When Jeffrey Herlings picked up his Red Bull KTM after being clipped mid-air by team-mate Pauls Jonass on the first lap of the first moto in Argentina last Sunday, he saw the damaged bars and throttle housing and knew any chance of a fifth chequered flag in a row had gone.
Even though he has been struggling for fitness starting the campaign #84 has won every qualification heat and cleaned up in Qatar and Thailand largely without threat.
His dominance for the third season in a row in MX2 was beginning to launch whispers of more statistics and records for the 20 year old, who has only been beaten on the track once in over two years. The Jonass incident ruined any possibility of a perfect haul in 2015.
“Yeah! That’s true!” he said in the post race press conference in Argentina where he spoke as championship leader only by virtue of his victories as he currently ties on points with winner at Neuquen Dylan Ferrandis. “Things were going really well and I had won all the qualifying motos so far.
“I really felt I could go for a good season and win as much as possible but things like this happen. I didn’t expect somebody to jump into my back but for sure he [Jonass] did not do it on purpose. It was just a race incident and we’ll move on. I’m happy we are both safe but yeah…the perfect season has gone again.”
Ferrandis has kept pace with Herlings in the MX2 table and was granted 25 in the first moto last Sunday for only his second chequered flag. Herlings however was not too downcast with the turn of events and was particularly pleased with the track in Patagonia. “It is a shame to lose that lead in the championship and those 22 points but this is the sport.”
“The track was lovely and I definitely enjoyed it,” he added. “It was worth the trip. It was fast, good for passing, big jumps and I hope we can come back next year.”
Herlings will get his wish as the inaugural fixture represented the first of a three year agreement with the organisers in Neuquen and Grand Prix promoters Youthstream.