Herlings interview about is problems in italy, cairoli, tomac, bagget and usgp

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7/4/2017 1:11 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/4/2017 1:12 AM

Jeffrey Herlings interview

Red Bull KTM Factory rider Jeffrey Herlings has proven time and time again, he will be the man when Antonio Cairoli calls it time on his career, and who knows, maybe the Flying Dutchman can actually take his place while the Italian legend is still around.

Last weekend in Agueda, Portugal, Herlings went 1-2 for second overall, and showed that he isn’t far off the pace of Cairoli. When you consider this is the best Antonio Cairoli we have ever seen, then you have to give the young 22-year-old props for his performances.

Now just a handful of points off second place in the MXGP points. Herlings has set his goal to finish second in the championship, and give KTM a well-deserved first and second in the end of season standings.


As always, we caught up with Herlings and asked him about his recent performances, and his goals for the USGP in September.


MXlarge: How did you feel on Sunday in Portugal?

Herlings: It is a bit frustrating being second again and we were closer than we were last weekend but it is something to build and work on. We did some good things for the championship because only a few rounds ago I was almost 50 points back and now it is 5-or-something to second place: that’s quite impressive. So, I’m happy for that and I didn’t lose points to Cairoli today. [Getting to] second in the championship will not be so bad and everyone has worked so hard in the team. To go 1-2 would be amazing for KTM. My starts were good again today by the way and we are getting better and better.

MXlarge: You have improved your starts, but again in some races you struggle. Your qualification start wasn’t that good, and Sunday they were ok, but not great. Are you happy with your starts?

Herlings: On Saturday, I thought the gate was going down and I released my clutch, and the gate didn’t go down and I messed up. Russia, I was second in the first moto in the start, second in the turn in the second moto, then I tipped over. Italy, I was like third and fifth or something, so I was happy going into Portugal.

MXLarge: Can you tell me about last week, what happened?

Herlings: What happened, the heat got me man. I got sick on the Tuesday before, going jet skiing with some friends. I was totally burned, red like hell, and I got sick, fever, stomach cramps, throwing up, diarrhea. I couldn’t eat, because if I did I would just throw up, or have to sit on the toilet. We tried to keep it a secret, because we didn’t want (Antonio) anyone to know. I wanted to go for the win. As you could see I faded on the end and I was so sick for the second moto I didn’t want to line up. I didn’t want to eat because I felt so bad. After the second moto I was leading, but I had no power left. After the moto, I just collapsed and fell over and next thing I know I was in the medical centre.


MXlarge: Is seemed like when Antonio blocked your passing move, it really slowed your momentum. Given your health, I can imagine that totally ruined your race as far as being able to get going again and getting your rhythm back?

Herlings: I was already done, but three laps to go. I think had I passed him, I could have maybe won the moto, but he block passed me, and then he sprinted away in a couple of turns and it was done. I couldn’t be bothered giving it one more shot. I tried to save energy for the second moto, but I was just done.

MXLarge: So, were you concerned your body hadn’t recovered from Italy?

Herlings: I felt terrible between Italy and Portugal and I was on the IV and knocked out. I just layed on the couch all week, and I never do that. As you saw I did just one fast lap in first practice and timed practice and the heat race I was ok, just rode a safe race and finished sixth or something. I felt good in Portugal, no stomach cramps or diarhee, and I just had a little head ache on Saturday.

MXlarge: The track looked easy, so I guess that is good for your condition?

Herlings: No, it wasn’t rough at all. I hoped they would actually rip it and get some water down to make more lines. It was fast and easy. I wanted them to make it better for Sunday after Saturday, but they didn’t do that. With the weather 25 degrees, and wind, it dries the track out pretty quickly.

MXLarge: Despite the losing to Antonio, you made up a lot of ground on the other guys (Desalle and Paulin). You must be happy with that?

Herlings: I can’t wait for Lommel to get my revenge. I mean Ottobiano was his home ground and Lommel is mine. I hope the weather is like 10 degrees (laughing), that would suit me better. I am white, so I need to be cold. No just kidding. I want my revenge.

MXlarge: Obviously Lommel and Assen coming up. You have only won one Grand Prix this year, I mean going a full season with one GP win, that isn’t what you were hoping for?

Herlings: I had a lot of podiums, first loser I guess, more than the first winner. It sucks being second give times, but I have been on the podium a lot and as you mentioned during the week on your website, I have scored more points than anyone else in the last five or six rounds. It doesn’t bring me anything, but I know I am fourth in the championship and I am right on Desalle and Paulin. If I can get second in the championship, then we can be proud and give KTM one and two in the championship. We have some great people in this team.

MXlarge: The USGP, you and Antonio are in good form, in fact a lot of you are. Would that be a goal to kick Tomac’s ass, because he obviously won easy last year.

Herlings: Is he going to be there?

MXLarge: Yes, it is in his contract to be at the USGP. Baggett will be there as will all the top US riders, but I don’t think you will lap him like you did in Lommel, at least not at Gaterback.

