Riding injured from a crash in Italy last weekend, Red Bull KTM Factory rider Tony Cairoli delivered two gutsy motos at the MXGP of Germany at the tricky Teutchenthal circuit on Sunday.
For his efforts, Cairoli, a Red Bull athlete, was able to pick up 22 points and narrow the gap to championship leader Roman Febvre to 17 at the end of the 10th round of the 2015 World Championship.
The defending champion, riding with a fractured hand and elbow, was particularly strong in the second moto when he took the holeshot, stayed in second through the first six laps and went on to finish sixth for overall ninth.
Febvre was the overall winner in the absence of former championship leader Max Nagl, who broke his ankle in qualifying and was denied the opportunity to race in front of home fans. The minor places went to Gautier Paulin and Kevin Strijbos. Top KTM rider was British national champion Shaun Simpson, who finished seventh.
Cairoli’s amazing ride brought some joy to the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team on a weekend that saw MX2 leader Jeffrey Herlings crash coming out of a scrub on the first jump of his opening moto.
He rode straight back to the pits holding his arm and the team later confirmed that he had broken his collarbone in what was assessed as a clean fracture. Team coordinator Valentina Ragni said he immediately left to return home to the Netherlands and would undergo surgery to have the fracture plated, either Sunday night or Monday. With a break in the race program until July 5, Herlings has some respite to heal the fracture.
In other MX2 action, rookie Pauls Jonass fought through difficult conditions to pick up a 6-7 moto result for overall seventh and is now overall fifth in the points.
While Herlings, also a Red Bull athlete, still has a 100-point lead in his bid for another title, there is now fierce competition for second place between the next four riders and only 12 points separate them.
@JHerlings84 has had surgery on his broken collarbone.The fracture has been plated and ‘The Bullet is already on the road to recovery!
– KTM.com (@KTM_Racing) June 22, 2015
The Factory team also decided after the last round that Davy Pootjes, who was slotted to ride in the EMX 250 season, would contest the remaining MX2 GPs to gain experience in the class. The young Dutch rider rode a creditable 14-11 in what was a tough day for all riders. The MX2 GP was won by Tim Gajser, Max Anstie was second and Valentin Guillod finished third.
The German hard pack track was fast, choppy and very slick in parts this weekend and a number of leading riders crashed, including in the first MXGP moto, Cairoli’s team-mate Ken de Dycker of Belgium. De Dycker attempted to ride the second moto but returned to the pits at the end of the start straight, unable to continue.
Teutschenthal also hosted Round Five of both the Women’s World Championship and the EMX 250 Championship. KTM rider Steffi Laier of Germany was third overall in the Women’s competition, but it was a tough weekend for former EMX 250 points leader Adam Sterry of Britain (KTM). Sterry was a solid third in his opening moto but went off the track in his second and got his bike hopelessly entangled in the wire netting of a fence. He dropped to fourth on the leader board, but the title fight is tight and he is still only nine points off the number one position.