Moto Media

from ... Red Bull Teka KTM

Herlings and Roczen deliver the ‘wow’ factor at the MX2 GP of Brazil

The Red Bull Teka KTM teenage duo Jeffrey Herlings and Ken Roczen were in a class of their own at the MX2 GP of Brazil on Sunday when they split victory in two thrilling motos but it was the Dutch teenager who got the better of his KTM teammate and rival to snatch the second race and the GP title.

Roczen had already thrown down the gauntlet in the first moto when he put in a stunning performance from gate drop to checkered flag. The young German, fresh from his win in the USGP last weekend steamed into the first turn to grab the holeshot and never looked back from then on. Herlings kept him in his sights for the first half of the race but the young German super kid just progressively pulled away from the rest of the field to cross the line an impressive 11.45 seconds in front.

Roczen shot out of the gates in the second race, grabbed the holeshot and looked like he was about to repeat his first moto performance. But Herlings was tenacious and kept him in his sights, applying the pressure until mid race Roczen made several uncharacteristic mistakes was twice briefly of the bike and in doing so left the door open for Herlings. The Dutch teenager needed no encouragement to charge through and once he had grabbed the advantage, the race was as good as over. The two riders have now split the victory in all of the four GPs so far. Roczen won in Bulgaria and the USA, victory went to Herlings in Valkenswaard and now in Indiaituba, Brazil. Roczen still holds the red plate as championship leader and said he was happy to leave Brazil without losing any points in the championship. The game is on between the two talented teenagers and the stage set for more exciting duels as the season progresses. The next episode will be in France in two weeks time.

Jeffrey said he was sorry that Ken had crashed because "I want to beat him fair and square”. "It felt good on the bike, the riding was good today and the crowd was great. This is the second GP win this season and the fourth of my career so now I am really looking forward to the next GP in France,” he said.

Roczen said he had possibly braked a bit too much going down hill. "Both wheels slipped away but I was back on the bike real quick,” he said. "I was closing the gap but then I made another mistake, the bike went into neutral and I went over the handlebars. I hurt my finger a bit and bent the handlebars so I lost my rhythm.”

Factory team boss Stefan Everts was satisfied with his two young riders. "I am happy for Jeffrey. He’s still young and he’s learning fast. It’s good for his future to do this kind of race and this kind of victory. Ken is still in the lead, he’s still confident and he’s still the one to beat. Today he had the best speed!”

The two KTM riders mastered conditions in the deeply rutted and very twisty track and were spurred on by a sell-out crowd at the Indiaituba track about an hour away from Sao Paolo. They also had to tough it out in hot and humid temperatures even though it is officially autumn in southern hemisphere.

Ken Roczen closest to camera then Jeffrey Herlings.  Photo courtesy of KTM credit Ray Archer.

Cairoli second in MX1 GP of Brazil after two stunning rides

Red Bull Teka KTM factory rider and reigning world champion Toni Cairoli put in two stunning rides at the MX1 GP of Brazil for a 1-2 result and second place on the GP podium in what were races that had the 20,000-plus Brazilian crowd on their feet and cheering wildly.

Cairoli was clearly back to his usual winning ways as he put in two hugely entertaining and hard fought battles on the tight, deeply rutted track at Indiaituba about one hour away from Sao Paolo. He tenaciously fought his way back into contention in the first moto, all the time fending off constant attacks from two Yamahas and a Suzuki with David Philippaerts, Steven Frossard and Clement Desalle at the handlebars. Two laps before the close of the race everything was still in the balance but Tony turned up the heat and prevailed against the others by just over two seconds at the finish.

He then went out and fought equally hard in the second moto second moto but this time he had to settle for second behind fellow Italian David Philippaerts in the closing stages.

"It’s always nice to win but I also have to look out for the championship,” Tony said. "I needed to take some points from Desalle and that was my goal. I knew I could have won today but after 20 minutes into the second race I didn’t feel so good but I am happy for the championship and I’m looking forward to the next race.”

It was not a happy weekend for teammate Max Nagl who was suffering from back pain. "It was very difficult for me this weekend. I already had a lot of pain yesterday and today also my speed was not so good even if I was not too far off the leaders. I messed up the start in the second moto and I got stuck behind Xavier Boog and couldn’t pass him so I wasn’t riding well this weekend,” the German conceded.

Team Boss Stefan Everts: "Tony made two holeshots today. He won the first moto and he tried right up till the end of the second moto to get past Philippaerts but he just didn’t make it. He was a bit disappointed but its good to see Toni back where he should be again – to fight for the title and that’s good for us. Max had a tough weekend he tried his best but his starts were not so good and he struggled a bit.”

Stefan Everts and Tony Cairoli.   Photo courtesy of KTM credit Ray Archer.