Jeffrey Herlings Vital MX interview – thoughts

Lewis Phillips did an excellent no-holds barred essential listening interview/conversation with a very honest Jeffrey Herlings who said he made 4.5 million for his 2018 MXGP dominating season, and yet acknowledges there is still more money and exposure in America.

Honest on his career, his youthfull outbursts, even admitting he was “cocky and arrogant” in his younger days. He talks about his now calmer demeanor as a consequence of maturity, not being afraid to lose now and even talking about his big car crash in Russia back in 2012.

Herlings also had some very interesting thoughts on not wanting to be famous, and leaving the sport once he retires. He loves racing but not the other side.

A key take-away Herlings is very smart, with his money and his racing, but likes to run his racing schedule his way, mostly alone, including his training! It’s clear he still absolutely loves racing, he talks about US racing like a fan and is still racing after all the injuries because he loves it even if he is financially secure.

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Enjoy watching the unique Herlings while you can, because once he’s gone, he’s gone. He’s not the same person he was when he was younger, his perspective has changed and having spoken to him a few times myself, he is misunderstood and perhaps harshly judged by people who still hold onto how he was in his younger days but his honesty in interviews remains, it’s just more refined.

Has he a lot of confidence? Of course, but he should have, he’s been winning since he was 15 at the highest level, and, for me, is the fastest rider ever outdoors on a global level.

All of which makes his perspective in this interview in the midst of another title lost through injury so intriguing, as he looks back on a career he’s still in the middle of and still chasing a Joel Robert equaling, but stubbornly so far unobtainable, sixth world title, but at least he does now have the all-time GP won record. A legacy of his speed.

It’s almost the story of a driven wild superstar kid who now just likes being alone with a few people he trusts living his his life, while continuing to work hard to achieved his goals.

Some interesting quotes below:

“It’s not as good as it used to be.” On his speed.

“I rode supercross and you should not underestimate supercross. It’s a very dangerous thing to do. Supercross itself is not that difficult but the whoops….”

“I feel like I’m the white version of James Stewart. Super fast at times but didn’t win enough championships. James Stewart, how good was this guy, this guy was amazing! How many championships has he got? He doesn’t have many championships for how much talent and how good he was.”

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“The thing I like about Jett, he’s not cocky. You never hear him say he’s the best. I only have positive things to say about this kid, I like him a lot.”

Herlings even predicts who will win between himself and Jett at Ernee MXoN! Make sure you listen to the whole varied and insightful interview here.

Image: Ray Archer

Article: Jonathan McCready