Eight-times world champion Tony Cairoli locked horns with MX2 world champ Jeffrey Herlings in the German MXGP, with both factory KTM men taking a win and a second place each.
Cairoli was caught and passed by Herlings in the opener. The Italian had taken the holeshot while Herlings came from a top four start to pass his rival and pull away slightly. Cairoli reeled the Dutchman back in at the end of the race but Herlings held on for the win.
Second time out Cairoli took the holeshot again and pulled away to an unchallenged win, taking the overall victory, GP win No.80 and extending his lead over Tim Gajser.
Herlings gated fifth and slowly worked his way towards the front of the pack, but by that time Cairoli was gone. Herlings was lucky to avoid being passed by third place Gautier Paulin who came close to taking second with a last lap surge. Paulin took third overall, with two third place finishes. Clement Desalle was fourth overall after two fourth-place rides.
Cairoli, who recorded his third overall GP win of the season, said: “It’s my 80th GP win so I’m happy. I’m looking forward already as I’m feeling really good and am getting good starts!”
It was a disastrous weekend for Gajser who was riding in pain after a huge crash in qualifying. He did the best he could and took 11th overall from 12th and 10th place finishes and now trails Cairoli by 44 points in the series.
With Romain Febvre fifth overall from fast-starting Glenn Coldenhoff, it was Briton Max Anstie who took a strong seventh overall in front of his Husqvarna team-mate Max Nagl.
Anstie was mixing it with the top men in both motos, and took eighth in the opener. Second time out he was battling for a brilliant fifth place but made a small mistake and lost out to Febvre. Anstie too sixth in the moto.
The only other Briton in the race, Ryan Houghton, didn’t get in the points but had 28th and 29th place finishes.