After a tough two seasons where Herlings has led the charge in the MX2 championship, but has been ruled out with injury, the 21-year-old Dutch sensation has overcome the difficulties he’s faced to finally take his third crown with the Austrian manufacturer, which add to the titles he took in 2012, and 2013.
This year has also not been without incident or drama, having won nearly every moto in the first half of the season, Herlings was injured in a national race, breaking his collarbone, and was forced to sit out of three Grand Prix events. However, ‘The Bullet’ has come back strong to achieve the title he deserves and is excited for his future with KTM.
This MX2 championship win for KTM is the manufacturer’s 10th since the class became MX2 in 2003, which is a testament to the Red Bull KTM Factory Team that has continued to be a dominant force in the series for nearly a decade. With just one round left of the series to go, Herlings can enjoy his title win in Glen Helen, USA with no pressure next weekend.
Herlings: “I am super, super happy, especially after everything we’ve been going through with a broken femur, a dislocated hip, two broken collarbones and almost losing my little finger. It’s number three and hopefully there will be many more to come. Of course I want to thank my team for standing behind me all through the good and bad times, for working hard and helping me to achieve this championship. I also want to thank my family, and everybody involved; I’m pleased we could finally deliver this result, it’s very special.”
Pit Beirer (KTM Motorsport Director): “With Jeffrey we went from zero to 100 for the first two titles and everything seemed quite easy; we had an outstanding rider with outstanding talent, working harder than anyone else, and the titles came. Then Jeffrey had some very bad accidents that meant he lost two titles, where he had a big lead, and this was devastating for him. There was still a lot of pressure on this season to deliver the result, and yet again he had a big lead with a lot of wins, then unfortunately he broke his collarbone. It’s clear to say that we never felt safe or secure, but congratulations to Jeffrey on winning his third title, as I believe this is now a platform for his future career. There is no doubt about it, Jeffrey worked incredibly hard like always to get this title, which is certainly not due to luck – he works very hard, every day, putting everything on the table – and now he has it, he can put the bad feelings behind him to concentrate on the future. I also have to thank the whole team for the work they did. To work with Jeffrey is a high-pressure situation where everybody has to deliver, but the team worked hard in these last years, and each time there was a setback, it affected everyone to see Jeffrey struggle. This result is a big payback and satisfaction to everybody that has worked for it.”
Results MX2 Charlotte Motor Speedway 2016
1. Cooper Webb (USA), Yamaha (2-1)
2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (1-3)
3. Austin Forkner (USA), Kawasaki (3-2)
4. Thomas Covington (USA), Husqvarna (4-4)
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED), KTM (5-8)
10. Brian Bogers (NED), KTM (8-10)
19. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP), KTM (17-19)
DNS Pauls Jonass (LAT), KTM
DNS Davy Pootjes (NED), KTM
Standings MX2 2016 after 17 of 18 rounds
1. Herlings, 689 points (MX2 World Champion 2016)
2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Suzuki, 595
3. Benoit Paturel (FRA), Yamaha, 485
4. Max Anstie (GBR), Husqvarna, 473
5. Jonass, 403
7. Bogers, 372
21. Pootjes, 94