Report and results: MXGP Mantova 1 – Herlings edges Febvre for victory!
More heart-stopping drama in the penultimate round of the MXGP world championship at Mantova that sees Romain Febvre and Jeffrey Herlings remain three points apart with one GP remaining – and Febvre still has the red plate despite Herlings winning the GP!
Race one was almost too much for anyone to handle. Seewer holeshot as Gajser didn’t get away well then ended up off the track and , just like Alex Lupino at the MXoN didn’t bother with turn two and rejoined around the top six with his title rivals just ahead!
Meanwhile up front on a frantic first lap, Febvre got into the lead, then Herlings immediately went straight by Seewer too only to catch the bank exactly like he did in qualifying and end up on the ground with Seewer on top of him! Gajser sped by as Herlings got up in 15th with his title hopes hanging by a thread!
From there Herlings went to work producing sensational lap times in a bid to save his title hopes. Gajser eventually got into second but then it was notified he had a penalty pending at the end of the race for his first lap decision and was going to be docked five positions at the end of the moto!
Herlings was on the move, up to fourth but ten seconds off Febvre with 5 minutes and two laps to go. But nothing was over, Gajser and Cairoli were closing in on Febvre as Herlings, going faster than anyone, was closing on all three! He caught Cairoli and Gajser as they caught Febvre and suddenly all four were together, Herlings then passed Cairoli and with two laps to go squeezed past Gajser who didn’t make it easy and by the last turn of the race he was on back of Febvre but just ran out of time to go for the win with a huge victory from a faultless Febvre!
Race two and, just like race one, Febvre lined up beside Herlings, beat him off the start and moved across the KTM rider! Prado got the holeshot but Febvre was second with Herlings third and this time Herlings passed Febvre immediately, then Prado to take the lead. Febvre eventually worked his way around Prado then put in a charge to catch Herlings but the Dutchman was having none of it and pulled the gap back out to win by over ten seconds as Tim Gajser started inside the top ten but could only get back to third with the front two frustratingly gone by the time he got by Cairoli and Prado.
It was a tough day for the Honda rider who rode well but the starts and penalty (demoted five sports from third to fifth) have cost him and he is now the outsider of the three title contenders heading in 15 points back of Febvre. But his new teammate Ruben Fernandez rode fantastic in race one to get fourth and even held Jeffrey Herlings off for a couple of laps and that might have cost the Dutchman the time to get a crucial race win, Fernandez then backed that up with seventh in race two for sixth overall and a great debut.
Tony Cairoli took third overall after spending almost the entire second moto trying to pass Prado – but eventually got the job done to make the podium at home in his penultimate Grand Prix.
A motivated Herlings said: “I knew I used all my jokers and going into the second race I had to win. Often I have been counted to 8 like a boxing match but I kept coming back. Now it’s all about war for the last race, three points inbetween. I think the championship is more or less comes between two of not the three. He played a bit dirty off the start to cut me off. Next time if I start behind him he will feel it, so if he does that one more time. For the rest you know I did a good moto, very consistent. First moto, I screwed up crashed in the first lap and had to come form almost last to second but second moto back where we belong. Looking forward ot the second race in Mantova.”
A satisfied Febvre said: “A good day overall, definitely I don’t feel any pressure to the championship. It’s good, we have the red plate for the last round. Game on.”
The tension is high!
