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Anstie third as Herlings wins French shakedown

The ideal warm-up for the fast approaching 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship, the event at Lacapelle Marival Mastercross in France saw Briton Max Anstie secure third overall in MX1 class as Jeffrey Herlings swept to victory in all three MX1 motos. And it was great news for Briton Shaun Simpson who took second behind Herlings in the first MX1 moto.

Battling through muddy conditions, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie delivered strong moto performances in each of the three motos contested in France. Kicking off the day with fourth in the opening MX1 moto, the Brit improved to third in moto two. Claiming third overall in the elite MX1 category, Anstie went on to wrap up the day with a solid runner-up result in the combined MX1/MX2 Superfinal.

Anstie said: “We had a solid day of racing here in France. It was also good training in muddy conditions for the coming MXGP season. I had three strong motos and I’m happy with my performance overall. In the opening moto I had a bad start, but battled my way up to fourth place at the chequered flag. Then in moto two my start was not good either. I did my best again and battled my way to third. The combined MX1 and MX2 Supefinal was possibly my best moto for the day. I got the holeshot and had a great battle with the final winner Herlings to end up second. It’s been a good day and I’m looking forward to the start of the World Championship in Argentina.”

Herlings, Simpson and Coldenhoff gas it from the start
Herlings, Simpson and Coldenhoff gas it from the start

Herlings topped the time sheets and classifications all day (Free & Timed Practice, both MX1 motos and the Superfinal) while his team-mate Glenn Coldenhoff, in good form and fresh from some impressive days riding in the region, tweaked his troublesome left hand in the first race and elected to sit out the next two starts.

Herlings said: “A great weekend: I felt good on the bike and on the track and there was a lot of riding today. I missed my start in the Superfinal but worked my way up from fifth place and felt really comfortable. The bike is awesome at the moment, so I have to give-it-up to Red Bull KTM. The whole team is working hard and I really appreciate that and what they have done for me. I cannot wait for the season to start.”

Coldenhoff said: “I had some good days in the south of France and felt happy through Free Practice and Timed Practice this morning but managed to overstretch my finger in the first moto; it lead to some pain and I had no strength or power there for the clutch. I did not want to risk making it worse – we need to make it count in two weeks time – so decided not to start the second and third motos and work to be 100% for Argentina. Aside from today I’m feeling really good on the bike in general and physically I am strong so I have a positive outlook for the new season.”

Clement Desalle, out for the first time this year, took second overall in the MX1 class and was third in the Superfinal behind Herlings and Anstie.

In the MX2 class, Hunter Lawrence took the overall from Thomas Kjer-Olsen and Jed Beaton. World champ Pauls Jonass won the opener but didn’t score highly in race two.  The Latvian holeshotted and aced the first outing but a broken goggle lens forced a pitstop in the second affair and he just miss out on the overall top three.

Jonass said: “That’s all three pre-season races under my belt now and I’m feeling good for Argentina. I holeshot and won the first race and then had a small goggle issue in the second race and had to throw them away and pit for new ones. So it was a bit of a struggle but I bounced back for the Superfinal and finished 5th behind the 450 guys, which was pretty good. I’m happy with my riding and the bike. A couple of small things to do and we’ll be ready for the first GP.”

Results – Lacapelle Marival International MX 2018 

MX2 – Overall 
1. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) 47pts; 2. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 40pts; 3. Jed Beaton (Kawasaki) 40pts… 10. Tom Vialle (Husqvarna) 21pts… 12. Mikkel Haarup (Husqvarna) 15pts

MX2 – Race 1 
1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 13 laps, 25:04:423; 2. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) 25:17:365; 3. Jed Beaton (Kawasaki) 25:32:921; 4. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 25:37:085… 7. Tom Vialle (Husqvarna) 25:54:885… 14. Mikkel Haarup (Husqvarna) 26:16:508… 23. Adrien Malaval (Husqvarna) 12 laps, 26:39:296

MX2 – Race 2 
1. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) 13 laps, 25:08:941; 2. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 25:17:701; 3. Jed Beaton (Kawasaki) 25:42:272… 13. Mikkel Haarup (Husqvarna) 26:20:480; 14. Tom Vialle (Husqvarna) 12 laps, 25:26:236… 17. Adrien Malaval (Husqvarna) 26:07:054

MX1 – Overall 
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM 50pts; 2. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 42pts; 3. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 38pts… 5. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 30pts… 7. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 27pts… 11. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 21pts

MX1 – Race 1 
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 13 laps, 24:41:635; 2. Shaun Simpson (Yamaha) 24:53:605; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 24:54:622; 4. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 24:59:059… 7. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 25:24:399… 9. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 25:46:688; 10. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 26:09:564… 15. Kevin Fors (Husqvarna) 26:33:703

MX1 – Race 2 
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 13 laps, 24:48:399; 2. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 25:07:175; 3. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 25:19:915; 4. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 25:27:103… 8. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 25:34:867… 11. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 26:19:999

MX1/MX2 Superfinal 
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 13 laps, 24:45:148; 2. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 24:50:841; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 25:13:272… 7. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 25:33:598; 8. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 25:43:618… 11. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 26:24:207… 17. Tom Vialle (Husqvarna) 12 laps, 24:52:926

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