Red Bull KTM Factory Racing put in a strong weekend of racing in Round Three of the of the MX1 and MX2 World Championship in Fermo on Sunday coming away from Italian track with two red plates and Jeffrey Herlings and Tony Cairolias championship leaders.
The day started well with Dutch teenager Jeffrey Herlings snapping a double moto win in MX2 on the KTM 250 SX-F to top the podium ahead of American Michael Leib and factory teammate Jeremy van Horebeek.Herlings has now surged 30 points clear in the standings with van Horebeek in second place while UK rider Tommy Searle slips to third after failing to pick up any points in the first moto.
While Herlings had it all his own way in the opening race on the KTM 250 SX-F, the second was much harder for him. After crashes and confusion at the start of the race he then had to go on the charge from back in the field.
Herlings got down to business and picked off riders in front of him until he hit the front in the closing stages. In the process he was also able to hold off a charge from rival Tommy Searle who was out to regain points after coming away from race one empty-handed. Van Horebeek also looked strong on the difficult hard pack surface that broke up into deep ruts and bumps as the day progressed and led for the first half of race two. The rookie member of the three-man factory team, Jordi Tixier of France also picked up valuable points to finish fourth overall and is now sixth in the standings.
Meanwhile Cairoli rounded off a good day on a track that is not his favorite on the KTM 350 SX-F with a 3-1 result for overall second. The popular Italian rider, who finished third in the opening MX1 moto came out in race two determined to treat his home town fans to a display of top riding on the KTM 350 SX-F. The wily Italian didn’t disappoint. He hit the front as soon as the gate dropped, secured the holeshot and to the delight of the dedicated fans, led throughout the entire race.
It was also a good day for his current teammate Ken de Dycker of Belgium who has stepped into the factory team to replace the injured Max Nagl of Germany. De Dycker is looking increasingly comfortable of the KTM 450 and his strong fourth place finish in the second moto put him at overall fifth in Fermo. The Belgian rider is also currently fifth in the championship standings.
Cairoli comes away from Fermo with a cushion of 27 points lead as riders now take a one-week’s break before reconvening in Mexico on May 13th for Round Four. Mexico is the first of two legs in the Americas and is followed by Round Five in Brazil.
Earlier in the day young Slovenian KTM rider Tim Gajser also had another convincing double victory in the EMX 125 class and now has a maximum of 100 points from four races. KTM riders took the top five places in the class this weekend.
photo: KTM Racing