Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings shutout of 2018 MXGP continued at a packed Grand Prix of Switzerland as he secured a 13th overall victory from 16 rounds with his 11th 1-1 performance of the year.
For the third year in succession the Frauenfeld-Gachnang circuit staged one of the more memorable rounds of MXGP with fine weather, a technical, fast and challenging course and a hefty attendance enhancing the Swiss Grand Prix experience. The largely flat layout involved rutty and bumpy soil and was home to more Red Bull KTM glory.
Jeffrey Herlings increased his margin at the top of MXGP from 36 points to 58 over teammate Tony Cairoli thanks to another sledgehammer of statistics in Switzerland with his KTM 450 SX-F. #84 logged his fourth perfect scorecard in a row and has swept Grands Prix in Holland, Italy, Portugal, Latvia, Germany, Britain, France, Indonesia, Czech Republic and Belgium. He has 25 chequered flags from a possible 32, 13 wins from 16 and has missed the podium only once.
The Dutchman surprisingly suffered a crash early in Saturday’s Qualification Heat which opened the door for Cairoli to engage in some excellent racecraft and secure his fourth Pole Position of 2018. Herlings came back to 6th and did not repeat the mistake on the second turn of the opening moto on Sunday: the Dutchman attacked the corner with verve and was soon past Clement Desalle and controlling the 30 minute and 2 lap dash from the front. Cairoli struggled with a crash that cost him time and positions – as well as a tweaked knee and damaged motorcycle – and crossed the finish line in 8th.
The second moto was another display of authority by the championship leader as Herlings again ran free. Cairoli rode brightly in spite of the distraction of his knee and his 6th place meant 7th overall and just the third time in 2018 he has missed an MXGP podium ceremony.
Herlings: “It is pretty amazing to go 1-1 on what is a tough track for me. It was not easy, so I have to give-it-up to Red Bull KTM for the great bike and the great work those guys are doing. Only four races to go and we did good things for the championship this weekend. To win at this level and to go against guys like Tony, a nine times world champ, and all the others you have to be 100% physically and mentally and not be worrying about anything. It is hard but if you are winning then it’s worth it.”
MXGP shuffles immediately east this week and returns to the former award-winning circuit of Sevlievo for the first time since 2014 for the Grand Prix of Bulgaria in seven days time.
Next race: Grand Prix of Bulgaria, Sevlievo, August 26th
Results MXGP Frauenfeld-Gachnang 2018
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (1-1)2
. Romain Febvre (FRA) Yamaha (3-2)
3. Clement Desalle (BEL) Kawasaki (2-4)
4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED), KTM (4-7)
5. Max Anstie (GBR) Husqvarna (6-5)
Standings MXGP 2018 after 16 of 20 rounds
1. Jeffrey Herlings, 733 points
2. Tony Cairoli, 675
3. Clement Desalle, 543
4. Romain Febvre, 510
5. Tim Gajser, 507