Jeffrey Herlings narrowly retained the lead in the MXGP championship on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old Dutchman finished fourth in the second moto at the Pietramurata Grand Prix after having retired in the first moto.

Herlings was involved in a crash shortly after the start in the first moto and retired.

His closest competitors for the world title made no mistake.

Romain Febvre won the heat, passing Herlings.

Tim Gajser also caught up to Herlings with a second place.

Herlings recovered a few hours later.

The KTM leader was sixth after a good start and gradually worked his way up to fourth place.

Herlings managed to keep title competitor Febvre behind him and a little later also compatriot Glenn Coldenhoff, who eventually finished sixth.

Home rider Antonio Cairoli was unapproachable all afternoon and won both the second moto and the Grand Prix.

In the World Cup standings, Herlings (573 points) has a lead of one point over Febvre and three points over Gajser.

The MXGP season continues on Sunday with the Garda Grand Prix, which will also be completed at the Pietramurata circuit.

There are still three Grands Prix to go in the MXGP Championship.

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