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On the eve of battle: The MXGP titans are ready to clash!

On the eve of battle: The MXGP titans are ready to clash!
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The last time Jeffrey Herlings raced Antonio Cairoli and Romain Febvre, he won, the last time he raced Tim Gajser, Herlings also won.

But this weekend will be the first time all four will be on the gate together in history!

And they will literally be in Cairoli’s back yard in Sardinia this Sunday on a sand track perfectly suited to the Italian’s legendary style and one he puts a lot of practice on.

But Herlings is now known to be the fastest sand rider in the world, so can be beat the Italian in his own country for the second time in a row – and would it even matter?

The MXGP series is still four weeks away but the competitive tension between the KTM teammates racing against each other in the sand will be there, both are awesome in the conditions and both won’t want to give any mental advantage to each other, but do they want show all their cards so early in the season?

At the event last year Tim Gajser showed a lot of speed despite not winning and four weeks later dominated in Qatar on the hard pack. Both Gajser and Febvre have improved in the sand so this will be a good gauge for them against the two best sand riders in the world but it won’t be the end of their world if they don’t win.

Both excel on the hard pack and Qatar will be more to their natural instincts, but for Cairoli and Herlings, this will be their natural habitat, you just can’t imagine either will to back down even if they might not want to risk it all to win!

Another interesting curve ball could be Gautier Paulin, the guy can ride sand impressively and it will be very interesting to see just how well he has gelled with the Husqvarna, and the same can be said for new teammate Max Anstie, who also loves the sand, will he be up there battling for a top five on his first race on the 450?

Add in the steady Max Nagl who doesn’t usually risk much in pre-season races, a motivated Jeremy Van Horebeek and Russian speedster Evgeny Bobryshev who was flying at the same event last season and Glenn Coldenhoff and there could be some fantastic battles on a brutal sand track between the factory stars this weekend!

Let’s just hope they all stay healthy and get to Qatar ready for the war!

Pic: Ray Archer/KTM

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