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Analysis: Immense credit due for Herlings after upside filled opener

Dutchman impresses.

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Speaking ahead of the MXGP season opener in Argentina, Jeffrey Herlings understandably made a point of downplaying his chances after missing the entire 2022 campaign.


Words: Edward Stratmann | Lead Image: Juan Pablo Acevedo


Although he’d enjoyed a few solid hit-outs at Hawkstone, Arnhem and at Lacapelle Marival, with him winning the latter two events, the flying Dutchman knew he’d take time to recalibrate to the intensity of racing at the elite level.

When asked by MX Vice recently on how long he believes it’ll take for him to return to a level resembling his peak, his response made for intriguing listening. “It will require not one or two races, but it will require five, six or seven races, I guess. I mean, if you haven’t raced for 14 or even 15 months at a high level, you know, that’s hard. It’s been a long time off,” he insisted.

He then added this on his expectations prior to the first stop on the calendar: “People can say whatever they want, but I know I’ll not be a podium guy in Argentina, that’s not what I’m aiming for. I want to be a podium guy by round four or five and start winning from round six or seven.

“It’s such a long series now, we’re not doing like 40 but like literally 60 motos now. It’s going to be a long year so I prefer to just try to be around fifth in Argentina. I think that could be realistic and then just work from there. I think that track suits me a bit better right now and we’ll see.”

Settling into the weekend steadily by bagging 10th in the qualifying race, this outcome was somewhat in line with his tempered expectations heading into the crusade.

Juan Pablo Acevedo.

Come Sunday and all the signs were pointing towards him enduring a solid yet unspectacular day at the office when he went 10th quickest in the warm-up over a second behind pacesetter Jeremy Seewer. But the Red Bull KTM star strikingly roared into life in the motos to emphatically exceed his ambitions to record a brilliant second overall by virtue of his 4-2 finishes.

To start with his first race, and, despite getting off to a decent start to emerge in fifth, he instantly dropped back to eighth, with him forced to build steadily into proceedings, as he methodically went about adapting to the relentless early intensity.

By the time he reached the finish line jump, seventh was where he stood, which was solid considering his situation and given the chaotic first lap antics.

Roughly five minutes in, the #84 found his way past Glenn Coldenhoff, with this propelling him into fifth behind Maxime Renaux.

Riding with a terrific blend of power and finesse, there was much to admire about how he negotiated the waves, the testing rhythm sections and the ultra-fast turns on the challenging circuit.

Holding firm where he was while he gathered information on line selection and where time could be made up time from the others ahead of him, the Bullet seemed content sitting just off the main group.

Ramping up his speed around the midway point, next on his list was Pauls Jonass, who he shot by without fuss, and Renaux, who he overtook following the Frenchman’s nasty spill, to blast him into fourth.

Herlings then rekindled his rivalry with Romain Febvre, as the pair duked it out for the proceeding few laps. Dealing with severe arm pump and the flowing Frenchman, the former two-time winner at Argentina was satisfied slotting in a few bike lengths off the rear wheel of the #3.

Come the final ten minutes and Jonass and Coldenhoff began to pile on the pressure on the great man, but he dealt with their harrying admirably by keeping his cool and maintaining his position. But when the blistering Renaux came through, it was interesting to see Herlings let him by, knowing he probably couldn’t match the hard-charging Yamaha hotshot.

Although he was relegated to fifth, fourth was swiftly regained, with him profiting from Ruben Fernandez’s mistake.

From here, Herlings notably kept up the pace of Renaux while eye-catchingly keeping Fernandez and Jonass at bay to claim a deserved fourth. Not bad at all for his MXGP moto since 2021.

Producing a similar start in the second race, a determined Herlings found himself right in the thick of the action again from the outset. Wanting to impose himself, Herlings muscled his way past Renaux and Jorge Prado briskly to launch into third one minute in.

The #41 was next on his radar, and Herlings assertively breezed by him as well with a calculated manoeuvre in his quest to catch leader Fernandez.

Relishing the battle and focused on the task at hand, it was a joy to watch him flexing his muscles so soon. After his authoritative opening and recognising the #70 was flying, he wisely opted to keep his powder dry and sit behind the Spaniard.

While he gradually lost ground on the HRC sensation as the moto progressed, there was no panic from the experienced heavy hitter, who instead was intent on managing his own race and physical condition.

Around seven seconds down by the halfway mark and doing a tremendous job of fending off Jonass, the final stages of the race were all about conserving energy and keeping concentrated.

