MXGP of Turkey: this Wednesday took the ninth Grand Prix of the 2021 Motocross World Championship at Afyonkarahisar.
Jeffrey Herlings goes 1-2 for second GP win in four days, the third of 2021 and the 93rd of his career while Tony Cairoli earns his fifth podium finish of the season with 3rd place.
Jeffrey Herlings: “I started the day strong with Pole Position and it was important to be on the inside of the gate here, especially against Jorge! The first race was good, and busy! I could not really attack because I had Tim [Gajser] behind me and I had to defend my line but at the same time I had a bit more speed on Romain [Febvre]. It was so hard to pass on this track. I managed to hold second until the last lap but then Romain made a mistake and I had the win handed to me, so it was a bit of a gift. In the second moto I was looking for lines but again I had to defend and attack at the same time with Jorge and Tim. Tim was faster the second moto. I was struggling a bit with grip. The track got hard and slick and I had a few sketchy moments so at one point I decided to settle for second and minimize the risk. I knew I had the GP win, my 93rd. It’s been a good day and two good races here in Turkey. I want to thank Red Bull KTM for the great bike they gave me.”
Tony Cairoli: “Today I felt a bit better from the Timed Practice, which has been hard for me lately and also makes the starts more difficult. I was a bit too wide in the first turn for both motos and had to use a lot of energy to come back. I’m happy overall: the speed is there, the fitness is there and I just need to figure out the starts better and try to stay nearer the front. I found a good flow, especially in the second moto and just a small mistake meant the guys in front got away. It’s good to finish on the podium but I want more. I really like the track in Sardinia. With a one day race it won’t get too rough but it will be hot, which is good for me. I hope we can have some public because motorsport is pretty big there.”
Jorge Prado: “I’m happy I could walk away from that crash. It was a big one. I got kicked by one bump and then went into some others. I took too long to get up and luckily the bike was OK, I tried to come back and take some points but the other guys were too far. In the second moto I knew I needed a great start. Everything was hurting! I was feeling OK on the track and had a couple of nice battles. Tony and myself got into a good rhythm and I did my best laps at the end. I had a small dip around minute 20-25 which was difficult because the guys passed me. 4th was the best I could do. We got some points after losing some earlier on. I was very lucky today.”
Tom Vialle earns third MX2 win of the year his second in Turkey as Guadagnini takes 3rd place.
Tom Vialle: “I didn’t have a good flow in the first moto and I had some bad lines in Sector 4. That’s where Maxime [Renaux] passed me. For some reason I felt very tired by mid-moto. We had a big gap on 3rd place so I just rode out the race and saved some energy. I gave everything I had in the second moto to try and win. It was good! The title is pretty much done for me this season because of the injury but I still want to come back as high as I can in the championship. That’s my goal and to try and ride as much at the front as possible. I’m really happy to have won both races here in Turkey and I feel good at the moment. Let’s move to the next race!”
Mattia Guadagnini: “I’m not too happy about today. I felt great on the track and set the second-best lap-time in the morning, being very close to the Pole. I still had two good starts and just missed a bit of flow and fast riding in the first ten minutes. I tried to overtake more in the second race but some others were passing me! I was making the situation worse. I didn’t have the pace of the front two today but I’m pleased to be back on the podium, which is also important for the championship. I want to be better and hopefully in the next weeks we can be back fighting for the win.”
Rene Hofer: “It was a little bit up-and-down today. I made a mistake with my fastest Quali lap and that’s why I was only 9th and my last attempt was ruined by another rider. It meant I was quite far outside for the starts and the first one was average. I lost some positions in the second turn and I was battling for 5th and couldn’t quite get past Wilson Todd. I then had some bad arm-pump and lost a few positions. It was a terrible race. In the second moto I found quite a good rhythm. I was close to overtaking [Thibault] Benistant for 3rd a few times and had a nice battle to take 5th again. Three top five results from four so, in general, quite OK but I’m not super-happy. It was another step in the right direction and we are definitely getting closer to the podium places. In the championship we are also not too far from the top five. We’ll keep working to have a good second half of the season.”
Motocross World Championship 2021, Round 9 – Afyon 2 (Turkey)
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM)
3. Antonio Cairoli (KTM)
10. Jorge Prado (KTM)
1. Tom Vialle (KTM)
3. Mattia Guadagnini (KTM)
6. Rene Hofer (KTM)
12. Simon Längenfelder (GasGas)
13. Stephen Rubini (Honda)
14. Isak Gifting (GasGas)
20. Gianluca Facchetti (KTM)
23. Emil Weckman (Honda)
credits: press.ktm.com and gasgas press center
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