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle who took the holeshot. Behind the two KTM riders were F&H Racing Kawasaki’s Henry Jacobi, Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen, and REVO Husqvarna’s New Zealand rider Dylan Walsh in fifth place. Prado quickly pulled away from the pack and Vialle made a gap between himself and Jacobi.
Sanayei nearly crashed and let Vlaanderen go past after the South African rider had lost a few places. Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Jago Geerts and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Thomas Kjer Olsen did not have fantastic starts as they were in 13th and 14th respectively.
Two laps in and the lead was just a second and a half as Vialle tried to keep his team-mate in sight. Third was Jacobi, then Kiwi rider Walsh and Vlaanderen while Sterry was riding fonfortable and moved into sixth place and Vlaanderen was back into fourth spot after passing Walsh.
After six laps Prado continued to lead Vialle by a little less than two seconds, as Sterry and SM Action Yamaha’s Maxime Renaux passed Walsh, dropping the New Zealander to seventh place. Geerts went down and dropped back to 16thplace.
Jorge Prado won the first race at the MXGP of Sweden ahead of Vialle and Jacobi and it was enough to ensure his back-to-back title in MX2 with other two rounds left. Jorge Prado had his greatest career results in 2019 as the Spaniard has in his pockets 12 pole positions, 470 laps led, 27 race win and 14 GP win out of 16 rounds at only 18 years old.
After a long celebration on Prado’s second title, the gate dropped for MX2 race 2 and Vialle took the second holeshot of the day while the American Bike It DRT Kawasaki rider Darian Sanayei led the race from Sterry, Vialle, Prado, and Jacobi. Vialle then moved into the lead in the opening lap, and Prado was just as quickly into third place. After a lap Vialle lead the top five followed by, Sterry, Prado, Sanayei and Vlaanderen but Prado made a mistake and fell in a corner and dropped back to sixth position.
Two laps in and Vialle held a two-second lead over Sterry, with Prado dropping back to eight position as he struggled with the clutch. Vlaanderen moved into third place and Jacobi seemingly picked up an injury out of the race twisting his knee.
After four laps Vialle led by two seconds from Sterry, then came Vlaanderen, Sanayei, Walsh, Geerts, Prado, Renaux, Olsen and Evans into the top 10.
Geerts crashed and dropped a bunch of places on lap five and found himself in 11th place while Prado moved up to sixth. On lap nine Sterry and Vlaanderen moved closer to Vialle and the top three battled hard for the race win. Prado moved into fourth place and was 20 seconds off Vialle.
Vlaanderen moved past Sterry and Vialle turned up the heat and moved to five seconds away from the South African. Vlaanderen moved into the lead as Vialle made a mistake and dropped to second. Vlaanderen won his first MX2 race of the season from Vialle and Sterry while m Vialle ensured his first GP win in MX2 with his 2-2 results, Vlaanderen was second overall with 4-1 and third was Prado with 1-4.
Photo courtesy MXGP
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RESULTS & STANDINGS:
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top Ten:
1. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 34:53.626; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:01.070; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:07.239; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:17.369; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:36.305; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:45.441; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:49.112; 8. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:53.522; 9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Yamaha), +0:55.459; 10. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:58.189;
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:44.502; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:04.820; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:06.741; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:16.320; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:18.793; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:29.379; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:33.891; 8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:36.572; 9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Yamaha), +0:38.461; 10. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:42.154;
MXGP – GP Top Ten:
1. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 47 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 45 p.; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 38 p.; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 30 p.; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 30 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 28 p.; 7. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 24 p.; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, YAM), 24 p.; 9. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 24 p.; 10. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 22 p.;
MXGP – World Championship Top Ten:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 709 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 511 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 468 p.; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 446 p.; 5. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 443 p.; 6. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 397 p.; 7. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 390 p.; 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 384 p.; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 377 p.; 10. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 358 p.;
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35:11.359; 2. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:01.186; 3. Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:23.385; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:24.875; 5. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:29.699; 6. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:33.210; 7. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Honda), +0:52.064; 8. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:54.003; 9. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:55.838; 10. Dylan Walsh (NZL, Husqvarna), +0:57.109;
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), 35:22.115; 2. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:07.499; 3. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:14.043; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:14.377; 5. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:22.345; 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:25.838; 7. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:28.000; 8. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:29.524; 9. Dylan Walsh (NZL, Husqvarna), +0:39.088; 10. Mitchell Harrison (USA, Kawasaki), +0:39.938;
MX2 – GP Top Ten:
1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 44 points; 2. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 43 p.; 3. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 43 p.; 4. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 36 p.; 5. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 31 p.; 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 28 p.; 7. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 24 p.; 8. Dylan Walsh (NZL, HUS), 23 p.; 9. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, HON), 23 p.; 10. Darian Sanayei (USA, KAW), 22 p.;
MX2 – World Championship Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 737 points; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 592 p.; 3. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 467 p.; 4. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 460 p.; 5. Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 442 p.; 6. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 356 p.; 7. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 340 p.; 8. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 324 p.; 9. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 282 p.; 10. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, HON), 278 p.;