More podium success for Red Bull KTM Factory rider Jeffrey Herlings at round ten of the world championship in Russia. Herlings managed to win the first moto and after two crashes he finished in eighth place in the second race which gave him second position overall.
The impressive Orlyonok circuit welcomed MXGP for a maiden visit and the first Grand Prix on Russian soil in five years with the tenth round of nineteen in the 2017 campaign. A fast, hilly and hard-packed layout was reduced to a slippery and sludgy test of skill and caution on Sunday with heavy overnight and morning rain. Through the second authentic ‘mudder’ of the term Jeffrey Herlings guided his KTM 450 SX-F to a first moto victory ahead of Tony Cairoli and walked the second step of the premier class podium.
Herlings performed confidently and shrewdly through the swamped terrain in the first moto to catch teammate Cairoli who had been setting the pace but was riding with one eye on his sizeable championship lead and keen not to make a costly mistake. The KTMs went 1-2 with Glenn Coldenhoff scoring twelfth after suffering a poor start and then a slip in the mud. In the second moto it was Herlings tasting the slime. The Dutchman and reigning MX2 World Champion was hit on the first corner and fell and he also dismounted twice more. #84 then managed to bring the 450 SX-F home in eighth to confirm his silverware and a third runner-up ranking of 2017.
Herlings: “It is a pity to be second: it is the third time this year! We made some improvements this weekend and have been analysing a lot. I almost had the holeshot in the second moto but the first turn was so slick and someone hit my front wheel, I went down again, and then again on the second lap and I was almost dead-last. I thought ‘it’s over’ but we kept going and managed to get enough points for the overall. I think we made the best of the situation; I’m not too familiar with mud because I don’t like it too much! But it is good to get on the podium. I’m looking forward to Ottobiano and I think I am capable of winning there.”
MXGP will be able to regroup next weekend before the Grand Prix of Italy at Ottobiano on June 24-25.
Next Round: June 25 2017 – Ottobiano (ITA)
Results MXGP Orlyonok 2017
1. Clement Desalle (BEL), Kawasaki (3-1)
2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (1-8)
3. Gautier Paulin (FRA), Husqvarna (5-3)
4. Max Anstie (GBR), Husqvarna (4-5)
5. Tony Cairoli (ITA), KTM (2-3)
Standings MXGP 2017 after 10 of 19 rounds
1. Cairoli, 381 points
2. Desalle, 334
3. Paulin, 333
4. Herlings, 291
5. Gajser, 261