Rumours that Jeffrey Herlings could be competing for another manufacturer in the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship have turned out to be unfounded as the double MX2 title winner confirmed in the Grand Prix of Bulgaria press conference last Sunday that he is tied to KTM for another season at least.
Herlings has been non-committal on the category in which he will be racing next year although it is almost certain he will switch to the premier MXGP class with seven of his senior peers having to leave the division due to the 23 age limit. The 19-year-old Dutchman is targeting a third MX2 crown in a row this year, which will confirm his status as the best Dutch motocrosser in the history of the sport (he already has the most GP wins).
“I still have a contract with KTM for next year because midway through last season I signed for 2014 and 2015,” he stated. “So I’ll definitely be with KTM for next season.”
That leaves the Red Bull KTM team – Herlings’ home since he burst onto the international stage as a fifteen year old in 2010 – to organise where and with which machinery, 450SX-F or 350SX-F as used by Tony Cairoli, the mercurial athlete will be situated.
“I am sure that he is in this structure with the two possibilities; we call it MX1 and MX2 at the moment but it is not totally decided yet and I don’t think it is of major importance where he will be. He will be on a KTM for sure next year, this is clear,” commented KTM Sport Director Pit Beirer.
“It is way too early,” the German said when pressed further. “We are really under pressure to win this championship [MX2 in 2014] and he still has some work to do at the moment because he is perhaps at 70% of his performance because he has been unable to train properly since last year. We want him back on normal form and then we will try some different motorcycles and make a relaxed decision for 2015. Of course if you have a rider like Tony Cairoli in your team then you are not under huge pressure now to decided what we are doing with Jeffrey in the MXGP class.”