The 8th stop of FIM Motocross World Championship's 2018 season, the MXGP of Germany has been completed today in Teutschenthal. Claiming the German GP wins where the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders of Jeffrey Herlings in MXGP and Jorge Prado in MX2.
A reworked track and sunshine led to perfect conditions in front of thousands of German motocross fans and created an amazing atmosphere for racing. The hills of Teutschenthal were filled with the some of the loudest and most energetic fans seen so far this season who would witness some of the most interesting racing to match.
MX2 RACE REPORT & RESULTS
In the MX2 class racing was close throughout the field but especially among Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Jorge Prado and Pauls Jonass, along with Team HRC's Calvin Vlaanderen, Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's Ben Watson, and STC Racing Husqvarna's Henry Jacobi.
At the start of Race 1 the KTM pair of Prado and Jonass rocketed out of the gate while Hitachi KTM UK's Conrad Mewse crashed down the start straight. Prado took the Fox Holeshot but just like Paulin in the MXGP class Prado was passed right away by the points leader, Jonass.
With Prado chasing Jonass for the lead on the opening lap the German MX2 hero Jacobi ran in 3rd. Unfortunately for Jacobi his Husqvarna lost traction as he jumped up onto the start straight causing him to bobble and letting both Vlaanderen and Watson past.
While Vlaanderen put his head down to catch Jonass and Prado, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Thomas Kjer Olsen was battling with F&H Racing Team's Jed Beaton. The battle between the Aussie and the Dane ended badly however as Olsen scrubbed his Husqvarna into the side of Beaton's Kawasaki. The mid air mishap sent both riders down but both managed to continue the race. Beaton got back up in around 13th while Olsen was in 19th.
As the Beaton and Olsen worked their way forward, Prado was unable to find a way around Jonass as Vlaanderen was applying pressure to the Spaniard. Luckily for Prado, Vlaanderen was also struggling to find a preferred passing spot and both remained 2nd and 3rd whilst Jonass won the race. Well worth mentioning was Beaton's charge through the pack to finish 7th while Olsen only managed to reach 15th.
Race 2 started with another Fox Holeshot from Jorge Prado after hitting elbows with Jonass into the first turn. Prado clearly learned a lesson from race 1 and did not allow Jonass to take the lead early again.
Again in 3rd after the start was Jacobi who managed to hold the position longer. Just behind Jacobi with an amazing start was the number 931 of Andrea Zanotti from San Marino. On the 3rd lap Olsen found his way into the 4th spot but only 2 laps after taking the position Vlaanderen took it away. Olsen then came under heat from Watson who made it past the Dane on lap 11. Only a lap after that Jacobi was moved back by both Vlaanderen and Watson.
Prado crossed the finish 5 seconds ahead of Jonass leaving the #61 with the overall. Even though the pair leave tied in points the overall win for Prado was significant and it gave Claudio de Carli his 100th win as Team Manager. Vlaanderen took his 2nd third place finish of the day marking his best ever result and giving him his first MX2 podium of not only 2018 but also aboard his new HRC bike.
Jorge Prado: "The first race was quite tough and in the second race I knew the start was really important, I don't know what happened off the gate… but I went into to Pauls a little bit and we kind of fought into the first corner to see who would get the FOX Holeshot but I was on the inside and after that I could just lead every lap so I'm pretty happy."
Pauls Jonass: "Actually I'm feeling good, I didn't gain anything but I didn't lose anything so it is still positive."
Calvin Vlaanderen reached his first podium of the 2018 MX2 season: "It was a good weekend overall, I had a good feeling on the bike. It was good to hold on for third with 3-3 for the day and it is good to give back to the team for all their hard work and to get on the podium."
MXGP RACE REPORT & RESULTS
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Jeffrey Herlings continued to add to his winning resume this weekend with double race wins and both were by a substantial margin over Team HRC's Tim Gajser and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Gautier Paulin.
Race 1 started with a season first Fox Holeshot from Paulin but Herlings was right alongside the Frenchman and took the position almost immediately. In third behind the pair was Gajser and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Romain Febvre.
On the first lap Febvre's Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP teammate, Jeremy Van Horebeek, ran in 6th just behind Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team's Clement Desalle. However only a lap later the #89 of Van Horebeek was moved back by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Antonio Cairoli.
Cairoli proceeded to the back wheel of Desalle for several laps before he lost control in a rutted turn and dropped his KTM. The mistake cost Cairoli but only in the way of time as he remounted in the same position in which he fell.
Meanwhile Herlings again pulled away from the field leaving Paulin and Gajser to battle over second. On the 14th lap of 18 Gajser made a pass on Paulin and then pulled away from the Husqvarna rider. Across the finish Herlings won by just over 16 seconds with Gajser 2nd, Paulin 3rd, while Cairoli took 6th behind Desalle and Febvre.
Race 2's start was remarkably similar as Paulin took the Fox Holeshot but Herlings took the lead before the second corner. A mistake from Paulin on the opening lap allowed Gajser into second but Paulin quickly rejoined the race just ahead of his fellow Frenchman, Febvre.
Behind Febvre was Van Horebeek on lap 1 with Desalle and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Glenn Coldenhoffbehind the pair of YZ450s. On the second lap Van Horebeek made a mistake which put him off the side of the bike and into the path of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team's Julien Lieber. Lieber was able to remount his Kawasaki in 15th but Van Horebeek would not resume the race.
The incident helped Cairoli to move forward in the running order from 9th to 6th once again finding himself behind Desalle. In the following 15 laps the top 8 riders remained in the same position before Febvre dropped 3 positions in lap 16 and BOS GP's Evgeny Bobryshev lost a 8th position to TM Racing Factory Team's Max Nagl.
Nagl, racing at his home GP, had an impressive comeback to the 8th spot after starting in 16th, all with the help of the vocal support from his fans. Across the finish line Herlings beat out Gajser by over 28 seconds with Paulin, Desalle, and Cairoli rounding out the top five. In the overall result the math was easy for the consistent 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers, Herlings, Gajser, and Paulin. Cairoli would end up outside the top 5 in 6th with Desalle 4th and Febvre 5th.
Jeffrey Herlings: "Both races the riding was really good, I couldn't wish for anything else, I led every single lap both today and this weekend, so I'm very pleased…it was a dream come true kind of weekend."
Tim Gajser who took his second podium of the 2018 season: "I'm feeling good, I'm happy with the weekend actually, I was quite consistent and also I like the track here so I was looking forward to this race. It was actually the first race I was feeling comfortable this year…so hopefully we can continue to work hard."
Gautier Paulin: "The racing went consistent, of course I want to be more up front, I got the Fox Holeshot in both races but then Jeffrey passed me directly after. But it was good, I've tried to improve myself but the bike was working awesome and finally we've improved our start so it was good."