News 15 Jun 2014

Van Horebeek and Herlings top Maggiora MXGP qualifying

Belgian fends off the might of Cairoli on Saturday in Italy.

Source: MXGP.

Source: MXGP.

The venue made most famous for the 1986 FIM Motocross of Nations was brought back to life for the second time this decade with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings topping the charts in Saturday’s qualifying heat races at Maggiora, Italy.

Thousands of screaming fans hugged the fence line all set to watch their hero Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli take on the qualifying heat challenge. When the gates dropped, it was Hitachi Construction Machinery UK KTM’s Shaun Simpson who led a long train of works riders for the first half of lap one.

While Cairoli was initially in second, he was quickly pushed back to fourth as two of the fastest from timed training, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Steven Frossard and Van Horebeek, wasted no time in moving forward.

After finding a way around Simpson who eventually dropped back to ninth, Frossard took over the lead followed by Van Horebeek and Cairoli. With the trio riding close enough for any error to be costly, Frossard was the first to crack under the pressure having a sketchy moment down a hill and over shooting a 180 turn at the bottom.

Van Horebeek was quick to take advantage of the error of the Frenchman who fortunately was able to quickly re-enter the circuit in second just ahead of Cairoli. Cairoli charged up the inside of Frossard in front of pit lane and once in second, the Italian went to work on Van Horebeek, who was showing experience beyond his years up front.

Despite the huge effort laid out, Cairoli pushed Van Horebeek to the finish but didn’t have it in him to take the win, giving the friendly Belgian Van Horebeek his first qualifying heat win of the season.

Frossard rode home for a solid third while Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev should be applauded for his solid fourth only five seconds back from the winner Van Horebeek. Rounding out the top five a further two seconds back from ‘Bobby’ was Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos.

In MX2 it was Herlings who took the win 22 seconds ahead of teammate Jordi Tixier, Dylan Ferrandis (Kawasaki), Romain Febvre (Husqvarna) and Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) rounding out the top five. Luke Styke is sitting out this weekend as he continues to recover from a fractured sternum.