Jeffrey Herlings travelled to Qatar only partially optimistic of his chances of a debut in the MXGP category. The Dutchman was still dealing with the fallout of a broken fourth metacarpal on his right hand only two weeks previously. The reigning MX2 World Champion made a bright getaway in the first moto to slot into the top ten but understandably faded due to arm-pump through the 30 minute and 2 lap distance and made it to the line in eighteenth. #84’s plight to gain as many MXGP points as possible was better served in Moto2 where he felt more comfortable to score eleventh for fifteenth overall.

Herlings: “What can I say? It was terrible but what can we expect? I broke my hand less than two weeks ago, we got it plated the day after (the crash) and then I was supposed to race ten days later. Plus before that I had an injury with my wrist so I missed another four weeks. I didn’t really have the feeling I needed on the bike and I had a lot of pain: it was pretty bad. In Motocross you need your entire body and I wasn’t 100%. We made some improvements on the bike anyway and I’m grateful to have such a strong team behind me and such a strong 450.”

 

By the time dawn started to throw natural light on the renowned Losail circuit – where Red Bull KTM will make their highly anticipated first appearance as a full time participant on the MotoGP grid in just under a month’s time – freight and flight cases with the 450 & 250 SX-F motorcycles were already prepped and ready for the next stage of the MXGP journey. A 7000km trek to a new facility on the island of Pangkal Pinang will entertain the first Grand Prix of Indonesia this century and constitute the second ‘flyaway’ round from the opening stint of the calendar with trips to Argentina and Mexico to come in the following weeks.

Results/Standings MXGP Losail 2017 after 1 of 19 rounds
1. Tony Cairoli (ITA), KTM, 50 points (1-1)
2. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda, 42 (3-2)
3. Clement Desalle (BEL), Kawasaki, 40 (2-4)
4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS), Honda, 32 (4-7)
5. Romain Febvre (FRA), Yamaha, 31 (10-2)
15. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM, 13 (18-11)