Jeffrey Herlings: Climbing the Table

Red Bull KTM Factory rider and multiple motocross world champion Jeffrey Herlings has proven to be the most consistent rider in the last six weeks or so. Before last weekend’s Grand Prix of Russia, he was sixth in the series points, but due to injuries to Tim Gajser and Jeremy Van Horebeek, he has moved into fourth spot, behind Antonio Cairoli, Clement Desalle and Gautier Paulin.

Since his first moto victory at the Grand Prix of Latvia, where he went 1-1 and won the GP, Herlings has gone 2-1-5-5-2-7, and moved into fourth place in the series standings.

Now just 43 points off second place in the MXGP points standings the 22-year-old Dutchman heads to a few sand tracks, where it is expected he will make up a lot of ground on his rivals.

Last weekend in Russia the KTM hero finished with 1-7 results, and despite the efforts a few minor crashes cost him any chance of victory.

“It is a pity to be second,” Herlings said. “It is the third time this year! We made some improvements this weekend and have been analysing a lot. I almost had the holeshot in the second race but the first turn was so slick and someone hit my front wheel, I went down again, and then again on the second lap and I was almost dead-last. I thought ‘it’s over’ but we kept going and managed to get enough points for the overall. I think we made the best of the situation; I’m not too familiar with mud because I don’t like it too much! But it is good to get on the podium. I’m looking forward to Ottobiano and I think I am capable of winning there.”

A couple of weeks earlier in France, at the famous Ernee circuit, Herlings struggled with 5-5 scores, and he knows that starts cost him any chance of making the podium.

“It is a shame because I felt like I was one of the fastest here this weekend but I messed up the starts. Two fifth positions are not the results that we want but in two weeks we have another shot. The track was OK and I liked it. I felt good out there. It was important to go home safe. I know with top five starts then we’re in a position to win, it doesn’t matter the terrain.”

But for now, Herlings will head to the FIAT Professional FULLBACK MXGP of Lombardia, set for the Ottobiano circuit in Italy. A circuit where Herlings injured his hand in the pre-season, but a circuit he is lightning fast.

“I like Ottobiano, I have mixed feelings, its sand and its fast. I did hurt my hand there in the pre-season, but I am like 40 points back on second place, and I feel like that is our goal, to get second or third and it’s not over yet. Cairoli can still get an injury, but we never wish for that.”

The motocross world will have their eyes on Italy on the June 25, and all will be wondering if Herlings can capture his second GP victory in the sand in 2017. As he moves to places like Ottobiano, Lommel, Agueda, Assen, and Switzerland, many expect him to add to his 62 GP victories and climb that little bit closer to series leader Cairoli.

 

Copyrigth: Photo: ray Archer

Author: 
Geoff Meyer

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