Herlings caps season with a MX2 GP win at Fermo, Italy
Red Bull Teka KTM factory rider Jeffrey Herlings finished his MX2 season on a high note on Sunday when he wrapped up a victory in the final GP of the season with an impressive charge to the finish line in extremely hot conditions.
The young Dutch rider, who celebrates his 17th birthday on the day following the race won six single motos this season and clinched his fifth GP. He picked up the silver medal for finishing second to teammate to Ken Roczen, who settled the title last weekend at home in Gaildorf, Germany.
As the business of the title was well and truly over, Roczen decided to have some fun this weekend and rode a KTM 125 SX in the field of 250 cc machines. He finished fifth on the smaller bike in the first moto and was in fourth place in the second when he crashed and decided to retire.
Herlings was second in the first moto setting up a clash with eternal rival Tommy Searle. The two engaged in a vicious battle of attrition on the heavily watered, slippery and chopped up Italian circuit, fighting also against extreme heat that saw thermometers sore over 35 degrees Celsius. The KTM rider took a lead with 20 minutes to go and put five seconds between him and the British rider. Searle fought back, reduced the gap to just over two seconds then crashed with nine minutes left to ride, leaving Jeffrey a clear run to the checkered flag
To add more credit to the Orange machines, KTM riders soaked up places five, six, seven, eight and nine in the final GP. Roczen finished 11th overall even though he didn’t pick up any points in the second moto.
Jeffrey Herlings: “I had a small crash in the qualifying heat and even though I had a good start in the first race my riding was bad. But I got away well in the second moto and I managed to get past Tommy (Searle). This year I was just 20 points off the title so I hope I can make it happen for KTM next season and follow in Ken’s footsteps.”
Ken Roczen: the first race was really good and I finished fifth. Then my start wasn’t as good in the second race and I came from way back to fifth place. Then I jumped into the ruts and it was very slick because it had been watered and I just couldn’t stay on the bike. My handlebars were bent so I couldn’t go on. For sure I’m a bit disappointed because I was on a good way to get on the podium.”
Pit Beirer, Head of KTM Motorsports: “I have to thank the riders in the MX2 team because they all got along well with each other throughout the year even though they were fighting for the title right up to Gaildorf. The battle stayed very fair and I think in Ken Roczen we have a great world champion at KTM but the future star is right behind him in Jeffrey Herlings.”
Gajser second for the season in EMX 125
The weekend also saw the final round of the EMX125 European Championship at Fermo, a competition that highlights the up-and-coming MX talent. Final GP honors went to KTM rider Tim Gajser of Slovenia who also secured second place in the final season standings. KTM also won the Manufacturer’s Title in this junior class, giving the Austrian brand a clean sweep of Manufacturer’s titles in the 2011 competition to add to MX1 (Tony Cairoli) and MX2 (Ken Roczen) riders’ titles.
1, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM
2, Tommy Searle, UK, Kawasaki
3, Max Anstie, UK, Kawasaki
4, Arnaud Tonus, Switzerland, Yamaha
5, Nicolas Aubin, France, KTM
6, Pascal Rauchenecker, Austria, KTM
7, Jose Butron, Spain, KTM
8, Jordi Tixier, France, KTM
9, Jake Nicholls, UK, KTM
11, Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM (rode a KTM 125 SX, finished fifth in first moto and DNF in the second)
16, Even Heibye, Norway, KTM
1, Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM, 651 [MX2 World Champion 2011 – titled settled last round in Gaildorf, Germany]
2, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM, 632
3, Tommy Searle, UK, Kawasaki, 573
4, Gautier Paulin, France, Yamaha, 458
5, Arnaud Tonus, Switzerland, Yamaha 427
7, Nicholas Aubin, France, KTM, 304
10, Joel Roelants, Belgium, KTM, 253
11, Jake Nicholls, UK, KTM, 229
13, Jordi Tixier, France, KTM, 213
14, Jose Butron, Spain, KTM, 172
MX2 Manufacturers’ Standings
1, KTM, 733
2, Kawasaki, 622
3, Yamaha, 561
EMX 125 Results in Italy
1, Tim Gajser, Slovenia, KTM
2, Jeremy Seewer, Switzerland, Suzuki
3, Simone Zecchina, Italy, Suzuki
4, Damon Graulus, Belgium, KTM
5, Brent van Doninck, Belgium, KTM
6, Ryan Houghton, UK, KTM
9, Alessio Della Mora, Italy, KTM
11, Luca Moroni, Italy, KTM
13, Dave Versluis, Netherlands, KTM
15, Mathias Plessers, Belgium, KTM
16, Tommaso Vendramini, Italy, KTM
EMX 125 Standings After Round 6
1, Simone Zecchina, Italy, Suzuki 250
2, Tim Gajser, Slovenia, KTM 226
3, Jeremy Seewer, Switzerland, Suzuki 207
4, Samuele Bernardini, Italy, KTM 185
5, Damon Graulus, Belgium, KTM 170
6, James Dunn, UK, KTM 152
7, Brent van Doninck, Belgium, KTM 152
8, Luca Moroni, Italy, KTM 128
10, Dave Versluis, Netherlands, KTM 93
11, Vsevolod Brylyakov, Russia, KTM 87
12, Ryan Houghton, UK, KTM 82
13, Mathias Plessers, Belgium, KTM 74
15, Alessio Della Mora, Italy, KTM 55
Nagl withdraws from MX1 GP of Italy after Scaphoid injury in practice
Following Tony Cairoli’s MX1 World Championship title last week in Gaildorf, Italy, it was a difficult weekend for the Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing Team at the final round of the season in Fermo Italy. This was capped when Max Nagl sustained a wrist fracture that put paid to his chances of finishing in the top three for the season.
