The KTM riders about their GP in Lombok

The KTM riders about their GP in Lombok
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The familiar flat environment of Selaparang welcomed the MXGP paddock for the second time in a week, but with an inverted layout to provide some diversity for the riders of the MXGP and MX2 divisions. Weather conditions remained sunny and warm and the fast track was sandy and loose in some places and hard and slippery in others.

Jeffrey Herlings took the first pole in the qualifying heat on Saturday; the Dutchman had already earned P1 the previous weekend and repeated that performance with an effective stalk of Tim Gajser. He achieved a favorable starting position for the two heats on Sunday and added 10 points to his championship. In MX2 it was Sacha Coenen who finished highest with 4th place after another holeshot and a short stint as leader. Liam Everts finished 6th and Andrea Adamo started 10th on Sunday after coming off the track due to contact with another rider.

Herlings was once again able to count on a good breakaway in the first GP round and he successfully chased Tim Gajser, leaving the #84 leading the field with three laps to go. At the finish his winning margin was more than seven seconds. In the hunt for his first 1-1 of the season, Herlings shot to the front in the first two corners in the second moto and started to build up his race rhythm, despite a small technical problem. The ruthlessness was good enough for a worthy 1-1 scorecard and the former multiple world champion's first 'perfect' Sunday points run (in addition to the Quali Heat win) since the 2023 Latvian Grand Prix.

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Jeffrey now has seven Grand Prix podium finishes in a row and eight for the season. Due to his work in Lombok, he is third in the championship standings, but has closed the gap to the red plate to 51 points.

Liam Everts preceded Andrea Adamo and Sacha Coenen in the first MX2 round. The teammates finished fifth, sixth and seventh. Mistakes by the Italian and the younger Belgian dropped the pair out of the top five. On the second attempt, Coenen again got off to a flying start, but a slip caused him to end up at the back of the field and he finished 13th for P9 in the general classification. Liam moved into fourth place despite colliding with Andrea when both riders' lines came together. The Belgian rode to the finish for 6th place in the overall standings, while the world champion regrouped and rode back to a creditable 2nd place, which gave him 4th place.

Now on to the hardpack from Loket. The Czech Republic Grand Prix gets the MXGP back up to speed on July 20 and 21.

Jeffrey Herlings: "Very happy. The KTM stayed so strong, so I have to credit the guys and the whole Red Bull KTM team; Pit, Roberts and the crew at home. 1-1 for the first time this year, so I'm very happy. Tim was pushing today. This is a good way to return to Europe and I feel like we are getting better and better.”

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Andrea Adamo: “We had some ups and downs this weekend. I was quite fast in the first moto, but I crashed and my rhythm was not optimal. In the second moto I was fast from the start, but I was a bit aggressive against my teammate. I should have waited. I think it was a racing incident and from then on I came back strong to P2. I'm happy to be able to end the weekend like this, but we have to be more consistent and not make those mistakes that disadvantaged us today. Two more weeks and then to Loket.”

Liam Evert: “A consistent top five. I think the second moto was one of my better ones. A bad start in the first. It was good to pass Simon at the end of the second moto, but still not in the positions I want to be. I'm glad I can go home now!”

Sacha Coenen: “We were fast this weekend but made too many mistakes, so we will work on that when we get back home. Also based on my feeling with the engine to find some improvements. I'm already looking forward to Loket. I really enjoyed this experience in Indonesia. It didn't end the way I wanted, but I always want to win!”

Photos: Ray Archer

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