The Grand Prix of Americas at the Charlotte Motor Speedway this week will pit the two fastest 250cc riders in the world together for the first time but the MX2 champion elect, Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings, is not getting too wrapped up in the prospect of a mouth-watering duel.

AMA 250MX and 205SX (West) Champion Cooper Webb will make his swansong on the Star Racing YZ250F in a wildcard appearance (his first in MX2) and will try to stop Herlings’ 100 per cent record of victories in 2016.


Herlings goes to the penultimate round of MXGP with a 76 point cushion over Suzuki’s Jeremy Seewer and with just 100 points left to win this year. The Dutchman is bidding to secure a third world title after missing out through injury in 2014 and 2015. #84 has won all 13 of the Grands Prix he has contested this season. Webb triumphed at the penultimate round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Nationals at Budds Creek two weeks ago and heralds from North Carolina; Charlotte being the capital of his home state.

“Apparently, Cooper is from there, somewhere close, so he will have a lot of motivation,” Herlings commented last weekend at Assen for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands where he completed his own double set of victories on home turf after winning earlier in the year at Valkenswaard.

The MX2 standings leader was quick to highlight the different agendas the two athletes will have for the new circuit at Charlotte, hinting that the bigger picture of the MX2 series holds more worth than any bragging rights on Saturday evening. In typical Herlings style, of course, he would not rule out any chance of a close tussle.

“He is just coming off championships in motocross and supercross,” he observed. “He has nothing to lose but I do and I cannot force anything. All priority will go on the championship but once I put my helmet on I might feel different! It depends on how the [race] starts go. I have a lot of respect for him and we both kinda have the same attitude. It will be tough fighting against a guy like him but I won’t take risks.”