JEFFREY HERLINGS INTERVIEW – DEFENDING THE RED PLATE
Red Bull KTM's Jeffrey Herlings talks to MXLarge after Saint Jean d'Angely.
Jeffrey Herlings showed once again that he is really coming on as a racer. His victory at the Grand Prix of France last weekend showed a lot of maturity as he struggled with a brake problem in the second moto of the day. His aggressive approach to racing did cause some problems between himself and the FIM, although the Flying Dutchman did prove that he will do anything to get that FIM World MX Championship in his possession.
MXlarge: Jeffrey, you really rode well and must be happy with your win?
Herlings: I am super pumped to win the Grand Prix of France; it was a good day for me and for the Championship. I really liked the track, much better than previous years, I was really positive and I was never on the podium here, so I was really happy, I went 1-2, but I was slow out of the start in the second moto and that really cost me the chance to go 1-1. The first moto I won the second moto he had the better of me, he came from 10th and I did the same in the second moto.
If you get the jump out of the start you can win, but your second moto the start wasn’t that great, but a 1-2 was good enough for the win?
I have shown that I have the speed and I have won four of the six GPs, so I have shown I have good speed and I want to continue to show that this year.
It must have been nice to come back after the problems in Brazil?
Brazil was totally different condition, it was just a matter of trying to survive and Tommy did that and he won there, I didn’t make it happen.
What are the strong points of Tommy, and his weak points?
Tommy is good on hard tracks, concrete tracks like Bulgaria, Fermo, France, I think his weak points are places like Lierop, but I just want to be good myself, I don’t want to look for his weakness and I am winning races on different types of circuits and that is what I am always trying to do.
Next up is Portugal and this is a track that suits you, but Tommy will also like that circuit, are you expecting a big battle there?
I really am looking for a battle at every Grand Prix and if it is not with him (Searle) it will be with other riders, maybe like Jeremy or Tonus or whoever, but when it comes down to the wire it’s going to be between myself and him (Searle) for the Championship.
What is the goal for the up-coming GPs?
The next four rounds I am going to try and get as many points as possible, I mean I would like to get 25 points at every single race, but I just have to work on my starts and I got good starts in France and we worked hard on that and KTM worked really hard on that and it paid off. I just want to put the hammer down.
In the second moto you couldn’t get away from Jeremy (van Horebeek) and Joel (Roelants). Did that worry you; did you think maybe you would lose the GP win at any moment?
When I got in touch with Tonus something got blocked on my rear wheel, sometimes I lost my rear brake, and I am not using that as an excuse, because Tommy was gone and I don’t think I could have caught him. Sometimes down the hill I missed the brake and I didn’t want to make a stupid mistakes so I had to ride easy, I didn’t want to lose points like I did in Brazil. I felt safe though, I had it in control.
What happened with you and Arnaud when you collided?
It was aggressive accident (with Tonus) and I regret that and it got me in some trouble (with the FIM). He came back from an injury and I have a lot of respect for him and I am dating his sister. We were fighting and he defended his lines more than he had to and he was riding over his limit and he almost crashed and I went into him, I didn’t want to take him down and can only say sorry. Nothing has been said, just a warning from the FIM.
You and Tommy have also had the odd occasion that there has been aggression?
There has been a game between Tommy and myself and in Brazil and Mexico he did the same to me as I did to him in Italy (cutting off at the start). I am not a dirty rider and I didn’t mean to clean Arnaud out when he went down, I just did to him what he did to me.
Last question, will you watch the European Football Championship?
Yes I will and Holland is going to win, Holland will win. I cannot wait I hear that some players are injured, but we did well in the World Cup and I think we have a really good shot at winning it this year. I want to watch as many matches as possible.