|MXGP – GP Classification|
|1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 47 points; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 47 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 33 p.; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 32 p.; 6. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 32 p.; 7. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 30 p.; 8. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 25 p.; 9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KTM), 23 p.; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, GAS), 22 p.; 11. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 19 p.; 12. Dylan Wright (CAN, HON), 15 p.; 13. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 12 p.; 14. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 12 p.; 15. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 11 p.; 16. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET), 10 p.; 17. Alberto Forato (ITA, GAS), 8 p.; 18. Henry Jacobi (GER, HON), 6 p.; 19. Benoit Paturel (FRA, HON), 5 p.; 20. Vsevolod Brylyakov (MFR, HON), 5 p.; 21. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 5 p.; 22. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 3 p.; 23. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 1 p.; 24. Lorenzo Locurcio (VEN, KTM), 1 p.; 25. Tom Koch (GER, KTM), 0 p.; 26. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 0 p.; 27. Miro Sihvonen (FIN, HON), 0 p.; 28. Hardi Roosiorg (EST, KTM), 0 p.; 29. Anton Nordström Graaf (SWE, YAM), 0 p.; 30. Denis Polas (SVK, KTM), 0 p.; 31. Timothée Hoarau (FRA, KAW), 0 p.; 32. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, YAM), 0 p.; 33. Ander Valentin (ESP, HUS), 0 p.; 34. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 0 p|
|MXGP – World Championship Classification|
|1. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 661 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 658 p.; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 646 p.; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 534 p.; 5. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 532 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 530 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 416 p.; 8. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GAS), 391 p.; 9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KTM), 310 p.; 10. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 309 p.; 11. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 281 p.; 12. Brian Bogers (NED, GAS), 263 p.; 13. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET), 212 p.; 14. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 203 p.; 15. Henry Jacobi (GER, HON), 178 p.; 16. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 144 p.; 17. Alberto Forato (ITA, GAS), 119 p.; 18. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 119 p.; 19. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 118 p.; 20. Benoit Paturel (FRA, HON), 110 p|
The Kemea Yamaha battle for the MX2 GP win went right until the last lap of race two with Jago Geerts and new world champ, Maxime Renaux (who won race one), with the Belgian taking a fine race win to give him the GP victory under big pressure!
After last week’s bike issue, Geerts rebounded really well and showed his true level of performance after a tough season to ride well in both motos and show great resilience in race two, saying: “I’m really happy, the first heat was also really good but I had small problem with my google so just rode solid. Second heat, pretty good start, I was behind Tom for the first fifteen minutes then I could pass him and Maxime was chasing me, it was a really difficult race. Happy with the overall after a couple of difficult races.”
Tom Vialle tried hard but didn’t have quite what he need to go with the Yamaha men in the second half of race two and Jed Beaton also made the move to relegate Vialle to fourth but he still took third on the podium.
René Hofer was up front both motos but crashed while second in race one then collided with Geerts on lap one of race two to leave the Austrian wondering what might have been.
|MX2 – GP Classification|
|1. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 47 points; 2. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 47 p.; 3. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 36 p.; 5. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 29 p.; 6. Isak Gifting (SWE, GAS), 28 p.; 7. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 25 p.; 10. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KAW), 24 p.; 11. Andrea Adamo (ITA, GAS), 19 p.; 12. Brian Hsu (GER, KTM), 17 p.; 13. Wilson Todd (AUS, KAW), 17 p.; 14. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 15 p.; 15. Bastian Boegh Damm (DEN, KTM), 12 p.; 16. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 12 p.; 17. Emilio Scuteri (ITA, TM), 8 p.; 18. Petr Polak (CZE, YAM), 6 p.; 19. Filippo Zonta (ITA, HON), 6 p.; 20. Joel Rizzi (GBR, HON), 2 p.; 21. Filip Olsson (SWE, HUS), 2 p.; 22. Paul Haberland (GER, HON), 0 p.; 23. Petr Rathousky (CZE, KTM), 0 p.; 24. Gerard Congost (ESP, YAM), 0 p.; 25. Florent Lambillon (BEL, KTM), 0 p.; 26. Julian Vander Auwera (BEL, HUS), 0 p|
|MX2 – World Championship Classification|
|1. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 689 points; 2. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 570 p.; 3. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 563 p.; 4. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 513 p.; 5. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), 512 p.; 6. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 501 p.; 7. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 441 p.; 8. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 413 p.; 9. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 404 p.; 10. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 316 p.; 11. Wilson Todd (AUS, KAW), 305 p.; 12. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KAW), 294 p.; 13. Isak Gifting (SWE, GAS), 267 p.; 14. Andrea Adamo (ITA, GAS), 236 p.; 15. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 223 p.; 16. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 190 p.; 17. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 172 p.; 18. Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 142 p.; 19. Bastian Boegh Damm (DEN, KTM), 124 p.; 20. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 123 p|
Report: Jonathan McCready