MXGP of the Netherlands Report
The first of a quadruple-header run in the MXGP got underway this weekend under the blue skies in The Netherlands, where Oss hosted Round 4 of the 2021 season.
The weekend was not without its drama however, as Herlings made contact with Ivo Monticelli in the first race, which subsequently forced Herlings to miss the second race of the day due to a shoulder injury despite a miraculous Race 1 win.
With the Dutch racer unable to continue, championship leader Tim Gajser extended his lead in the standings, leaving The Netherlands with a 23-point advantage over Herlings, Cairoli and Febvre who are all tied on 143 points.
The injury to Herlings could cost him a shot at the 2021 championship, with it unknown as to when he may return.
MXGP Race 1
Herlings then took the hit from Monticelli, with the latter crashing out whilst the former bravely carried on despite what he would later discover to be a painful shoulder injury.
At the front the ding-dong battle between Coldenhoff and Febvre continued, with the Frenchman looking for a way around his Yamaha rival.
After closing the gap to just three tenths, it looked like Febvre was going to take the lead, but the Kawasaki rider went down after a mistake, which dropped him to third.
Coldenhoff’s lead once again began to shrink, with the Dutch rider looking to be slowly fading. This allowed Febvre to work his way past Gajser and reignite his battle for the victory.
Herlings pulled off a fantastic ride to overtake Gajser, and close to the end Febvre crashed once more, allowing Herlings to close in on Coldenhoff and take the lead with three laps remaining.
At the end it was Herlings who crossed the line to win, with Coldenhoff and Gajser rounding off the top-three.
MXGP Race 2
With Herlings on his way to hospital to confirm his shoulder injury, he was forced to miss out on the second and final race of the day.
The second race brought even more action and carnage than the first, with big names such as Coldenhoff and Seewer crashing.
It was Prado who took the Fox Holeshot, with Febvre once again challenging for the lead as Gajser was third after the start.
Febvre pressured his Spanish rival for the lead, but made another mistake, going off track at a jump and dropping down the order to sixth.
Prado began to feel the pressure from Gajser as the race progressed but was putting up a strong defence to keep the HRC rider at bay.
It wasn’t until the final three laps that Gajser managed to work his way around the KTM rider and take the lead.
But the Slovenian’s time at the front was short lived as with half a lap remaining, Cairoli put on a late charge to get past both Prado and then Gajser to take an excellent victory ahead of the two riders.
Febvre managed to recover back to fourth, but it will be a weekend of what ifs for the Frenchman, who had the pace to be at the front.
There were some new names in the top-ten for the first time this year, one being Brian Bogers who finished fifth ahead of Watson and Vlaanderen.
Arminas Jasikonis took eighth, with Brent Van Doninck and Seewer rounding out the top-ten.
MXGP GP Classification (Top 10)
- Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda) - 42 points
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM) - 38 points
- Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki) - 36 points
- Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM) - 35 points
- Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha) - 27 points
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha) - 27 points
- Brian Bogers (NED, GASGAS) - 25 points
- Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha) - 25 points
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM) - 25 points
- Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna) - 23 points