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KTM this weekend

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Red Bull KTM factory riders Tony Cairoli and Jorge Prado were again in excellent pre-season form at the final round of the Internazionali D’Italia Motocross at Ottobiano on Sunday. Cairoli finished the day with a victory in the elite class after finishing second in MX1 race and Prado held onto second in the MX2 race to take the title. All three titles went to the KTM factory duo.

MX1
Tony Cairoli got away well in the MX1 race to pick up the holeshot on the KTM 450 SX-F, but minutes later, teammate Jeffrey Herlings, who was racing in his first premiere class moto and was sixth at the start, tangled with Slovene Tim Gajser and both riders went down. Herlings retired from the race while Cairoli hung onto the lead through the first two thirds before Belgian Jeremy van Horebeek overtook him. He settled for second place after demonstrating to the opposition that he is in very good pre-season shape.

Cairoli: “We had another good weekend here in Ottobiano and we got five wins and a second in these first races, so I’m really happy about how everything is going. The preparation with Glenn (Coldenhoff) and the team has been very good and we’re looking forward to the first GP. It’s important to get the wins but most important is the see that you feel great, the bike is working very well, you feel confident and that you’re happy with your riding.”

Cairoli’s teammate Glenn Coldenhoff also has a strong elite race and he too was positive about the pre season preparation. “We’ve had some good races here and I’m happy that I raced all three rounds. We learned a lot and it was good training and good tracks so it was perfect preparation for the GP season. We did a good job and the bike is working well so I go to Qatar with quite a lot of confidence. I know I have the speed and everything just needs to come together.”

MX2
Jorge Prado, racing in his first full season with the factory team was once again very quick out of the gates as MX2 riders took to the track. He too led for most of his race before Italian Michele Cervellin seized the advantage and went to the front. Prado’s second place was good enough to wrap up the MX2 title and the result clearly boosted the 16-year-old Spaniard’s confidence going into the final showdown in the elite class race.

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Elite Class
Prado charged out of the gates in the elite race on his KTM 250 SX-F to grab the holeshot prize for the championship, but premiere class teammate Cairoli was close behind. While the Italian and two other 450 riders quickly took control, and Cairoli went on to secure another decisive win, Prado hung onto fourth place until the final laps. He was fifth at the line and clearly the fastest MX2 rider in the competition.

Prado, summing up his Italian International Championship said he and the team had made continual improvements over the three races and he was happy to have been on the podium every weekend. “I got the holeshot today in the first race and I was able to make a big gap to the second rider but towards the end I got some arm pump and had to slow down a bit and finished second.” Prado said then he was determined to wrap up the series with a strong second (elite class) race. “I wanted to see where I am at the moment. I took the holeshot but the first three riders passed me pretty quickly. I had a long fight with Butron and we passed each other quite a few times. Then Febvre made the pass with just two laps to go. Top five against the big bikes is good for me. I’m feeling confident and I think I’ve learned a lot, so I need to keep my feet on the ground and keep working.”

Austrian KINI KTM Junior Racing teams Rene Hofer finished overall third (4-4) in 125 class on his KTM 125 SX.

Lacapelle-Marival Masters Motocross International 2017
Red Bull KTM MX2 factory rider Pauls Jonass of Latvia, following on from his win last weekend at the Hawkstone International opted to compete in France at the LaCapelle-Marival Masters Motocross International. Unfortunately Pauls crashed hard while in the lead in the MX2 race and had to retire with a mild concussion. Both Jonass and Herlings will have precautionary medical checkups early next week, the team confirmed.

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