And this is precisely what he did, for this meant he was ideally placed to stave off the scintillatingly fast Seewer in the dying embers to hang on for second to claim a terrific second overall.

Juan Pablo Acevedo

Bringing it home strong in his first elite level outing for such a long time, it was little wonder the 28-year-old was content with his comeback. “I got better throughout the weekend. I haven’t raced these guys for sixteen months and that amount of time means you should not underestimate the class,” he reflected.

“I have done hundreds and thousands of laps in training but you cannot replicate the intensity of racing here. Every session was getting a little easier and I don’t think it is bad to get second. If I had this option beforehand then I would have taken it. I just want to keep on building up my race rhythm now.”

By the numbers, the fact he logged the third and second fastest lap time in the first and second moto respectively underlined his outstanding speed.

Deserving tremendous credit for being right up there already, this result served as testament to his formidable mentality and dogged work in his recovery and in pre-season training.

Set for an entirely different challenge in a little less than two weeks when the series heads to the sandy confines of Riola Sardo, it’ll be unmissable seeing how he fares, especially given his comments that the bike is not fully dialled in on the soft stuff yet.

Having exceeded his goals and gotten through the opener with flying colours, all eyes will be firmly fixed on the Bullet, who’s now raised the bar and put his competitors on notice that he’ll be a major player from the off – not five or so rounds in as he initially predicted.

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Features

Stat Attack: Arlington Supercross Review

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With the seventh round of AMA Supercross in the books, statistics maestro Paul Pearcy has provided MX Vice with some brilliant numbers to tuck into from what was a great night of action. Enjoy

250 Class

Qualifying

  • Qualifying Top 3
  1. Seth Hammaker: 45.216
  2. Austin Forkner: 45.284
  3. Pierce Brown: 45.416

Heat Race 1

  • Top 3
  1. Austin Forkner (2 for 2 in heat race wins)
  2. Max Anstie
  3. Haiden Deegan
  • Laps Led
  1. Haiden Deegan: 7
  2. Austin Forkner: 2 (12 heat race laps led this year, 4 more than anyone else)
  • Fastest Lap Times
  1. Austin Forkner: 45.908
  2. Haiden Deegan: 46.194
  3. Max Anstie: 46.244
  • Best Average Lap Times
  1. Austin Forkner: 46.448
  2. Max Anstie: 46.970
  3. Haiden Deegan: 47.321

Heat Race 2

  • Top 3
  1. Cameron Mcadoo (2 for 2 in heat race wins)
  2. Nicholas Romano
  3. Seth Hammaker
  • Laps Led
  1. Nicholas Romano: 5
  2. Cameron Mcadoo: 4 (4th best in heat race laps led this season)
  • Fastest Lap Times
  1. Pierce Brown: 46.512
  2. Cameron Mcadoo: 46.527
  3. Chance Hymas: 46.533
  • Best Average Lap Times
  1. Cameron Mcadoo: 47.200
  2. Chance Hymas: 47.461
  3. Seth Hammaker: 47.841

LCQ

  • Top 3
  1. Daxton Bennick
  2. Izaih Clark
  3. Brock Papi
  • Laps Led
  1. Daxton Bennick: 8
  • Fastest Lap Times
  1. Daxton Bennick: 47.693
  2. Hardy Munoz: 48.254
  3. Izaih Clark: 48.653
  • Best Average Lap Times
  1. Daxton Bennick: 48.925
  2. Brock Papi: 49.358
  3. Izaih Clark: 49.379

Main Event

  • Top 3
  1. Haiden Deegan
  2. Cameron Mcadoo
  3. Tom Vialle
  • First Lap Top 3
  1. Austin Forkner (Best in Class Average First Lap Position of 1st)
  2. Haiden Deegan (Average First Lap Position of 9th)
  3. Nicholas Romano (Average First Lap Position of 9th)
  • Laps Led
  1. Austin Forkner: 16 (Austin has led 88% of main event laps this season)
  2. Haiden Deegan: 5
  • Fastest Lap Times
  1. Austin Forkner: 45.926
  2. Chance Hymas: 46.008
  3. Haiden Deegan: 46.010
  • Best Average Lap Times
  1. Austin Forkner: 46.537
  2. Haiden Deegan: 47.076
  3. Cameron Mcadoo: 47.326
  • Most Consistent Lap Times (Least difference between fastest and slowest lap times)
  1. Austin Forkner: 1.41
  2. Tom Vialle: 2.212
  3. Pierce Brown: 2.456

