News 8 May 2017

Herlings breaks through for maiden MXGP victory in Latvia

Husqvarna’s Olsen captures career-first overall in MX2.

Source: Supplied.

It was a perfect weekend for Jeffrey Herlings at the seventh round of the 2017 MXGP World Championship as he claimed his first-ever premier class overall win.

The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider excelled on the sandy Kegums circuit in Latvia capturing the top qualifying position to kick off his impressive weekend.

With the MXGP rookie claiming both moto victories on the day for a perfect 1-1 sweep, it was his teammate Antonio Cairoli who captured the runner-up spot with a 5-2 moto scorecard.

Cairoli not only took home second place, but also the MXGP red-plate from former points leader and defending champion Tim Gajser who finished in 17th position overall following a 14-DNF result in the motos.

Rounding out the podium in third position was Team Honda HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev, the Russian rider used a consistent combination of third in moto one and fourth in moto two to secure the final podium position.

Behind Herlings, Cairoli and Bobryshev it was Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle in fourth position and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin in fifth.

Cairoli now leads the premier class championship chase by 17 points over Gajser as he attempts to claim his ninth world championship victory in 2017.

In the MX2 category it was another first-time victory for the overall winner with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen claiming top honours in Latvia.

Olsen earned his first-ever MX2 overall victory using a consistent 1-2 moto scorecard to edge out series leader Pauls Jonass by two points.

Jonass, who also had a strong day at his home event, rode to a third place finish in moto one before turning up the heat in moto two to claim the race win for second on the day.

Rounding out the podium was HSF Logistics Motorsport’s Calvin Vlaanderen who stood on the box for the first time in his career using a 5-4 moto combination.

Behind Olsen, Jonass and Vlaanderen it was previous round winner and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Jorge Prado in fourth position followed by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Conrad Mewse in fifth.

Australia’s Hunter Lawrence was 16th overall in the sands of Kegums, the Suzuki World MX2 rider finished the day with a 10-26 moto scorecard.

In the EMX250 category it was New Zealand’s Joshiah Natzke who claimed victory aboard his Hitachi KTM UK entry with a strong 1-2 moto finish combination.

Natzke edged out Morgan Lesiardo for the victory followed by Jago Geerts, Ruben Ferdandez and Australia’s Jed Beaton who logged a season-best finish in his rookie EMX250 season.

Beaton, aboard his Carglass Honda Racing machine, finished moto one in eighth position before rebounding for an impressive fourth place finish in moto two to secure a fifth-place spot.

The 2017 MXGP World Championship will now head to Teutschenthal in Germany for round eight of the series on 21 May.