Interview: Jeffrey Herlings to contest ADAC MX Masters at Gaildorf & Tensfeld

Five-time motocross world champion Jeffrey Herlings has booked guest starts for the ADAC MX Masters events in Gaildorf on 5/6. August and in Tensfeld on 26./27. confirmed Aug. The 2008 ADAC MX Junior Cup champion is thus returning to the roots of his career. In the interview he talks about the series, the events and tracks as well as the strong competition.

Herlings was once the prodigy of the motocross world championship, winning his first world championship event at the tender age of 15, shortly after his debut, and becoming world champion a year later. This spring, the 28-year-old broke the 2006 record for the most race wins in the World Championship and most Grand Prix wins. In the meantime, Herlings has beamed 103 times as overall winner from the top step of a World Cup podium and has been world champion five times.

Herlings wants to use the ADAC MX Masters races in Gaildorf and Tensfeld to regain momentum for the following World Championship races after suffering a neck injury in June. It won’t be easy for reigning ADAC MX Masters champion Max Nagl, who went into the summer break as championship leader, and his opponents to put the Dutchman in his place, but nothing is impossible in racing. The fans at the racetracks in Gaildorf and Tensfeld will definitely be the winners of Herlings’ guest starts, because you rarely see such a high caliber live. In an interview, Herlings explains how the guest starts came about, what his expectations are and how important the ADAC MX Junior Cup was for his career.

We are happy that you will be starting at the ADAC MX Masters in Gaildorf and Tensfeld. How did that happen?

This article continues below

Jeffrey Herlings: “I know the ADAC MX Masters is a really professional championship and after my injury the starts help me get back into racing rhythm for the GPs. I prefer racing to doing practice laps alone. Gaildorf is a legendary former GP circuit, so I like going there, even if the ground is very hard there. As a Dutchman, I really like Tensfeld because it’s a sandy track. I mean, that’s where I did my first ADAC race in 2006. I loved the track back then and I’ve seen a few videos of it over the last few years and it still looks really good.”

How are you feeling after your spinal injury at the MXGP in Teutschenthal?

“I’m doing pretty well now. Next Monday I have another check-up appointment to get permission to start motorcycle training again. In everyday life and during fitness training, I can already do everything again without restrictions, such as cycling, rowing, swimming and these things. So I hope to be back on the bike next week.”

You drove in the ADAC MX Junior Cup as a youth. What are your fondest memories of that time?

“Winning the 2008 championship in the 85cc class was definitely the best I’ve achieved at ADAC. After that I never drove the entire championship again, but only contested a few selected races. Last time, 2019, it was very professional, so I like to come back. The tracks have always been very good and there were many tracks on firm ground where I was able to train very well and improve.”

It’s not the first time you’ve guest starred on the series. At what level do you see the ADAC MX Masters?

“For me, the ADAC MX Masters in Europe is of a very high standard. It’s super professional, very well organized and the routes are mostly very good. As mentioned, I prefer racing to doing practice laps, so I enjoy competing there.”

What do you expect from the races in Gaildorf and Tensfeld?

This article continues below

“My expectation for Gaildorf is to find my way back into the racing rhythm and hopefully finish in the top three. My goal for Tensfeld is to win. By then I should have been back training on the bike for about a month. In Gaildorf I will probably only have been on the KTM for a few days, so my expectations are not that high. I think it is good training, but of course it would be nice to win there as well.”

It is not uncommon for the “local heroes” to be really quick on home soil. Can Max Nagl, Tom Koch and Henry Jacobi put you under pressure?

“Yes, definitely, 100 percent, especially in Gaildorf. Even though I’ve won 103 Grands Prix, I’m still weaker on such tracks and not as strong as on a sand track like Tensfeld. I’m convinced that they can put pressure on me and fight with me. I never underestimate the Local Heroes, I’ve learned that in Germany, France and the UK: When they’re on their own tracks, they’re very, very good and it’s definitely not going to be a walk in the park.”

You broke the record for most overall Grand Prix wins this year. How important are such records for you?

“It’s a great feeling, I broke two of the three most important records – race wins, GP wins and world titles. Ok, I didn’t break the title record, but the most race wins and the most GP wins. Those were life goals for me. It’s great to have reached them and I’m happy about that. I really wish I could get to ten championships or more, but given all the injuries I’ve suffered I’m pretty confident that won’t happen again. But having my name on those two big records makes me pretty happy.”

What is your goal for the rest of the season?

“Honestly I just want to race, have fun and try to get the best results possible. After an injury, I prefer to get straight back into racing. The first races will certainly be difficult because I wore a neck brace for four weeks and couldn’t train. It’s also not easy to take a break from motorcycling in the middle of the season. So I just want to do my best, have fun, race a lot and still get some highlights like winning a GP or two. That would be great.”

If you want to see Jeffrey Herlings live at the ADAC MX Masters and get a signature at the autograph session, you can purchase tickets online in advance.

This article continues below



Words: ADAC MX Masters

Image: MXGP/Infront Moto Racing