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Cairoli celebrated his 81st career success at the Grand Prix of Lombardia and the fourth of the season with the KTM 450 SX-F, his second on home turf this year and increased his lead in the standings to 67 points with a 1-1 scorecard. Herlings lifted his fifth trophy of ’17 while Pauls Jonass was runner-up overall in MX2 on what was a hot, demanding and difficult day around the impressive Ottobiano sand; a fast, technical and physically-draining challenge for the Grand Prix elite.
Cairoli produced another come-from-behind performance on Saturday and after a mediocre start in the qualification heat to secure his fourth pole position by overtaking Arminas Jasikonis on the last lap. The show of competitiveness primed the 33,000 crowd at Ottobiano on Sunday for another Cairoli classic and in the first #moto run in blazing conditions the championship leader was in no mood for thrills. Cairoli entertained in a different way by controlling proceedings from the second corner and setting a furious pace to keep Jeffrey Herlings at bay while forging a gap over thirty-five seconds ahead of Gautier Paulin in third spot. Herlings seemed to follow and stalk his teammate with the goal of a last ditch attack but Cairoli set his personal best lap-time with the Dutchman looming and #84 was forced to settle for second place with the temperature reaching a new high for raceday. Glenn Coldenhoff just missed out on fifth position when Max Anstie passed him on the final circulation.
The afternoon sun had lost a slither of its power by the time of the second #moto but 31 year old Cairoli was still on-fire. Herlings, who had been suffering with a stomach complaint was again #222’s nearest pursuer after the pair had dispensed with the early threat from Jasikonis. Herlings barrelled to the front and created a four second cushion over his rival but Cairoli was measuring his teammate and soon pegged back the Dutchman, who was physically drained and could offer no resistance once Cairoli assumed the lead once more to send the crowd into rapture. The double #moto haul was the second of the year for Tony and allowed him to extend his margin over Gautier Paulin in the points table. Jeffrey, who needed some light medical attention for dehydration after the second #moto, is still fourth but just 26 points from the top three of the standings.
Coldenhoff ended the Grand Prix ninth overall after a costly second race crash before the pit straight where the Dutchman dropped from seventh to thirteenth.
Cairoli: “I did my best and I gave 100%; everything I had. We made a good race and I’m really happy that everybody came here to see me and after all these years they still do that. It’s amazing, and that motocross is still growing in Italy. I had the ‘sand king’ behind me! He was faster in some places but we worked on the [full] 35 minutes and we beat him…but I am really looking only at myself and the championship. I didn't take any risks and was riding good and carefully. The team worked really good with the bike and KTM is making a lot of effort with motocross. We are developing a lot of parts and we test a lot so thanks to the crew for always making it so good.”
Herlings: “We were fast! I had been feeling sick all day and I just got dizzy half way through the motos. It is not normal that I black out like that and don’t remember too much of the second race; apparently I got second! I do know it was cool to fight like that: Tony is a great rider and a great athlete for the sport. It was nice to battle with him and hopefully many more will come.”
Pauls Jonass retained control of the MX2 FIM Motocross World Championship with his ninth podium appearance from eleven rounds. The Latvian classified as runner-up with a mixture of motos: a hard and eventually cautious flight to sixth in the opening race but then an authoritative victory from a holeshot in the second to take his tally of chequered flags up to ten for the season. #41 sits 38 points in front of Jeremy Seewer.
Jorge Prado was competing with the discomfort of a sore right elbow after a crash in Saturday practice but it was the heat and humidity that mostly affected the sixteen year old’s first #moto. Despite seizing the holeshot the Spaniard slowly lost time and only just managed 18th place before needing some medical attention after the chequered flag. The period of treatment meant that Jorge was ruled out of participating in the second #moto.
Jonass: “All weekend I struggled with the track actually and didn't find the flow. In the first race I got a bad start and it made things tougher; I lost a lot of energy in the first laps fighting for positions. I tried not to make any big mistakes and salvaged sixth. We made some good improvements with the bike in the second #moto and I also improved. It went pretty good – but not the way I’d like to ride. Still, we managed to win and a holeshot always helps. It is always nice to finish the weekend that way and we made a step today.”
Prado: “A hard weekend began on Saturday with a big crash where I hurt my arm; qualification then didn't go so well. I had the holeshot in the first #moto and just tried to do my best. There was a point where I was with [Thomas] Covington and [Thomas Kjer] Olsen, I think, where I felt pretty good and just wanted to ‘go’ with them but I reached a point where I just ran out of energy and was empty. I had no feeling in my hands or fingers. I wanted to try and ride the second #moto but, with the way I am at the moment, I’m don't know whether I would have finished. Overall pretty disappointing but again another weekend of learning.”
The Grand Prix of Portugal – the first on the distinctive reddish soil of Agueda for four years - will constitute round twelve of #mxgp next weekend.
Next Round: July 2 2017 – Agueda (POR)
Results #mxgp Ottobiano 2017
1. #tonycairoli (ITA), KTM (1-1)
2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (2-2)
3. Max Anstie (GBR), Husqvarna (3-2)
5. Max Nagl (GER), Husqvarna (7-4)
5. Romain Febvre (FRA), Yamaha (4-6)
9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED), KTM (6-13)
Standings #mxgp 2017 after 11 of 19 rounds
1. Cairoli, 431 points
2. Paulin, 364
3. Desalle, 361
4. Herlings, 335
5. Gajser, 282
11. Coldenhoff, 223
Results MX2 Ottobiano 2017
1. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Suzuki (1-2)
2. Pauls Jonass (LAT), KTM (6-1)
3. Thomas Covington (USA), Husqvarna (4-3)
4. Benoit Paturel (FRA), Yamaha (2-7)
5. Bas Vaessen (NED), Suzukl (7-4)
22. Jorge Prado (SPA), KTM (18-0)
Standings MX2 2017 after 11 of 19 rounds
1. Jonas, 454 points
2. Seewer, 416
3. Olsen, 343
4. Lieber, 339
5. Paturel, 330
7. Prado, 233
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