Red Bull KTM news from the Citta di Faenza round:
- MXGP class rookie Jorge Prado takes his maiden victory and second podium finish in 2020 with 2-2 results. All 3 MXGP riders have now won in 2020 with the KTM 450 SX-F
- Tom Vialle takes his first ever 1-1, his fourth career GP success, a sixth podium from seven rounds & extends MX2 championship lead
- Tony Cairoli finishes 4th overall in his 250th GP start
- Jeffrey Herlings suffers Free Practice crash and misses both MXGP motos
The sun-soaked Monte Coralli circuit in Faenza staged the second Grand Prix in a week and the seventh of the season. The hard-packed course was virtually identical to the layout used for the Italian round the previous Sunday.
Jorge Prado – The Spaniard grabbed the holeshot in the first moto and led for 7 of 17 laps until being passed by Jeremy Seewer. Prado kept steady and secured 2nd place: his highest classification yet in the premier class. In the second moto the reigning MX2 world champion again used the power of his KTM 450 SX-F to enter the first corner at the front of the pack. He adopted the same approach – this time behind Tim Gajser – and was able to lift his first winner’s trophy in the premier class thanks to a 2-2 set. Prado uncorked the podium champagne for the second time this season after his maiden appearance in the top three in Latvia during August. He is now up to 7th in the points table.
Tony Cairoli – A top five start saw the nine-times world champion (who is still dealing with a weak right knee) complete a solid first moto to post 4th position. Cairoli crossed the finish line just two seconds away from Romain Febre in 3rd. The veteran tucked in behind Prado in the first seconds of the second race. Cairoli then chased and relegated Mitch Evans to log his sixth top-three finish of the year from fourteen motos. He ended his 250th Grand Prix (from a FIM world championship career that started in 2003) with 4th overall and was just one point away from the last step of the podium. Cairoli has gained decent ground in the championship chase and is second by just 22 points.
Jeffrey Herlings – The MXGP world championship leader sat out the Grand Prix. The Dutchman crashed during Free Practice when he landed awkwardly from the second jump of the course, taking most of the impact on his upper body. Herlings was taken to a nearby hospital for an MRI on his head and neck and to also examine some pain to his shoulder. The 25-year old (26 next week) was conscious and had full feeling across his body. The trip to a clinic in Bologna was seen as precautionary measure and the team are waiting more updates. Herlings still holds the red plate.
Jorge Prado: “A podium in Latvia was already a big achievement for me. It is so tough to win because you need to put two good motos together and those guys are pushing hard. I made two good starts and then had two mistakes but I gave it my ‘all’. I was done afterwards! I’m very happy. Unfortunately getting hurt is part of the sport but I wish Jeffrey was here today racing and I hope he is back on the bike quickly.”
Tony Cairoli: “It was difficult today. My goal for these three GPs here was to finish on the podium each time as I tend to struggle a bit more on these kinds of tracks. We made it last Sunday and just missed out by one point today. It’s not the best result but, overall, I’m quite happy and next Sunday we’ll have another chance. We have to stay calm and look to take good points every time. I wish all the best to Jeffrey for a quick and complete recovery and I also want to congratulate Jorge; a fantastic result for the whole team.”
Dirk Gruebel, Team Manager and Technical Co-Ordinator: “Jeffrey went down on the fourth lap of Free Practice and hit his head quite hard. He regained feeling in his arms and legs pretty quickly but still went to Bologna for full body scans. We have yet to see the results, but he has been released from hospital. We’re talking about a pretty big compression of the neck, vertebrae and a hematoma of the shoulder. He’ll get back to Belgium tomorrow for some more examinations and hopefully it is not that dramatic. It will take a couple of weeks to recover but we cannot give an exact date right now. Jorge did great but Tom made a fantastic job on a track that was far from easy. He played it smart, stayed clean and brought home 50 points, which was great for the championship and his confidence.”
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director: “Another great day for our motocross team and it is exciting to see our young guys progressing like this. Jorge has been with us all the way and in the factory team since he was sixteen, so it was special to see him win his first MXGP GP. In the same moment Tom won as well, so it was a good day even though it started in a sad way with Jeffrey leaving the track in an ambulance. Still, with results like these it was a great GP for the group and the family. The team are putting in a big effort, so I have to thank them and the riders for these victories.”
Tom Vialle – The Frenchman clinched his first moto checkered flag at Monte Coralli in the opening MX2 race. Vialle made his customary excellent start on the KTM 250 SX-F and cruised to the win several seconds ahead of last weekend’s victor Maxime Renaux. Later in the afternoon Vialle added another holeshot to his season’s tally. He then fronted title rival Jago Geerts until the Belgian made two mistakes and Vialle was free to escape to his very first 1-1 scorecard. His perfection on the day was rewarded by a maximum collection of 50 points and increased his lead in the standings from 3 to 21 over Geerts.
Tom Vialle: “It was a perfect day. I’m really happy with how I rode. I was really focused and didn’t make any mistakes. It was a track that punished you if you got it wrong. This is the first time I made a 1-1 and that’s a big step. The team did a really good job and we’ll go again on Sunday.”