Herlings triumphs in Mantova to set-up MXGP title showdown
The 2021 MXGP World Championship is heading towards a thrilling conclusion after Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings rode to victory and to within three points of the red plate at Mantova, Italy for the Grand Prix of Lombardia and the penultimate meeting of the season.
Six weeks after the 74th Motocross of Nations, the Tazio Nuvolari circuit was prepared for the MXGP double bill that would end the 2021 world championship. The shallow sand, with a bumpy hard base, was typically tight and windy and placed extra emphasis on the race starts. The terrain was rough and damp in places under bright but overcast skies.
Jeffrey Herlings rode to his twelfth Pole Position of the season on Sunday morning but a mistake on the first lap of the first moto created a busy race for the Dutchman as he needed to trail all the way back from 13th to 2nd place; a ranking won on the very last circulation.
Prado aced his 16th holeshot at the start of the second moto but Herlings swiftly attacked and rode free of Romain Febvre to lodge his 13th moto win of the campaign. The 2-1 scorecard allowed him to walk the top step of the box and with the same overall points on the day as Febvre, Herlings remains just 3 points adrift of the Frenchman with a maximum of 50 left to win in 2021.
Jeffrey Herlings: “I knew I had to win the second moto because I had my work cut out in the first moto and came up to 2nd even though the seat on my bike was loose. In the second one I passed Jorge and Romain and made a little gap. I did all I could and now it’s down to three points. It’s going to be really interesting. Every point counts right now. I think it is basically down to me and Romain and there is a lot on the line. It will be a good one on Wednesday.”
MXGP remains in Mantova and will race across the Tazio Nuvolari circuit once more on Wednesday 10th to bring the season to a close.
Results MXGP Lombardia 2021
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (2-1)
2. Romain Febvre (FRA), Kawasaki (1-2)
3. Tony Cairoli (ITA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (3-4)
4. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda (8-3)
5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Yamaha (5-5)
7. Jorge Prado (ESP), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (6-6)
Standings MXGP 2021 after 17 of 18 rounds
1. Romain Febvre 661 points
2. Jeffrey Herlings 658
3. Tim Gajser 646
4. Tony Cairoli 534
5. Jorge Prado 532