How did Herlings do it?

KTM Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings will simply unstoppable in 2018. On his way to his first MXGP world championship, the 24 year old Dutchman claimed 17 Grand Prix wins out of the 19 he rode in and only dropped 17 championship points all year.

Herling’s talent is undoubtable and aboard his KTM 450 SX-F, the KTM team believe this is just the beginning of what could be one of the greatest careers in MX history.

With KTM’s Group VP of Offroad Robert Jonas saying, “He started this year in top shape. I still think Jeffrey is ‘growing’ and hasn’t reached his full potential.”

Jeffrey has tasted the kind of success that most 24 year olds can only dream of, but he remains surprisingly humble, passing the praise for his accomplishments onto his loyal team at every opportunity.

KTM recently interviewed KTM German Team Manager Dirk Gruebel for the inside scoop on what it took for Herlings to blow away the competition in 2018.

Ok, how did Jeffrey make the difference over the others in 2018?

Rival teams are no longer talking about winning in MXGP, rather “catching Herlings” … “You know, Jeffrey made some big mistakes in 2017 and coming into his first season of MXGP. Maybe he was a little bit wrong from the off because guys who moved up before him from MX2 were champion right away [Romain Febvre in 2015 and Tim Gajser in 2016] so for him it was a ‘done deal’ and he ‘had’ to be world champion. I think there were riders who were keen to make it tough for him because he’d smoked them in MX2. I think it was payback time in the 2017 pre-season internationals already and people were closing the door on him and being a bit harder than normal in my opinion … but it was to be expected because he was the greenhorn and there were people who wanted to show him the way, at least that’s how it looked from the outside. For sure he was not on the same fitness level as this year and it took a while to find his lines and his way. He learned. The starts were a big problem and we developed those with him. He’s a maniac now with those, especially during the week. I doubt anybody puts in as much practice as him and he’s improved a lot; top five lately and mostly top two. Within a couple of corners he is first and then it is all about the incredible pace he sets from the first lap until the last which is not possible for most of these riders. Tony tries his best and does really good but it is such a high level that even he struggles to stay with him. If they battle each other then there is usually a gap of thirty-forty seconds to the next guy in third and that’s not normal for this sport.”

To read the full interview, visit origina blog post on KTM’s website here: