Cairoli Takes Over MXGP Points Lead; Herlings Injured
MXGP wrapped up its tripleheader in Faenza, Italy, September 13. The Faenza circuit hosted three GPs in eight days, the first taking place with the MXGP of Italy, Sunday, September 6, the second taking place Wednesday, September 9, with the MXGP of Citta di Faenza, and the final race taking place Sunday, September 13, with the MXGP of Emilia Romagna.
When all was said and done, former MXGP champ Antonio Cairoli emerged as the new points leader. Part of that had to do with the departure of his Red Bull KTM teammate Jeffrey Herlings, who crashed out during free practice at Wednesday’s MXGP of Citta di Faenza. Herlings took a hard blow to his upper torso (head and neck) area. After an MRI, his doctor recommended that he take some time off to heal. At the time of the crash, Herlings had won four of the seven rounds this year and was perched at the top of the championship leaderboard. After sitting out Wednesday’s and Sunday’s MXGPs, Herlings will also watch the upcoming tripleheader races at the Mantova circuit from the sidelines before returning to racing.
Wednesday’s race (the MXGP of Citta di Faenza) saw Red Bull KTM’s Jorge Prado win his first career GP in the premier class. The Spaniard went winless on the day in the motos, but his 2-2 was good enough to land the former MX2 champ on the top step of the MXGP podium for the first time.
Swiss rider Jeremy Seewer (Yamaha) and defending MXGP Championship Tim Gajser (Honda) traded moto wins, with Gajser securing second overall with a 5-1 and Seewer third overall with a 1-7. (Seewer had a bad start and fell once in the second moto.)
Cairoli was fourth overall and Romain Febvre (Kawasaki) was fifth.
Despite not racing, Herlings still held the lead in the championship, 263-241, over Cairoli at the end of the day. Gajser was third with 237.
“A podium in Latvia was already a big achievement for me after a rough start to the year and now getting this win,” said Prado. “I had two good starts, just two mistakes in both races, which maybe cost me a race win. I’m still very happy because that last race was a very tough one, I was pushing very hard, and I really wanted to get that win, but I’m super happy.”
In MX2, Tom Vialle gave KTM a GP sweep on the day. Vialle won both MX2 motos to extend his championship lead to 21 over Belgian Jago Geerts (Kawasaki), who finished fourth overall on the day with a 3-9.
Frenchman Maxime Renaux (Yamaha), Dutch rider Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna), Geerts and Australian Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) rounded out the top five overall.
Cairoli claimed his 91st career Grand Prix victory in front of the home crowd with a 2-2 at the latest GP, the MXGP of Emilia Romagna, Sunday, September 13.
Prado won the first moto after a battle with Seewer (who crashed while trying to pass for the lead late in the race) but run out of gas physically while running up front in moto two. He faded back to sixth for third overall.
Gajser, fifth in moto one after tangling with Cairoli on the first lap, finished off the day second overall.
Seewer (3-4) was fourth overall and Febvre (10-3) fifth.
The veteran, Cairoli, left Faenza as the new MXGP points leader. He’s seven points up on Gajser, who is now 15 points ahead of the injured Herlings. Seewer is currently eight points behind Herlings. Prado trails Herlings by18 points.
Vialle claimed victory again in MX2 after trading moto wins with Geerts. Vialle won the all-important second moto for the overall victory, making it another KTM 1-1 on the day.
Jed Beaton (Husqvarna, 4-3,) Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna, 3-6) and Roan Van De Moosdijk (Kawasaki, 6-4) rounded out the top five overall.
Vialle leads Geerts in the MX2 Championship, 354-333. Renaux is third with 259.
The first of three GPs at Mantova takes place September 27 with the MXGP of Lombardia, followed by the MXGP of Citta di Mantova, September 30, and the MXGP of Europe, October 4.
Wednesday, September 9
- Jorge Prado (KTM) 2-2
- Tim Gajser (Hon) 5-1
- Jeremy Seewer (Yam) 1-7
- Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 4-3
- Romain Febvre (Kaw) 3-6
- Tom Vialle (KTM) 1-1
- Maxime Renaux (Yam) 2-4
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (Hus) 4-3
- Jago Geerts (Yam) 3-9
- Jed Beaton (Hus) 11-2
Sunday, September 13
- Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 2-2
- Tim Gajser (Hon) 5-1
- Jorge Prado (KTM) 1-6
- Jeremy Seewer (Yam) 3-4
- Romain Febvre (Kaw) 10-5
- Tom Vialle (KTM) 2-1
- Jago Geerts (Yam) 1-2
- Jed Beaton (Hus) 4-3
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (Hus) 3-6
- Roan Van De Moosdijk (Kaw) 6-4
2020 FIM MXGP of Italy Results
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