Herlings and History
Posted on March 13, 2018
Speaking to Jeffrey Herlings after his GP victory in Argentina a little over a week ago, he mentioned the pressure of riding at the second round of the MXGP championship, at home in Valkenswaard, carrying the red plate, as leader of the MXGP championship standings.
Pressure is something Herlings seems to deal with well of late. His come from behind victory in Argentina, after crashing out of the Saturday qualification race while chasing defending champion Antonio Cairoli, and then losing the opening moto to Cairoli on Sunday, you could easily think he was a beaten man in round one. Well, think again.
Herlings has matured a lot in the last couple of years and he will need to as coming into Valkenswaard he will be going for history. Going for something never done in the sport history.
With GP victories at the euro circuit in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, he has seven victories in the sand of Valkenswaard.
Roger De Coster was the King of Namur in the 1970’s, winning at the famous circuit a magnificent seven times, those being in 1969, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75 and 76. As for every single Belgian rider Namur was a circuit that ran through his veins.
Just as De Coster owned Namur in the 1970s it was 10 times World Motocross Champion Stefan Everts who dominated at the Citadelle in the 2000’s. The King of Grand Prix Motocross never lost a GP at Namur, winning seven Grand Prix’s (equalling De Costers record) and also the individual overall at the 2000 MXdN (making him the most successful rider to ever race Namur).
Everts made his debut at the circuit in 1998 when he was a wild card rider at the 500cc Grand Prix. While Joel Smets was considered the boss of the big bore class Everts totally dominated everyone, going 1-1 and winning his first ever 500cc GP.
His 10th World Motocross Championship was also won at Namur (2006), as was his 50th Grand Prix victory in 2001, a victory that he shared with his uncle Pierre (who would later that year pass away from cancer). It seemed like every time Everts raced at Namur something special happened. In 2003 he would win both the 125cc and MXGP classes at Namur and then added wins in 2004, 2005 and finally in 2006, his final visit to Namur and his 99th GP win.
So, when Herlings lines up on the start gate for this years Valkenswaard GP, he will be going for GP win number eight. No rider in the history of the sport has won eight Grand Prix’s at the one circuit. He will also be going for his 69th Grand Prix victory, that in itself an amazing achievement, but Herlings loves making history, so be prepared for something special this weekend.