Jeffrey Herlings of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team won the opening round of the GP season in Argentina. Herlings was narrowly beaten in the first heat, but in the second heat he closed a nine second gap on Antonio Cairoli in the closing stages to clinch victory in the last lap.
The week leading up to the GP was not at all easy for Herlings. He was ill, and not at his best when the GP started. Despite this, he posted the fastest times in Saturday’s training sessions. A crash in the qualifying heat robbed him of his rhythm, and he finished seventh.
Herlings launched into both heats in around fifth spot. He took some tine to get to second on both occasions. In the first race he came close to challenging Cairoli for the win, but some backmarkers held him back.
In the second race, Cairoli had a nine second lead by mid-race. Herlings furiously chipped away at this, and with one lap to go, he was shadowing Cairoli. He took the lead with an aggressive maneuver, and Herlings claimed the race – and overall victories. This gave him the red plate as series leader, which he will defend in two weeks’ time at Valkenswaard.
“My mom always told me never to give up. In the second heat today, that was proven to be true. I’ve been battling the flu all week, but fortunately today it fell in place and I could take the win,” he said.
Overall MXGP Argentina:
1 Jeffrey Herlings 47 Pnt
2 Antonio Cairoli 47 Pnt
3 Clement Desalle 40 Pnt
4 Jeremy van Horebeek 34 Pnt
5 Romain Febvre 34 Pnt