A sunny Grand Prix of Germany at Teutschenthal was the scene of a powerful performance of Jeffrey Herlings who second overall at what was the eighth round of nineteen in the 2017 campaign.
A relentless thunderstorm Friday evening gave the Talkessel mud a thorough dowsing, and ensured a rough and technical layout on Saturday with line choice and deep ruts the distinctive obstacles through the practice sessions and Qualification Heats.
Cairoli aced his third Pole Position of 2017 after Tim Gajser’s crash and Herlings’ flight from fifth place to second ensured a pair of 450 SX-Fs occupying the two first gate slots.
Cairoli – performing on the stage where he was victorious in 2016 and also memorably at the 2013 Motocross of Nations – set the pace in the formative stages of the first moto until a flurry of lap-times by Herlings (the only rider to dip into the 1min 47s) pulled the Dutchman to the front. From there the MX2 World Champion eased his pace and Cairoli caught up, instigating a close and tense chase through the backmarkers and ending with Herlings claiming his third consecutive moto victory by less than two seconds.
In the second moto Herlings was hunting his second win at Germany in a row (after MX2 glory twelve months previously) and to be the first to do so back-to-back in different categories but his start was not as effective as Cairoli’s and the championship leader escaped undisturbed to the chequered flag. It was his fourth success at Teutschenthal and fifth podium from eight events in 2017, permitting a hefty 44 point gap over Gajser in the standings. Herlings was able to able to defend second place from Gautier Paulin and his third rostrum in the last three GPs means he has risen to sixth in the MXGP table and is 84 points from his teammate.
Herlings: “We have been very consistent the last couple of races and I feel like there are a lot of things possible in the world championship; I am not talking about the title but maybe to get some more positions towards the podium spots. I’ll keep working and keep charging. I feel like where I want to be. The speed is so high and you need to be focussed.”
The FIM Motocross World Championship moves quickly west through Europe and to northern France where the hillside setting of Ernee will host round nine and a raucous and popular stop on the Grand Prix trail.
Next Round: May 28 2017 – Ernee (FRA)
Results MXGP Teutschenthal 2017
1. Tony Cairoli (ITA), KTM (2-1)
2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (1-2)
3. Gautier Paulin (FRA), Husqvarna (3-3)
4. Clement Desalle (BEL), Kawasaki (4-4)
5. Romain Febvre (FRA), Yamaha (7-5)
Standings MXGP 2017 after 8 of 19 rounds
1. Cairoli, 305 points
2. Gajser, 261
3. Paulin, 260
4. Desalle, 246
5. Van Horebeek, 226
6. Herlings, 221