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Jeffrey Herlings Interview - Podium

Jeffrey Herlings Interview - Podium

Jun 4

  • Interview

Red Bull KTM Factory rider Jeffrey Herlings scored another podium finish on the weekend; however, the 2-3 results wasn’t really what the Dutchman was hoping for and while a podium finish is respectable, we all know that Herlings is a winner, and that GP victory number 104 has to fall sooner or later.

Interesting fact, "The Bullet" will race two more rounds of the British motocross championship in the next month and would like to do the complete series. Good news for the British public, bad news for the opposition. The five time World motocross champion spoke to us and below is what he told us.

MXLarge: How are you feeling lately with the results you are getting?

Herlings: The speed is getting better and better. Saturday, I had problems with arm-pump, but today we changed the set-up a little and that helped. First moto I had a good start but had an elbow battle with Tim and I went right instead of left and I was like 13th place. Actually, rode well to second and that was a good moto. Second moto a good start, but I was behind Jorge, and I was pulled tear-offs all the time and slowed down a little. His speed is maybe the best out there at the moment. I had the speed at least, but with lapped riders and then Tim over-took me. A stupid move by me going wide and allowing him through and then I got stuck behind some lapped riders. 2-3 on a track I have had many injuries isn’t so bad. It is like a victory. I will try and fight for it and get a GP win. I haven’t won one for a year now.

MXLarge: What do you think caused the arm-pump?

Herlings: It was the schedule a bit, a lot of time between sessions and then late in the day we have the qualification races. My bike was also stiff, and the front didn’t dive in enough, but we made it softer for Sunday and the track wasn’t high speed and it helped. I had a little arm-pump in moto one today, but the second none at all.

MXlarge: During that second moto I thought you had Jorge. You were closing the gap pretty fast, but then he got away again.

Herlings: I really thought I could have had it, but whenever I came close and going for the attack, I came across some lapped riders and lost ground. Tim was also pressuring me, I couldn’t get around the lapped rider, made a mistake and then Tim passed me and then another lapped rider, I lost more time. Then I closed up to Tim again, was on his rear wheel and I knew where I was going to pass him and then two guys were getting lapped, but they were also in a battle. It is a part of racing, and this track is hard to pass on.

MXLarge: I felt the pressure from Tim, which made it a lot harder, you might have even got to Jorge has you not had to also be busy with Tim behind you. Tim sort of F**ked it up for you?

Herlings: Yes, he did (laughing).

MXlarge: You guys have to work together on this (laughing).

Herlings: Obviously, I had pressure from the back, and I had to attack from the front and that was very difficult. Tim also had the speed to win, we all had the speed to win, but Jorge is very good here. He won last year; he was really good in 2021 when we both crashed. He is good at this track and for me, this track has been a rollercoaster. I remember coming here this last week and thinking, 2015, collarbone, 2016 I was battling Seewer, and my foot came off the bike and I had a little crack in my ankle. In 2021 I had the crash with Jorge and last year, I broke my neck. All at this track, so for me, I just wanted to leave here safe and get through the weekend. To get a podium, it’s alright.

MXlarge: You haven’t given up on the championship, but are you trying to enjoy it, rather than think about the points?

Herlings: I think I am like 65 points behind now, but you see with Febvre now, and I hope he is okay, because I really like Romain. I have battled him in the Dutch races, I battle with him in GPs, and he deserved another World title before he retires. I feel bad, because he deserves another championship and time is running out with his age, I think he is 32 or 33 or something, but I am gutted for him, but its part of racing and anything can happen in this sport. You can see how quickly it happens. It isn’t over until it’s over and even though we are 60 plus points down, it can change really quickly. We have only done 40% of the championship and we had all the worst tracks for me, and the better tracks are coming, like Kegums, Lommel, Arnhem, I like those tracks more.

MXlarge: It feels like you continue to make progress, just little bits at a time. Same with Tim, but you gotta hand it to Jorge, who is riding better than ever.

Herlings: Yes, he is and if we didn’t have had the mudders, I think he would have won them all almost. Mudders are a part of racing, and you can see they are nearly equal on points, or one or two points separating them. There is nothing in it and even though we had all these races and there is nothing in it. I think they both want to be friends with me, because if Romain is out for a while, then I am the only guy who can get between them. I just keep doing my own thing and doing my best.

MXlarge: Obviously have the two in a row now and then a week break and then we fly to Indonesia. Surely you are not doing any races in-between.

Herlings: Oh yah. I am going to do the next round of the British at Blaxhall on the 23rd of June and then Foxhill on the 14th of July, so two British rounds before and after Indonesia. We confirmed that this weekend.

MXLarge: Would you do them all?

Herlings: That isn’t confirmed yet, but I would love to, and I think it might happen. At the moment just Blaxhall and Foxhill for now.

MXLarge: If you are out of the picture with half a dozen rounds remaining, would you maybe head over to America to do some AMA Nationals?

Herlings: I can’t, because if I want to do the British, those are on our off weekends. I really enjoy doing the British, I mean, last week was at Canada Heights and it was such a good track. Those tracks are so much fun and Foxhill is one of the best tracks I have ever raced at. I really enjoy it and I like the competition there and they really respect me.

MXLarge: I was speaking with Tommy (Searle) last week and he mentioned you guys went out for dinner and had a great time together.

Herlings: Yes, actually, me and Tommy used to fight for the championships, and we could have drunk each others blood, but now we are really good friends and whenever I come to England, he does his vlogs and always has me in them, its fun. I really enjoyed that, me Tommy and some of his friends. I also have a new sponsor with Dirt Store now that I race more in England, so I really would like to do all the rounds.

MXLarge: You are going to do some testing this week before Latvia. What will you be testing?

Herlings: The bikes on track performance and suspension I am really happy, but we will practice starts in Germany this week. We have some new stuff; some updates and I hope it will make it better. It would be nice if we can get better start more often.

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