Jeffrey Herlings – instinct v experience

Jeffrey Herlings is torn this season. His quotes are Arco demonstrate how hard he is trying to stay away from his instincts of going as fast as he can all the time, but sometimes, he just can’t take it anymore and has to show that real speed again, like both races in Arco when Herlings figured he just can’t let his championship rivals gain any more points.

Read what Herlings had to say about Arco here for an insight into how he’s trying to manage his killer instincts this season – and sometimes he just has to go back there! “In the first moto I had a good start but I think Romain’s front wheel washed and I just went into him. Second moto I started around 8th-10th but then I pushed ‘Beast’ mode. Being defensive has not always been working. So, I thought ‘let’s go back to the old Jeffrey’ and push for it: I showed what I am capable of. We lost a few points this weekend but I hope I can make them up again in Portugal in a couple of weeks.”

Herlings is caught between using his racing experience and his experience of pain to play it smart, settle for a 3/4/5/6 in a race when it’s too risky to push for more but deep down inside as Arco demonstrated, he is still that guy that wants to show the world he’s the fastest guy on the planet. And he is.

But he also desperately wants to last a whole season, and he knows he needs to ride for a title in the way that Cairoli and Everts did that saw them get to nine and ten titles respectively. But that isn’t who he is, he’s trying every weekend to supress the domination instinct and empower the big picture, experienced champ who knows when to turn it up and back it down.

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So far it’s working okay, but not perfectly and he isn’t leading the championship. And the longer Jeffrey remains at a points deficit, especially with his starts not being amazing compared to Prado, the temptation to show his real speed will become more and more tempting just like Arco.

Which way will he turn? New calculated Jeffrey Everts or will Herlings let his instincts kick in again in Portugal? See a purely instinctive Jeffrey on an 85cc Suzuki below:

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Article: Jonathan McCready