Jeffrey Herlings may have vanquished the Grand Prix of Europe at Valkenswaard for the seventh year in a row but the 21-year-old Red Bull KTM rider – who is undefeated in all nine motos and three Grands Prix of the 2016 MX2 campaign – is not dreaming too far ahead of his second home event at Assen in August and the 16th round of the series.
The Dutchman won the first of his 50 Grands Prix at Valkenswaard in 2010 as a 15-year-old (then just his third GP start) and the national press were already asking the 2012 and 2013 world champion if he is thinking of a third crown by the time MXGP comes back to the Netherlands.
“That would be amazing but the most important thing would be to finish the season and I haven’t done this for the last two years,” said Herlings, who has not always been so cautious and practical with his comments in the past. “I learned a lot from this [experience]. Wrapping up a championship would already be the best possible scenario but it would be so great to do it in my home country,” he hypothesized. “It is so far away – five or six months – and it is something I would love and would dream about but whether it is realistic? I don’t know.”
For the last two seasons Herlings has stretched out leads of more than 140 points in the MX2 standings only for serious injuries (a broken femur and dislocated hip) to scrub his name from the record books.
It is widely believed that another title and continued dominance in MX2 will certainly signal the end of his tenure in the category; especially with 2015 MX2 champion Tim Gajser already shining so brightly in the premier MXGP class. Herlings has just one more year on his current deal with the KTM team.