Dutch rider Jeffrey Herlings has set a new all-time Grand Prix win record with a comprehensive 1-1 moto haul in Madrid, Spain, and the sixth round of the 2023 Motocross World Championships at the weekend.
Across a rough and rutty hard-packed course south of the capital, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team rider was dominant for his second triumph in a row, his third of the season, a first 1-1 of the year and the 102nd of a career that began in Red Bull KTM colours in 2010.
Herlings is now just six points off the world championship lead, currently held by Spain’s Jorge Prado (GasGas).
The purpose-built circuit of Intu Xanadu Arroyomolinos gathered thousands of Spanish motocross fans for what was the fourth MXGP event to take place at the site south of Madrid.
A collection of tight corners, a narrow trajectory and some spectacular jumps were formed by hard-packed and rough terrain.
The climate for qualification was hot and sunny and the weather remained stable and therefore demanding on Sunday.
Herlings came to Spain on the positive momentum of his victory from the Portuguese GP the previous weekend.
The win had brought Herlings level with the all-time record of 101 career triumphs, and the Dutchman already boasts the most chequered flags by any rider and well over 7000 career points accumulated.
He took second position in the qualification race, missing P1 by just one second. In the first moto he patiently set his pace and moved up from 3rd to 1st by the midway stage. The second outing was similar and he made three positions in typically attacking style to head the pack by the final ten minutes of the moto.
Herlings’ place in motocross history is guaranteed but for the narrative of 2023 he now has three wins from six and five podium appearances. The gap to Prado and the red plate is just six points.
The Grand Prix of France will turn to the steep hillside of Villars sous Ecot for round seven on May 20th-21st.
“I’m super-happy to improve my moto wins total and take the GP win record outright,” said Herlings afterwards.
“The rest of the guys have really stepped it up this season – Jorge is riding awesome – and they are really pushing, so I did not expect this would come so soon.
“It is still anyone’s game on any particular Sunday. To have won three from six until now is something I wouldn’t have imagined. My starts got a bit better, not great though, and top five positions were enough today. In the second moto I could always see a leader in front of me, so I could rely on that, even though it was tough to pass here because there was only really one fast line.
“In the end I could control the moto. I enjoyed the fans here; they were amazing for their home heroes. I hope I can win a couple more world titles in my career and then I’ll lay on the beach knowing I’ve done enough!”
Photo by Ray Archer
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Results, MXGP Spain 2023
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM, 1-1
- Mattia Gaudagnini (ITA), GASGAS, 3-3
- Ruben Fernandez (ESP), Honda, 5-2
- Jorge Prado (ESP), GASGAS, 2-5
- Glenn Coldenhoff (NED), Yamaha, 4-6
Standings MXGP 2023 after 6 of 19 rounds
- Jorge Prado (ESP), GASGAS, 294 points
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM, 288
- Ruben Fernandez (ESP), Honda, 224
- Romain Febvre (FRA), Kawasaki, 214
- Maxime Renaux (FRA), Yamaha, 202
Results MX2 Spain 2023
- Simon Laegenfelder (GER), GASGAS, 1-1
- Jago Geerts (BEL), Yamaha, 2-2
- Andrea Adamo (ITA), KTM, 5-3
- Kay de Wolf (NED), Husqvarna, 4-4
- Thibault Benistant (FRA) Yamaha 3-5
Standings MX2 2023 after 6 of 19 rounds
- Jago Geerts (BEL), Yamaha, 319 points
- Andrea Adamo (ITA), KTM, 271
- Kay de Wolf (NED), Husqvarna, 263
- Simon Laegenfelder (GER), GASGAS, 259
- Thibault Benistant (FRA), Yamaha, 247