Jeffrey Herlings was riding with a badly swollen ankle from a race incident in the last round but the afternoon kicked off with an opening MX2 race that evolved onto a thriller that had the fans on their toes and the commentators breathless with excitement. The holeshot went to Dylan Ferrandis while the two KTM riders Herlings and Pauls Jonass were 3-5 out of the gates. 18 minutes into the race Herlings had advanced to second and the two front-runners settled down to a dogfight that lasted right up to the checkered flag. The race went to Ferrandis and Herlings was gracious in his first race defeat this season, congratulating his rival as they wrapped up the race.
But it was in the second MX2 moto that Herlings bounced back to his usual devastating form with his KTM 250 SX-F, taking an early lead on the rollercoaster circuit of Arco and going on to control the race. The early laps were dominated by a slew of KTMs at the front of the field while the two riders that have emerged as Herlings closest rivals, Ferrandis and Jeremy Seewer, were buried down in the pack. They were able to work their way closer to the front during the course of the race although Jonass did a masterly job to hold off Ferrandis in the final stages of the second moto.
Herlings: “It was a difficult weekend and even half way through the week we weren’t even sure we could be here. My ankle was very big and swollen and on Thursday I couldn’t really walk properly. We came here with the hope of picking up some points and we came out on top and that was pretty surprising. Obviously I lost the first race and won the second moto and took the overall, so in some way I’m relieved because the pressure of being undefeated is gone. But I’m still kind of sad that I can’t break the record any more. Now I’m looking forward to Spain in two weeks. It’s also a track that I don’t fancy the most but I hope to make the best of it there as well.”
Results MX2 Pietramurata 2016
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (2-1)
2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA), Kawasaki (1-3)
3. Pauls Jonass (LAT), KTM (3-2)
4. Samuele Bernardini (ITA), TM (6-6)
Standings MX2 2016 after 8 of 18 rounds
1. Herlings, 397 points
2. Seewer, 297
3. Jonass, 260
4. Benoit Paturel (FRA), Yamaha, 211
5. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS), Yamaha, 210