Herlings: No, I won’t lap him there.

MXlarge: But how much do you look forward to racing those guys?

Herlings: With Tony leading the championship, he is the guy to look out for, and Tomac, I don’t know if he is leading the championship yet, but everyone knows he is one of the fastest guys. To see those two, go head to head, and me and Baggett going head to head. I would love that. I think American riders on American dirt, they are hard to beat, they always go better. Tomac is a gnarly guy. I know him well and he knows me, and we respect each other. It would be cool to be with so many good guys on the same track.

MXlarge: Malcolm Stewart mentioned he likes you a lot, and you guys seem to get on really well. He said you need to catch up when you are in Florida for the USGP. Will you catch up with him?

Herlings: I promised I would drop around. He lives like two hours from the USGP facility, and it’s always been a dream of mine to ride at the Stewart compound. I am a big fan of James. It’s been my dream to ride there for years and James is the most gnarly dude on a bike, and it would be good to see those guys.

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7/4/2017 1:22 AM

I want to see a day in the life video of the Stewart compound when he drops by.

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7/4/2017 1:27 AM

Great interview. Thanks for sharing!

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7/4/2017 1:31 AM

Well it's sounds like the old Herlings is back laughing

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7/4/2017 1:33 AM

Other than the needle getting stuck on the excuse album a few times, it was a good interview..

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7/4/2017 1:33 AM

Herlings is a pimp. Would love to see him snd Eli go at it at Southwick some time in the future.

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7/4/2017 1:41 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/4/2017 1:42 AM

Some of the Vitards will be asking for a spoiler alert as Geoff Meyer published this interview!wink

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7/4/2017 4:45 AM

So in his "advanced age" this is the best Cairoli has ever rode? I would think a couple years back when he was winning all his tittles and was younger he would've been faster? Maybe some of the GP insiders can provide some insight into this.

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7/4/2017 4:49 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/4/2017 4:51 AM

yak651 wrote:

So in his "advanced age" this is the best Cairoli has ever rode? I would think a couple years back when he was winning all his tittles and was younger he would've been faster? Maybe some of the GP insiders can provide some insight into this.

I think the 2 bad years with injuries made him more determined than ever for the 2017 season. I think Qatar showed that, he has never ever won in Qatar and he went 1-1.

The MXGP 2017 class is probably the deepest and most competitive in years and he is one class above everyone else.

Impressive.

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7/4/2017 4:50 AM

yak651 wrote:

So in his "advanced age" this is the best Cairoli has ever rode? I would think a couple years back when he was winning all his tittles and was younger he would've been faster? Maybe some of the GP insiders can provide some insight into this.

I really wouldn't like to say. The field is as strong as it's ever been and Cairoli is dominanting the guys he used to battle with the titles for.

For me Cairoli is on a par and or at his best level ever right now.

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7/4/2017 5:05 AM

Motofinne wrote:

I think the 2 bad years with injuries made him more determined than ever for the 2017 season. I think Qatar showed that, he has never ever won in Qatar and he went 1-1.

The MXGP 2017 class is probably the deepest and most competitive in years and he is one class above everyone else.

Impressive.

I think I agree with nearly everyone of your posts laughing

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7/4/2017 6:59 AM

MX large douche

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7/4/2017 7:43 AM

Has it been confirmed if Tomac and Baggett will be racing the USGP? I would like to see how close these guys are now.

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7/4/2017 8:13 AM

I think it's pretty unlikely that Baggett races the USGP

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7/4/2017 2:38 PM

Juice_Mann wrote:

Has it been confirmed if Tomac and Baggett will be racing the USGP? I would like to see how close these guys are now.

Tomac may be contractually obligated to race. Not sure though.

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If at first you don't succeed, then maybe you just suck. - Kenny Powers

7/4/2017 4:45 PM

LastCall211 wrote:

Tomac may be contractually obligated to race. Not sure though.

Blisters overides contracts

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If you don't crash alot you just ain't going fast enough, Danny

7/4/2017 4:53 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/4/2017 4:54 PM

So it's likely that Herlings was suffering from some dehydration if he had the squirts all week and he may not just be too lazy to put in the work and get fit like some said?

Dehydration plus the conditions could have had a much nastier result.

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7/5/2017 5:22 AM

Juice_Mann wrote:

Has it been confirmed if Tomac and Baggett will be racing the USGP? I would like to see how close these guys are now.

LastCall211 wrote:

Tomac may be contractually obligated to race. Not sure though.

Green claw and stuff...

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7/5/2017 5:38 AM

Me so dig watching the GP's. Don't know if it's just me, but I cringe and get all shaking my head when I see 25 riders on a 40 man gate. Looks cheesey. Damn cheesey. Photo

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7/5/2017 9:01 AM

Musquin Anderson Baggett and Tomac racing with the top GP guys would be stellar. To bad Kroc isn't healthy sad

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