US podcasts don’t often mention MXGP but when the world champ might be racing in the USA suddenly MXGP riders get some coverage – and former world champ, Grant Langston and David Pingree are very excited at the prospect of the Jeffrey Herlings possibly going to race the US Nationals!
Speaking on their podcast, the Whisky throttle show, Pingree said on his MXGP title chances: “He’s going to be three/four rounds out before he can go, and as fast as he is, that’s tough a go to win the title from that many points down.”
On racing the US Nationals Langston said: “That would be huge. For him it kind of makes sense, if you are eliminated for your world championship hopes. This is a guy with an ego, he’s told everyone he is the best rider in the world. He probably thinks I could go there and KTM would be 100% behind it and he believes he’ll come and win , I tell you what I think a lot of guys are nervous right now.”
Pingree is hoping it happens: “If you are fan like me I am crossing my fingers he pulls the trigger on that. For KTM it makes sense, they have Cairoli over there and he has to be the favourite with Herlings out. You bring him over here, you have three guys in the truck you can handle that, this guy you can say what you want, this is guy is going to come out and win races straight away. I don’t want to say he would destroy everybody but is certainly a title contender, him winning this championship is well within reason.”
And Langston feels Herlings would be the favourite going in: “I personally think he would be the favourite, I know there are lots of guys who would love to prove me wrong on that statement. What he has shown in the last couple of of years is that no-one can beat him on speed, the only one who can beat him is himself. When he is injured he doesn’t win, when he isn’t injured he wins.”
Despite the different type of championship and racing the Americans in their own country, Pingree thinks adapting to the full US series won’t be a problem for the Dutchman: “He comes over on different occasions and not had a problem adapting, I don’t think its going to be a problem. I know he has no intentions of ever racing supercross, but to have this opportunity to come to the US and win a US title when he probably isn’t going to win that GP championship. I’m really anxious to see what happens.”
Langston then gave an insight into how he thinks Herlings will be thinking: “Knowing a little bit of how Herlings operates I think he’s going to go, ‘I want to go to the US (if he cant win GP title), kick their ass, prove to everyone I’m the best come back to Europe and continue winning world championships.
Pingree then admitted he wants to see the US guys beat Herlings: “Frankly I’m a guy that is always going to root for the American in that situation, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a ton of respect for Herlings riding, he’s incredible. It would give me an extra reason to root for Eli Tomac and our other American boys to go out there and take it to him.”
But does beating the world champ in your own country really prove you are better? Surely the Americans would have to beat Herlings/ Cairoli to a world championship title by racing them in different countries to really prove themselves without home turf advantage?