Herlings stuns Cairoli with last lap pass in Argentina to win opener!
Tony Cairoli won a superb opening moto in the MXGP world championship after a cracking battle with Jeffrey Herlings in Argentina – but the roles were reversed in race two in another blistering battle between the two best riders in the world!
Cairoli holeshot race one with Herlings fourth before Herlings finally got into second and, after initially losing some time, began to reel Cairoli in and was on the Italian’s rear wheel for the last ten minutes but could not make the pass in the final laps despite his best efforts. Desalle took third after a tough battle with Romain Febvre.
Cairoli said: “It was a very good start, I had a good rhythm but I got arm after 25 minutes and made some mistakes and Jeffrey came closer.”
But the second moto was a barnburner – and this time Herlings made the pass.
After coming from sixth, the Dutchman incredibly set the fastest lap of the race to pass Cairoli on the last lap to come from 9 seconds back at one point, in what might just be the ride of his career!
“It was tight man!” said Herlings. “I was sick all week, yesterday I as struggling, to come back that strong in unbelievable, to come back from that far is amazing, I never give up, I am so blessed for this win. I did everything I possibly could to be the best I can right now, hard work pays off. “
While a gracious Cairoli said: This is racing, Jeffrey was faster at the end of the second moto, I tried to hold on but I was making a few mistakes. I am happy overall, this track for me was always difficult to make it to the podium. For sure we were on the limit, it’s good for the spectators.”
Clement Desalle again claimed third in a strong ride after a battle with the Yamaha men, Van Horbeek and Febvre. But the story was all about that man Herlings who made a huge statement in the second moto.
See the two final frantic laps of moto two below:
In MX2 Pauls Jonass caught and passed Hunter Lawrence in race one before checking out with the holeshot to dominate race two. Thomas Kjer Olsen was second with Lawrence third overall despite saying he, “sucked,” in moto two after dropping from fourth to sixth in the final couple of laps behind Vlaanderen and a very impressive Ben Watson.