Points

  • Points Top Ten
  1. Max Anstie: 38
  2. Pierce Brown: 34
  3. Daxton Bennick: 32
  4. Coty Schock: 32
  5. Haiden Deegan: 31
  6. Cameron Mcadoo: 29
  7. Austin Forkner: 27
  8. Chance Hymas: 27
  9. Guillem Farres: 27
  10. Henry Miller: 26

450 Class

Qualifying

  • Top 3
  1. Jett Lawrence: 43.770 (3rd time this season; best qualifying average in the class at 2.857 through 7 rounds)
  2. Chase Sexton: 44.262
  3. Justin Cooper: 44.280

Heat Race 1

  • Top 3
  1. Eli Tomac
  2. Aaron Plessinger (best average heat race finish at 1.667)
  3. Ken Roczen (2nd best average heat race finish at 2nd)
  • Laps Led
  1. Aaron Plessinger: 9 (Aaron has led 34% of heat race laps this year, 16 more than anyone else)
  2. Eli Tomac: 1
  • Fastest Lap Times
  1. Aaron Plessinger: 43.610
  2. Ken Roczen: 43.622
  3. Eli Tomac: 43.874
  • Best Average Lap Times
  1. Eli Tomac: 44.408
  2. Aaron Plessinger: 44.668
  3. Ken Roczen: 44.854

Heat Race 2

  • Top 3
  1. Jett Lawrence (3rd best average heat race finish at 2.667)
  2. Malcolm Stewart
  3. Jason Anderson
  • Laps Led
  1. Jason Anderson: 5
  2. Jett Lawrence: 3
  3. Malcolm Stewart: 2
  • Fastest Lap Times
  1. Malcolm Stewart: 44.393
  2. Jett Lawrence: 44.558
  3. Jason Anderson: 44.662
  • Best Average Lap Times
  1. Jett Lawrence: 45.474
  2. Malcolm Stewart: 45.622
  3. Jason Anderson: 46.001

LCQ

  • Top 3
  1. Justin Barcia
  2. Jerry Robin
  3. Ryan Breece (First main event since Salt Lake City 2022; Missed all of 2023 due to injury)
  • Laps Led
  1. Justin Barcia: 8
  • Fastest Lap Times
  1. Justin Barcia: 46.050
  2. Jerry Robin: 46.466
  3. Ryan Breece: 46.792
  • Best Average Lap Times
  1. Justin Barcia: 46.764
  2. Jerry Robin: 47.126
  3. Ryan Breece: 47.359

Main Event

  • Top 3
  1. Cooper Webb (Tied with Plessinger for 2nd best average finish at 4.571; this is his 6th win in Arlington)
  2. Eli Tomac
  3. Aaron Plessinger (Tied with Webb for 2nd best average finish at 4.571)
  • First Lap Top 3
  1. Jett Lawrence (3rd best in class Average First Lap Position of 6.047)
  2. Cooper Webb (Best in Class Average First Lap Position of 5.428)
  3. Hunter Lawrence (Average First Lap Position of 8.055)
  • Laps Led
  1. Jett Lawrence: 23 (Jett has led 41% of main event laps this season at 71, 44 more than anyone else)
  2. Cooper Webb: 4
  • Fastest Lap Times
  1. Jett Lawrence: 45.147
  2. Chase Sexton: 45.222
  3. Justin Cooper: 45.385
  • Best Average Lap Time
  1. Cooper Webb: 46.578
  2. Eli Tomac: 46.590
  3. Aaron Plessinger: 46.729
  • Most Consistent Lap Times (Least difference between fastest and slowest lap times)
  1. Aaron Plessinger: 2.699
  2. Cooper Webb: 2.762
  3. Justin Cooper: 3.427

Points

  • Points Top 10
  1. Jett Lawrence: 135
  2. Cooper Webb: 132
  3. Aaron Plessinger: 128
  4. Chase Sexton: 127
  5. Eli Tomac: 122
  6. Jason Anderson: 118
  7. Ken Roczen: 116
  8. Dylan Ferrandis: 93
  9. Hunter Lawrence: 86
  10. Justin Cooper: 75

Lead Image: HRC

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Australian Motocross

Gallery: New-look Raceline Husqvarna Racing Team unveiled for 2024

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Introducing the Raceline Husqvarna Racing Team for season 2024. Led by MX1 contender Todd Waters alongside MX2 title prospects Rhys Budd and Jack Mather, the team’s primed for a massive season. Check out their epic season launching gallery by Michael Williams (@postmoto_ on Instagram).

