While team-mate Tony Cairoli was busy wrapping up another Italian motocross championship in Mantova, Jeffrey Herlings was in France in his last pre-season race of the year.
Herlings swept aside the competition at the popular Lacapelle Marival International in France, claiming victory in each of the motos.
The Dutch sandmaster was joined by team-mates Glenn Coldenhoff and Pauls Jonass as they took their speed and form from the Hawkstone International down to the south of France and to Lacapelle Marival where they again faced a host of MXGP peers ahead of the opening Grand Prix in Argentina.
Herlings topped the time sheets and classifications all day – Free and Timed Practice, both MX1 motos and the Superfinal.
“A great weekend,” declared Herlings. “I felt good on the bike and on the track and there was a lot of riding today. I missed my start in the Superfinal but worked my way up from fifth place and felt really comfortable. The bike is awesome at the moment, so I have to give-it-up to Red Bull KTM.
“The whole team is working hard and I really appreciate that and what they have done for me. I cannot wait for the season to start.”
Coldenhoff, in good form and fresh from some impressive days riding in the region, tweaked his troublesome left hand in the first race and elected to sit out the next two starts.
“I had some good days in the south of France and felt happy through Free Practice and Timed Practice this morning but managed to overstretch my finger in the first moto; it lead to some pain and I had no strength or power there for the clutch,” explained Coldenhoff.
“I did not want to risk making it worse – we need to make it count in two weeks time – so decided not to start the second and third motos and work to be 100 per cent for Argentina.
“Aside from today I’m feeling really good on the bike in general and physically I am strong so I have a positive outlook for the new season.”
MX2 world champion Pauls Jonass took his KTM 250 SX-F to fourth position overall. The Latvian holeshotted and aced the first outing but a broken goggle lens forced a pitstop in the second affair and he just missed out on the overall top three.
“That’s all three pre-season races under my belt now and I’m feeling good for Argentina,” said Jonass. “I holeshot and won the first race and then had a small goggle issue in the second race and had to throw them away and pit for new ones. So it was a bit of a struggle but I bounced back for the Superfinal and finished fifth behind the 450 guys, which was pretty good.
“I’m happy with my riding and the bike. A couple of small things to do and we’ll be ready for the first GP.”
Red Bull KTM will now direct all their attention to the final details and long journey to Neuquen, Patagonia for the first round of 19 in the FIM Motocross World Championship.
2018 Lacapelle-Marival International
MX1 Top Five
- Jeffrey Herlings, Red Bull KTM
- Clement Desalle, Kawasaki
- Max Anstie, Husqvarna
- Shaun Simpson, Yamaha
- Harri Kullas, Husqvarna
MX2 Top Five
- Hunter Lawrence, Honda
- Thomas Kjer Olsen, Husqvarna
- Jed Beaton, Kawasaki
- Pauls Jonass, Red Bull KTM
- Adam Sterry, Kawasaki