Motocrosser Jeffrey Herlings has been named Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau and admitted, “it’s one of the most beautiful things that has ever happened to me.”
During the annual Motorsport gala of the Royal Dutch Motorcyclist Association (KNMV), the world champion MXGP 2018 was treated extensively. Earlier in the evening, at Schouwburg Amphion in Doetinchem, he received (for the third time) the Hans de Beaufort cup; the highest award in Dutch motorsport. But it did not stop Jeffrey from arriving.
De Brabander received the award from Bruno Bruins, Minister of Sport: “You are a great champion and you inspire other athletes. You show that you as a top athlete have to do your best. Our king could not come to Assen when you became world champion. But he is aware of your performance. That is why this Royal decoration. “
In the run-up to the award, his mother Alice, his mechanics and fellow crosser Glenn Coldenhoff, among others, spoke to him. A wonderful evening for the visibly moved Jeffrey:
“What was this for an evening … Grandiose. To get this honor is really special. I was not prepared at all and knew nothing about anything. This is one of the most beautiful things that ever happened to me. I have a big mouth, but a small heart. I am speechless, but step outside with a big smile. I did not become a Sportsman of the Year, but this is certainly just as beautiful. “
After three world titles in the MX2, Jeffrey became the first Dutch world champion MXGP, the top of the motocross. In addition, he won the Dutch Masters of Motocross in the 500cc and he became third with the Netherlands during the Motocross of Nations country competition in the United States. It earned ‘The Bullet’ a nomination for Sportsman of the Year. And now a Royal award.
The hunt for a new world title starts for Jeffrey on March 3 in Argentina.
Hans de Beaufort Cup for Jeffrey Herlings
After three world titles in the MX2 (2012, 2012, 2016) Jeffrey Herlings put his biggest achievement to date in 2018: world champion in the MXGP. He dominated the season with victories in 33 of the 40 races in the World Championship and a win in all four race weekends of the Dutch Masters of Motocross 500cc. With a first and a second place Jeffrey had an important share in the bronze for the Netherlands with the Motocross of Nations. As an example for many and because of his performance and commitment to motorsport, Jeffrey Herlings deserves the Hans de Beaufort Cup this year.
Jeffrey Herlings reacted with a smile to the prize: “I want to win him three more times, because then I’m more often than sidecar Daniël Willemsen. I had expected it a bit, but I think it’s wonderful that the KNMV grants me this again. “
The Hans de Beaufort Cup was awarded by Pit Beirer, former motorcrosser and current head of motorsport at KTM. Herlings won all his world titles on a KTM.
Kay de Wolf from Eersel received the Ben Majoor Trophy, for special talent under the age of 21. The fourteen year old motocross rider won the Open Dutch Championship with the 85cc Big Wheels and the Dutch Masters of Motocross 85cc. He also finished second in the European Championships and World Championships.
Kay lives for his sport. He does not drink soft drinks, is in bed before 9:30 PM and has only one goal: to become world champion in the MXGP. From 2019 Kay has a contract with Husqvarna Factory Racing under the direction of Jacky Martens. He switches to the 125cc class.
The Ben Majoor Trophy was awarded by Barry Veneman, former driver in the 500cc (predecessor MotoGP) and the World Supersport. Veneman is now head of talent development motocross and road race at the KNMV.