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Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing riders battle rain and mud at Italian Championships

The Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing squad chose the first round of the Italian Championship at Ponte a Egola on Sunday to launch their 2011 competition season, a race day that turned out to be a battle against the elements as much as the track.

Unrelenting rain from Saturday night until the conclusion of the race program on Sunday evening turned the track in the rolling hills near Pisa into a mud bath that was at times almost impossible to negotiate. Mud clung to bikes and riders alike as the clay surface turned into a quagmire that tested skills and spirits alike and converted action on the track action into something of a lottery.

MX1 and MX2 riders contested two joint races with Tony Cairoli, the current world champion emerging the fastest KTM rider after finishing second and fourth to pick up 165 championship points. Tony was overall fourth in the day’s final MX1 standings. Teammate Max Nagl finished with a 13-6 result for 85 championship points and eighth in the final MX1 list.

The team’s two MX2 riders, young Dutchman Jeffrey Herlings and Jeremy van Horebeek of Belgium fared better and topped the MX 2 results. Herlings was in excellent form in his first competitive ride for the team after being sidelined with a shoulder injury that required surgery in the second half of the 2010 season. He was the second fastest MX2 rider in face one and the fastest in race two and leads the MX2 standings. Van Horebeek, in his first ride for the official factory team also acquitted himself well as third fastest MX2 rider in race one and second fastest in race two. Herlings and Van Horebeek were the top two MX2 riders on the day and were classified 9-10 overall behind the fastest MX1 competitors.

The next round of the Italian Championship is at Faenza on March 6 and all four Red Bull Teka factory racers are scheduled to compete as they continue with their pre-season race preparation ahead of the World Championship GP series starting in Bulgaria at the beginning of April.

Race One Results
1, David Philippaerts, Italy, Yamaha, MX1
2, Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM, MX1
3, Kevin Strijbos, Belgium, Suzuki MX1
4, Tanel Leok, Estonia, TM, MX1
5, Steven Frossard, France, Yamaha, MX1
Other KTM
10, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM, MX2
12, Jeremy Van Horebeek, Belgium, KTM MX2
13, Max Nagl, Germany, KTM, MX1

Race Two
1, Steven Frossard, France, Yamaha, MX1
2, Kevin Strijbos, Belgium, Suzuki MX1
3, David Philippaerts, Italy, Yamaha, MX1
4, Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM, MX1
5, Rui Goncalves, Portugal, Honda, MX1
6, Max Nagl, Germany, KTM, MX1
Other KTM
8, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM, MX2
10, Jeremy Van Horebeek, Belgium, KTM MX2

Overall Joint Classification
1, David Philippaerts, Italy, Yamaha, MX1
2, Steven Frossard, France, Yamaha, MX1
3, Kevin Strijbos, Belgium, Suzuki MX1
4, Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM, MX1
5, Manuel Monni, Italy, Honda MX1
Other KTM
8, Max Nagl, Germany, KTM, MX1
10, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM, MX2
11, Jeremy Van Horebeek, Belgium, KTM MX2

MX1 Classification
1, David Philippaerts, Italy, Yamaha, 200
2, Steven Frossard, France, Yamaha, 180
3, Kevin Strijbos, Belgium, Suzuki, 180
4, Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM, 165
5, Manuel Monni, Italy, Honda, 95
Other KTM
8, Max Nagl, Germany, KTM, 85

MX2 Classification
1, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM, 81
2, Jeremy Van Horebeek, Belgium, KTM, 68
3, Glen Coldenhoff, Netherlands, Yamaha, 52
4, Alessio Chiodi, Italy, Suzuki, 51
5, Gautier Paulin, France, Yamaha, 50