Jeffrey Herlings – “I came to the lion’s den and won,” said a jubilant Jeffrey Herlings after a sensational double victory on Cairoli’s home turf. The Dutchman mentioned in Spain that he had some parts to test to improve his starts and it’s safe to say it worked! Herlings gated second or first in every moto and his early altercation with Cairoli in the qualifying race that ended when Herlings brake checked the Italian shows that Jeffrey is not willing to take anymore extra aggressive riding from the champ. Herlings is making Cairoli search for more speed and the Italian has never had to do that in his career. A very impressive performance from Herlings on one of his worst tracks on the calendar!
Glenn Coldenhoff – It was another impressive performance for the Dutchman who in race two especially showed the speed he has when he gets out of the gate. With Pauls Jonass talking about moving up to MXGP next season, Coldenhoff might be needing a ride next year but he is showing some flashes of what he can do this season. Coldenhoff is good on all surfaces and he did all he could to keep the top two and Desalle in his sights at Arco. It leaves Glenn in sixth place in the championship giving KTM three riders in the top six – you can’t ask for much more than that. Glenn has stepped it up this year and is doing all he can to show his worth. Riding with a teammate as fast as Jeffrey Herlings can’t be bad for your speed either!
Clement Desalle – Desalle is proving to be best of the rest so far but at Arco he did more than that and became the first man to get in between the Herlings/Cairoli battle. In race one Desalle shadowed Herlings for most of the race. He didn’t quite get into third quick enough to try and stay with Cairoli and Herlings in race two but 2-3 was good enough for second overall. Desalle looked very comfortable on hard pack and looks to be getting close to his old Suzuki level that saw him be Cairoli’s toughest competitor. With more hard pack to come Desalle will be pushing to get closer and closer to pace of the front two and you can’t discount his chances of stealing a win in the next few rounds if things go his way.
Benoit Paturel – What an impressive debut for Benoit Paturel! With not much winter preparation and only riding the Marchetti KTM for the last few days, Paturel showed sensational raw speed at Arco. The Frenchman ran top five until he ran out of steam and dropped outside the top 20 in race one but he showed the speed was there. In race two he ran top five yet again and held on for 12th place to get his first points in the premier class. When this guys gets his fitness back he could be a big thorn in the side to the podium contenders and it makes you wonder just how on earth he didn’t get a ride sooner!
Alex Lupino – Lupino has had a steady start to the season but rode well at Arco on a track that always seems to suit his style to get 13th overall. Lupino looks more comfortable this season on the Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki than he did on the Honda last year but with the class being so incredibly competitive, starts are crucial to riders like Lupino to get the results he is capable of. In Arco Lupino showed he still has the pace to get the job done when he gets away.
Pics: Alex Piantanida