The team also announced late Friday night that Tony would not be racing in Fermo following the death of his mother at home in Sicily that afternoon, making a statement that in such circumstances the family and human values always prevail.
With Tony unable to race, it was Nagl’s wish to pick up enough points in Fermo to move him up from fourth to a possible third or even second in the final season’s standings. This would have wrapped up a season in a positive light where he has struggled with a nagging back injury. Max then crashed coming off a jump in practice and was immediately diagnosed as having a fractured scaphoid in his right wrist. He still attempted to ride in the first moto with his wrist strapped and the pain eased with injections. In what was a heroic ride, Max stuck it out until the second half of the race before the pain became so intense that he was forced to return to the pits.
Max Nagl: “I am quite disappointed that this happened already on Saturday. I was riding really good and I was in second place, I was quite surprised at my speed and when I did my last fast lap my feet came off the pegs on the jump at the finish so I jumped way too high and far. The landing was so hard that I broke my scaphoid again.” Max now returns to Belgium for further scans and medical treatment but will not be able to ride in next week’s Motocross of Nations in Saint Jean d’Angely, France.
Factory team coordinator Valentina Ragni also reported on Sunday evening from Fermo that Claudio DeCarli, Tony Cairoli’s personal manager and manager of the MX1 Factory Team for KTM, presently in Sicily with the Cairoli family, had called to express Tony’s thanks for the condolence messages and to confirm that he would ride at the MX of Nations next weekend.
Despite mixed fortunes in Fermo, the Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Team can be well pleased with their season, picking up a slew of riders and manufacturer’s World titles and extending the success they enjoyed winning MX1 and MX2 titles in 2010 for yet another season.
Pit Beirer, Head of KTM Motorsports summed up the season saying: there was a lot of power and energy going into the season with top riders and two title contenders. In MX1 I think we had a tough season. Last year things were a bit smoother because this year Tony had a small injury before the season started but I think that’s when you see what it means to be a great champion because he handled this pressure and his low form well and went on to win the title with a great points lead. The sad thing of course was that Max struggled all year with his back problems and it ended with his hand injury. Overall we have had a great season with also Steffi Laier winning the WMX title again and we also won many other Junior World and European titles. But the focus is always on MX1 and MX2 and we had a fantastic team and fantastic riders and for us it could not have been better.”
1, Gaultier Paulin, France, Yamaha
2, Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki
3, Jonathan Barragan, Spain, Kawasaki
4, Kevin Strijbos, Belgium, Suzuki
5, Xavier Boog, France, Kawasaki
15, Matthias Walkner, Austria, KTM
Max Nagl, DNF Race 1, DNS Race 2 (broken scaphoid injury forced Max’s retirement in the first moto
Note: As already announced by Red Bull Teka KTM, Tony Cairoli, the MX1 World champion, did not compete in Fermo this weekend due to a family bereavement.
1, Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM, 596 [MX1 World Champion 2011 – title settled last week]
2, Steven Frossard, France, Yamaha, 472
2, Clement Desalle, Belgium, Suzuki, 461
4, Evgeny Bobryshev, Russia, Honda 444
5, Max Nagl, Germany, KTM, 439
MX1 Manufacturers’ Standings
1, KTM, 630
2, Yamaha, 595
3, Suzuki, 562