World championship leader Jeffrey Herlings took an incredible double win over his team-mate Tony Cairoli in the British GP at Matterley Basin. But it was only after the Dutchman barged the Italian which left the nine-times world champ on the floor. Cairoli, who had led the moto all the way until he was caught by Herlings, remounted to take second.
Second time out Cairoli led again with another holeshot, with Herlings tailing him. It seemed whatever Herlings did, Cairoli retaliated and edged away again. But in the final few stunning laps, Herlings set fastest lap after fastest lap – including the fastest lap of the race on the last lap. He took the lead on the penultimate lap in a clean move, and took yet another double win.
Herlings said: “I did my best. In the second moto we kept it clean. I didn’t want to ride in his roost all moto so with a few laps to go I pushed. It’s my 100th podium and 74th GP win.
“It’s always been a tough track but it’s been hard for me to win here. I made it happen both times in the last lap.”
Cairoli said of the Herlings incident: “I didn’t run out of time, I got run out. Everyone saw the images. It wasn’t a necessary move as he has such a points lead and it was an aggressive move. But it’s racing and I don’t want to complain about it.”
Romain Febvre, riding with an ankle injury from a recent spill, took a fine third place on the track where he won his first GP. He took fifth in the opener then held off hard-charging Clement Desalle second time out to take third – albeit 40 seconds behind the winner!
The Kawasaki man, who threw away a potential third with a second race crash, was fourth overall from Tim Gajser. Febvre, Desalle and Gajser battled hard all through the moto. Febvre said: “I’m really happy It’s been tough the last three weeks frpm Latvia. I was trying to ride smooth to not hurt my ankle.
Tommy Searle was best Brit in eighth overall, with ninth and tenth place finishes. Max Anstie was tenth overall, with 13th and tenth place rides. Shaun Simpson was 17th overall, 21st in the opener after a spill and then 11th in race two.
Graeme Irwin, returning to action after nasty burns injuries, was 23rd with 19th and 21st place rides.