Herlings: I underestimated the MXGP class!
Jeffrey Herlings has admitted that he underestimated the strength of the MXGP class, even if he was injured for the start of the season.
Despite not a lot of time on the bike with tendon inflammation and then his broken hand Herlings felt he should have been better in the last two rounds. Speaking to Paul Malin on the MXGP studio show, Herlings said: “We had some issues the first four races, the first two were because of the injury, I was in a lot of pain. But for the last two races I don’t know. Just put a big question mark on that one.”
He admitted Mexico was a disaster despite good bike time before the event. “Mexico I rode so bad and tight, even though I rode two weeks before that with no pain. I don’t know how it’s possible I rode that bad. You are mentally so far down you start riding 2,3,4 seconds slower than you are capable of. It’s a new class, new opponents and for the moment it had been a really tough start. But hopefully we will get back where we belong.”
The three-time world champion feels his speed at the MXDN and SMX gave him made him overconfident and he didn’t test the bike enough: “For the Nations, we just spent a two days on the bike and then we kind of dominated actually, won the heat race, first moto I crashed going for the lead with Anderson and the second moto I checked out pretty much. With those results and the SMX cup maybe I thought it would be easy, we didn’t test so much on the 250, it was just give me the bike and go race it. Now with the 450 we are seeing you need to test a lot and its a different thing.”
Herlings then admitted with startling honesty: “I have been underestimating the class, I have been underestimating the guys I’m racing. That’s why we pay the price but I know I can turn things around. I haven’t lost the talent I have, there is a reason I won three world title and 61 GPs, it takes time.”
Herlings even said he would be closer to the front on his MX2 bike in the MXGP class than he has been on the 450 so far!
Herlings then admitted he is even thinking about going to a 350 if things don’t change. “We never considered it until the last two weeks, it’s something that if the results don’t improve we will consider.”
He will be desperate to start that turn-around this weekend in Italy so he can get some confidence to try and maintain his unbeaten run at Valkenswaard at the next round!