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Features

BELL MX 2024 Moto-10 spherical helmet review

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MX Vice’s Tester, Brad Wheeler, Shares His Thoughts On This Quality Product From Bell.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that this is an exclusive review of the BELL Moto-10, the best  I can offer is that this is the first review on the 2024 Eli Tomac edition. 2024 has seen an array of  new colourways and hopefully, you’ll learn something from this review that you didn’t know  previously. Besides, MX Vice is yet to post a BELL Moto-10 review so the start of a new season  seemed like a good time to do one.


Words: Brad Wheeler | Lead Image: Supplied


The Moto-10 was first released back in 2021, and since then has cemented itself as one of, if not  the most popular high-end helmet. BELL has been in the helmet game since 1975 and has always  been at the forefront of design and safety. The Moto-10 is no different.

I found that their 3K carbon shell worked great in keeping me cool whilst riding. Not only is it great  and excels at getting cool air through the helmet, but it disperses the hot air even better. This is down to the  T.E.A.S (Thermal Exchange Airflow System). It sucks air in like a vacuum and sends the hot air out the rear and side exhaust ports. Due to the Moto-10 having a split shell (top and bottom), it was easy for BELL to utilise this as a very efficient exhaust port.  

Another great addition to the Moto-10 from its predecessor is the NMR bumpers (no missed races).  I’ll admit when I first saw them I was not a big fan, but after spending some time with the helmet  not only do I see the necessity in them, but don’t notice them on the helmet at all. The point of the  bumpers is that if you are in a crash where the helmet comes in contact with your body, the  bumpers will absorb the impact rather than your body. Possibly saving you from a broken shoulder  or collarbone.

Another safety feature on the Moto-10 is the way the peak works. The peak is held on by 2 screws  on either side, with the addition of 2 plastic set pins that keep the visor from moving too much  when you are adjusting it. However, the pins are designed to break as a result of a crash. BELL  has just used 2 bolts on either side to remove the fixed point in the middle of the helmet. What this  does is that in a crash where you hit the visor, all of the energy is sent away from the top of your  head and down the sides. If you didn’t already know, you don’t want a large impact on the top of  your head if at all possible.  

For me personally, the BELL Moto-10 is the easiest helmet to work on and maintain. The tooless  screws (the screw has a flap that flicks out allowing you to undo it without the use of tools) that  hold the peak in place can easily be removed, and pins pop out to remove the peak when you want to clean it. The cheek pads are held in with 3 magnets, instead of traditional poppers. This not only makes it easy to get out when cleaning, but also easier to get out if you are involved in a crash. The main inner of the helmet is held in with 4 poppers, 2 at the front and 2 at the rear, making it straightforward to remove all the inners when you want to wash them.

It seems that cooling was an important factor when they designed the Moto-10. Not only have they  increased airflow around the helmet with the split shell, they have incorporated recycled jade into  the helmet liner. The Virus CoolJade liner has natural cooling effects and decreases your skin  surface temperature by around 5°C. Not something that I thought I would benefit from living in the  UK where we’re lucky to see temperatures around 20°C, but even on a day where we were in high  single digits, it did have an impact whilst I was riding. The whole helmet just felt cooler whilst riding,  I didn’t feel like my head was getting cold by any means. It just felt like I was able to concentrate  harder for longer. I definitely think during the summer months this would benefit a lot of riders who  suffer from dizziness and mental fatigue.

The final thing I want to mention is the goggle port. The BELL Moto-10 offers the largest port on the  market. I use a SCOTT Prospect 90% of the time and it is a very wide goggle. Sometimes it can be  difficult to get a proper seal on my face with other helmet brands. But with the Moto-10 I had room  to spare. The main reason I mention this is because I think it gets overlooked a lot of the time when 

people are deciding which helmet to buy. You need to factor in the type of goggles you are going to  wear with the helmet.

The Tomac 24 Moto-10 is up there in price. Coming in at £699.99 it’s one of the dearer helmets, but  I do believe you get what you pay for when it comes to helmets. After all, we get one head and you  need to look after it. I get that some people simply can’t afford that price tag, but for those that can, it certainly is a sound investment. If price is an issue for you here drop me an email at  [email protected] and I’ll be happy to try and point you in another direction. 

At current there are 6 different colour ways for 2024, but older years are also available if one of  those colours takes your fancy. As I mentioned at the top, this isn’t a Moto-10 exclusive, but  hopefully, you learned something about the helmet that you didn’t already know.

Tested and written by Brad Wheeler

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