Herlings within touching distance of MXGP title after Turkish win

Copyright: © Ray Archer/KTM Images

Jeffrey Herlings stands on the brink of his first title in the MXGP class and the fourth of his career after his thirteenth 1-1 victory of the season. The 23 year old Dutchman controlled proceedings in the opening moto with his KTM 450 SX-F after winning the Qualification Heat for the eleventh time on Saturday. Herlings faced some competition for the lead deep into the second moto from 2016 champion Tim Gajser but maintained his speed in the final minutes to again take the chequered flag. Herlings has won the last 7 Grands Prix in a row, 11 from the last 12 and has not been defeated for the last 13 motos.

#84 now has a margin of 95 points over world champion Tony Cairoli with just 100 left to win in events in Holland and Italy.

Herlings: “Absolutely a great weekend for me and that’s ‘three in a row’ of Qualification Heat and both moto wins, so I have to say a big thank you to the team for their great job: they have made a great sacrifice and I wouldn't be where I am today without them.”



Pauls Jonass gave his hopes of a successful MX2 title defence a small boost with 2nd place overall behind victor Thomas Covington at Afyon. The world champion registered his twelfth rostrum finish of the year and notched his fifteenth chequered flag with a second moto triumph. The Latvian, together MX2 world championship leader Jorge Prado, battled for the lead in the first race until the pair collided through the air of one of the many jumps on lap nine. Both remounted with Jonass able to score 6th place and Prado classifying 3rd.

Jonass pursued and passed Covington to excel in the second moto; the American’s mistake allowed #1 to again leap through the finish line arch first. Prado laboured to find an effective rhythm on the rougher hard-pack and was 7th to rest 6th overall and miss the podium for only third time this term.

24 points split both works KTM 250 SX-F athletes with a maximum of 100 remaining at the Assen and Imola circuits.

Jonass: “I was feeling really good all weekend and managed to lead the first moto. Hitting Jorge on the jump was really unfortunate and I was really disappointed about that. I did not see it coming from his side. It was a huge crash and I was lucky to walk away with only a stretched ligament in my knee. It’s still not over: four races to go and still some points.”

Prado: “It was a bit of a strange GP but I am going home quite happy. We are leading by 24 points which is still good. I had a good first moto and was the fastest guy so it was a bit weird to go from that to struggling a lot in the second. I did what I could. I did my best.”

After three consecutive weekends of action, MXGP will reassemble for the last two rounds of the 2018 campaign in a fortnight’s time with the Grand Prix of the Netherlands taking place at Assen for the fourth year in a row.

The 2018 MX season has once again been dominated by KTM riders. KTM’s SX range produce unrivalled power and handle like a dream. Visit our showroom to get a closer look at the KTM 450 SX-F & KTM 250 SX-F that’ve been KTM’s secret to success this season.