News 28 Jun 2016

Herlings to be forced up to MXGP next season

Anticipated regulation update should see MX2 hero step up.

Image: Ray Archer.

Image: Ray Archer.

Dominant dual MX2 World Champion Jeffrey Herlings is poised to finally make his MXGP transition in 2017 as updated FIM world championship regulations are due to eliminate him from the 250 category.

Herlings, 21, captured the 2012 and 2013 MX2 crowns and has largely dominated the division since, however injuries have denied him further world title wins. He’s currently undefeated in 2016.

A breaking news story from renowned European publication On-Track Off-Road has revealed the MXGP Commission is planning to limit MX2 title wins to two before the champions have to move up. Herlings is expected to transfer to MXGP anyway, however some speculation had linked him to another season in the lower tier.

“There is not much to say,” Herlings told OTOR. “If it’s the rule then it’s the rule. Normally the plan was to move up anyway… now there might not be much of an option. The long-term plan was to be one of the greatest of all-time and I felt like I had nothing left to learn in MX2 anymore.

“I might be one of the only guys to have won more than 10 GPs in the class. I’ve won two championships and lost two through injury, but there isn’t anybody who has accomplished four titles in this class and that was my main goal while winning as many GPs to get to the ‘100’ as soon as possible.

“I guess the rule has come in because they want to make MXGP the main attraction and I understand that – it is the premier class and the one everybody wants to see. It brings a better show. From my point of view I have mixed feelings about the change, but if that’s the rule then we have to accept it and go from there.”

Herlings is expected to remain with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team upon his move up to the MXGP World Championship in 2017, however it’s not certain whether he will become part of Claudio De Carli’s factory 450 squad or remain part of his current MX2-based official structure.