The MXGP of Asia in Semarang, Indonesia is complete and one to remember! The weekend was full of action all leading up to today’s racing where Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings took the overall while gaining ground in the championship standings.
The competitors in the 2018 MXGP World Championship are as tough as nails or in Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings case tough as the plate and screws of his recently fractured collar bone. Herlings came into the Indonesian trip unsure of his situation but by the end has come away with 97 championship points of the 100 available.
At the drop of the gate for MXGP Race 1 Herlings was the fastest to the first turn but lost the Fox Holeshot and lead when he bobbled on the exit of the corner. Taking over the lead position and the Fox Holeshot was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin in 3rd and Monster Energy Kawasaki Factory Racing’s Clement Desalle in 4th. Herlings struggled to keep momentum at the start of the race and was passed by both Gajser and Paulin on lap 2 with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre closing in as well. Cairoli’s lead was then taken by Gajser and Febvre was past Herlings who was immediately under pressure from Desalle. Herlings made a move around the outside of Febvre and was then past Cairoli in the same lap. From that point Herlings gained time on Gajser and made a pass lap 13 just before Febvre crashed out of 4th. At the finish Herlings took the win with Gajser 2nd and Cairoli 3rd.
Race 2 was started with a second Fox Holeshot from Cairoli with Herlings, Desalle, and Seewer alongside. Febvre was back for Race 2 but fell on the start and had to fight back from dead last. Cairoli’s good start was short lived when he dropped 5 position in the first 3 turns back to 6th. Desalle was in the lead next but Herlings took it away in before the first lap was complete. At the finish Herlings took his 2nd race win of the day with Desalle 2nd, Gajser 3rd, Cairoli 4th, and Seewer 5th. In the overall result Herlings took the clear win with 1-1, Gajser took 2nd with 2-3, and Desalle returned to the podium for the first time since winning the MXGP of Russia with 4-2 for 3rd.
Jeffrey Herlings: “To go home with 97 points from the 2 weekends is absolutely amazing, I didn’t expect that and it has been like a dream come true. Not only didn’t I lose any points but I actually gained some, not many but a few is good so I don’t want to take this for granted. The rest of the guys rode awesome I really had to fight in the first race with Tim and the second with Clement.”
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points;
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 42 p.;
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 40 p.;
4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 38 p.;
5. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 28 p.;
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 583 points;
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 559 p.;
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 447 p.;
4. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 410 p.;
5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 400 p.;