Red Bull KTM factory rider Jeffrey Herlings made his mark in the MXGP of Netherlands at the Assen Racing Circuit. Jeffrey managed to win the Grand Prix with a 2-1 in the motos and has increased his points gap in the championship to 76 points.
Jeffrey had the job ahead of him at the start of MX2. He had a DNF with a technical issue in Saturday’s qualifying and had to start from the outside gate. To complicate matters, there was a massive downpour at the Dutch circuit just before the opening moto, churning up the deep sand track and adding another level of difficulty for the riders.
Riders crashed all over the track in front of Herlings who had to find his way around the melee but Jorge Prado, fastest qualifier on the KTM 250 SX-F and the youngest member of the Red Bull KTM factory lineup was raising eyebrows out front. After 17 minutes, Herlings worked his way into third, while Prado had drifted back to a mid pack position. The race eventually went to Thomas Covington but Herlings claimed second to be in good shape for the second moto.
Meanwhile Prado had regrouped for the second race. He grabbed the holeshot and hung doggedly onto the race lead through the opening laps. Herlings eventually made the pass stick after lap six and began to pull away. To the excitement of the Dutch crowd he went on to win the race by 34 seconds, but Prado was second, enough to put him on the podium in third behind Dutch KTM rider Brian Bogers.
Herlings: “I think the weekend turned out very positive. We had some bad luck yesterday with the mechanical failure and I had a very bad gate pick regarding the weather circumstances. So I’m very happy to walk away with the win and to gain so many points on Seewer. So we are looking very good for the championship next weekend. I don’t want to think about but now it’s so close we just have to make it happen.” Speaking about the coming races in the USA, he commented: “It gives me more motivation to race against the Americans but we just have to concentrate on the championship and not on going head to head with those guys.”
Herlings picked up his 60th career GP win and further secured his position in the title fight. He added another 47 points to his total, while his closest rival, Jeremy Seewer, finished with a 15-13 for 14 points. Herlings has a 76-point lead going into the next rounds.