Welcome to our web-exclusive weekly column: Transmoto's MXGP Insider, presented by Kawasaki.
The Red Bull KTM Factory team made a great return to the top of the winners circle in at the Grand Prix of France last weekend, when Antonio Cairoli won the MX1 overall and Jeffrey Herlings took victory in the MX2 class. We sat down and talked to the two winners to find out what they thought of the very impressive Grand Prix of France.
Cairoli went 1-1 and was excited to be a winner again, especially on a circuit that should have suited his French rivals Gautier Paulin and Christophe Pourcel. The Italian now heads to Portugal where he will be looking for another victory around the technical circuit that he loves so much.
"When you get two good starts it's important, because on a track like St Jean d' Angely it is hard to pass," Cairoli said. "So I didn't get any stones in my face and I spent less energy. Yesterday I wasn't that fast, but we made some changes on the bike and that helped a lot. We changed also the suspension and I felt much better today. I felt great in the race and my condition is good and I can push when it's time to do it. It is important to finish always on the podium. Hard pack is also not my favourite ground, but now we go to Portugal and it's a track I really like a lot."
As for Herlings, his victory was a little harder has he could only score 1-2 results, but he did show in the opening moto that he was serious about the situation. After a very poor Grand Prix in Brazil the Dutchman wanted to put his mark on the Grand Prix of France and move further away from second placed rider Tommy Searle in the FIM World MX2 Championship points.
"I really like the track," Herlings said. "Much better than previous years, I was really positive and I was never on the podium here, so I was really happy, I got a first and second, but I was slow out of the start in the second moto. The first moto I won but the second moto he had the better of me. He came from 10th and I did the same in the second moto. There has been a game between Tommy and myself and in Brazil and Mexico he did the same to me as I did to him in Italy. I am not a dirty rider and I didn't mean to clean Arnaud (Tonus) out when he went down, it was just a part of racing, it was aggressive."
The two Red Bull KTM Factory riders can take an easy week now and return to Portugal, a circuit that suits both riders, but it also suites their rivals Christophe Pourcel and Tommy Searle. Whatever happens at the Grand Prix of Portugal you can be sure it is going to be another classic Grand Prix as the 2012 season continues to bring surprises and brilliant racing.