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Ernée, a Grand Prix venue and former Motocross of Nations circuit, entertained the opening fixture of the French national series and the hard-packed and rough terrain welcomed a wide gathering of MXGP athletes eager for final laps ahead of the opening of the twice-delayed world championship campaign.
Herlings, steering his factory KTM 450 SX-F, took his second win in as many weekends (after success in the UK), with a 2-1 scorecard. The Dutchman barreled through from a mediocre start in the first moto but aced his launch in the second outing to beat Romain Febvre to the checkered flag.
Vialle used the KTM 250 SX-F to defeat countryman Thibault Benistant in both motos. The MX2 World Champion claimed a comfortable second race by almost seventeen seconds. So active in MX2 was Vialle's teammate Rene Hofer. The Austrian made a lively getaway in the first moto before collecting 4th place by the finish. Hofer would occupy the same slot in the overall classification after a small crash meant 5th position in the second race.
Wheelspin at the gate cost Febvre a top-six start in the first race but he was soon on the charge and, setting the fastest laps of the race, was established in third by lap four and confirmed his speed over a full race distance by closing down the front two in the final minutes. An impressive second-placed start in race two saw the Kawasaki rider, who again set the fastest lap, pressure the leader to the finish as they outdistanced the chasers by no less than thirty-six seconds; his 3-2 moto placing’s secured third overall on the day.
The Grand Prix of Russia at Orlyonok will drop the gate on the MXGP series on June 13th.

Jeffery Herlings

“I was fastest in qualifying by a good margin! I had a bad start in the first moto but came from mid-pack to be on the rear wheel of the winner by the end. I pulled a holes hot in the second and could lead, control and win it. My feeling was alright on the track. The bike was working well but I had a bit of arm-pump. Overall, some good work done for Russia. "

Tom Vialle

“A nice day. The track was good to ride and my results were decent. I was 1st in practice and then passed Rene in the first moto. I had a bit of arm-pump but this is pretty normal as it was my first race in almost six months! In the second I had the holeshot and won with pretty good lap times. Today was fun and went well. I'm ready for the first GP. "

Romain Febvre

“I'm happy with this weekend; we had good weather and a very nice track. That’s why we came here; we knew that the track would be very well prepared! In the first race I spun at the gate, came back sixth, then third, but was still making a few mistakes. However I had good speed racing together with Herlings and came back close to the leader. My second start was much better in second position behind Jeffrey and we were close all race with the gap always between one and two seconds; I was close but I never had the possibility to pass him even if there were many lines on the track. I’m ready for the GP season; I’m not afraid to say that I have never been so well-prepared. It was a long winter but we did a good job with the team; the bike is really good and mentally I feel confident. I showed again today that I have a good speed and a good rhythm. “In the second I had the holeshot and won with pretty good lap times. Today was fun and went well. I'm ready for the first GP. "

French Elite Championship, Rnd1, Ernée
MX1 Overall Result
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2. Jeremy Seewer (SWI), Yamaha
3. Romain Febvre (FRA), Kawasaki
4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED), Yamaha
5. Ivo Monticelli (ITA), Kawasaki
MX2 Overall Result
1. Tom Vialle (FRA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2. Thibault Benistant (FRA), Yamaha
3. Mathys Boisrame (FRA), Kawasaki
4. Rene Hofer (AUT), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
5. Tom Guyon (FRA), KTM