Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Dylan Ferrandis and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings are two of the hungriest riders on the line and long-time rivals, so when they went bar to bar into turn one, we knew we were in for a cracking race. Ferrandis took the holeshot with a slight advantage over Herlings who ran it in too hot, went wide and had to bounce off a bank to make the turn.
Herlings’ bank bouncing manoeuvre worked a treat, he didn’t even lose a spot and was able to charge up the inside of Ferrandis heading into the third corner. Herlings had the inside line and attempted to drive the Frenchman wide, but instead of braking and backing out of the challenge, Ferrandis just hammered the throttle and fought back immediately. There may have been a little bit of plastic exchanged between the two, of which Ferrandis will keep as a souvenir as Herlings went off line and into the bog.
HSF Logistics Motorsports Team’s Brian Bogers capitalized on Herlings bulldozing through the slop, as did Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer who had just finished barging past Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass.
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Herlings isn’t really used to being pushed about, so it was interesting to see The Bullet’s response. Instead of going knackers to the wall, he just hung back in third and looked for some good lines. Meanwhile, Jonass quietly chipped at the gap of Herlings, while Ferrandis rode like a boss to pull a massive 8-second lead on Seewer.
Speaking of Seewer, the Swiss rider came into some trouble with a few laps to go when he committed to a 180-degree rut at the bottom of a hill only to hit a back marker who had crashed on the exit. He had to wheelie out of the rut and into the next rut, but it was occupied with yet another lapped rider, so he got wedged and dropped his bike. He had to hurry, but thankfully he managed to remount in time to maintain second place.
Herlings broke his perfect qualifying race win record when he crossed the line in third ahead of his teammate Jonass. Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha’s Aleksandr Tonkov and TM Racing Factory Team’s Samuele Bernardini inherited the fifth and sixth place positions after Anstie crashed on the last lap. Anstie came home in seventh.
MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 25:08.730; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:08.255; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:10.023; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:11.541; 5. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Yamaha), +0:36.804; 6. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +0:45.476; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:48.567; 8. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:54.768; 9. Alvin Östlund (SWE, Yamaha), +0:57.905; 10. Simone Furlotti (ITA, Yamaha), +1:06.213
Words by MXGP