Latvia MXGP preview – Herlings hitting beast mode?

After the disaster of race two in France with a DNF, Jeffrey Herlings heads into Latvia 24 points down with Prado some breathing room at the front, but will that DNF ignite beast mode like the first turn crash did in Italy?

Herlings is trying to be smart and ride with a margin of error, but he can’t shake who he really is and as we saw in Italy, when his back is against the wall, he produces his true pace. We are getting into the meat of the season now and Herlings is getting to the stage where he has to strike and get the red plate. Prado is riding smart and always taking what he can get, it’s the holeshot kid v the comeback man and it’s ebbing and flowing too much for Herlings liking. Prado is still in control even if Herlings shows at times he is still the fastest on track, but that speed needs results because Prado puts himself in great positions and his measured riding style and skill mean a bad moto is never that bad and a great moto means he has the speed to beat anyone if he gets the chance to find his rhythm out front.

Its getting down to crunch time in the title duel and with the likes of Jeremy Seewer hitting full form and Ruben Fernandez on pace, others have the capability to get in amongst the title contenders and create bigger gaps in the points. But the pressure is on Herlings, because he can’t afford more first turn crashes or bike problems with Prado inching away in the points again, just when it looks like Herlings has clawed his way into the red the plate zone.

In MX2 it’s about who can step up and deliver with a world title up for grabs. With Geerts out for the next couple of rounds, Adamo just a point behind and de Wolf right there too just 11 back along with French GP winner, Thibault Benistant finally on form again waiting in the wings just four back of de Wolf, being able to step up the level when it counts will be key this weekend.

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We saw Adamo’s pace and aggression in France, more than we have seen before and de Wolf wasn’t holding back either, they already know they are the guys to beat for this title but Everts and Coenen aren’t intimidated and they know they can win races and belong at the front.

The title and race wins are wide open and while Benistant has the momentum, and Adamo is effectively the points leader, this is a track that should suit de Wolf, and if he can get the win here, it could be huge for his self-belief and momentum that he can win his first world title in 2023. But don’t rule out Coenen, as we saw in EMX125 and EMX250 the last two years, once he figures out how to win, it can be hard to stop him winning! Let’s see what he can do this weekend as well!

Herlings image: Scott Dunne

De Wolf image: InFront Moto Racing

Words: Jonathan McCready