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Point of Debate: Jeffrey Herlings

Jeffrey Herlings has made the controversial decision to stay in the MX2 class for another year. Lewis Phillips weighs in on this here.



Jeffrey Herlings has spent his entire professional career in the spotlight, and rightfully so. However, some have started to discredit his dominance and ability, because of the fact that he is racing against lesser competition. Perhaps that is harsh? But, honestly, the MX2 class just isn’t as strong as it once was, hence why Jeffrey has been such an unstoppable force.

I, like a majority of the fans, simply want to see an exciting race, and it seems we are not going to have that whilst Jeffrey is in the MX2 class. Now, there is always a chance that someone could step up and challenge the established star, but judging by the talent pool in the MX2 class currently, it seems unlikely. Again, it is not that the other riders are not capable, it’s just that Herlings is a phenomenal talent, and one of the riders that will go down in history as one of the greats. So, it will take another unusually talented rider to challenge him consistently.

The rate in which a rider progresses in this sport is so fast that, at the age of nineteen, many strongly believe that the soon to be three-time world champion should vacate the 250F class at the end of the season, and jump into the premier division. That request isn’t too unreasonable, as many have done it before; some have started their career on a 450F, and never even glanced at the smaller bike. However, despite this, it has now been revealed that Herlings has elected to stay in MX2 for another year. Why has he done this, I hear you ask?

Well, there are two reasons, it appears, as Herlings has realised that he has the opportunity to break some prestigious records in the sport, which is a mouth-watering prospect for any young rider, of course. Jeffrey is quite aware that it is much easier to do this in the MX2 class, because he is so superior. If everything goes to plan over the next eighteen months, he will have more than sixty GP wins at the age of twenty. When you put that stat on paper, it renders most speechless – he will be well on his way to breaking Stefan Everts’ (his mentor) records. Although some think that it’s a little unfair, because the under twenty-three rule is aiding Jeffrey in his quest, we shouldn’t discredit him for that reason, as it’s out of his control.

But, is staying in the MX2 class to simply break records a good enough reason? I am not so sure, especially as it signifies that Jeffrey no longer sees the MX2 class as a challenge, which is surely the time at which a rider should move onto pastures new, and seek new motivation. The latter point there is something that will surely become a problem soon enough (that’s if it is not already). With winning by a comfortable margin a foregone conclusion each week, how can Herlings continue to push himself to be the best he can be, when his best is not required? Without realising he may settle ever so slightly, and lose an edge that he will later have to rediscover when tackling MXGP.

This is part of the reason that the Dutchman is heading Stateside in the summer to compete in a one-off race. Pit Beirer said as much in a press release: “Jeffrey is having a great year, but it’s important to keep him motivated.” It is going to be most interesting to see how his speed compares when he is out there, as that will be a great indication of whether staying in the MX2 class over here is hurting him or not. Herlings will expect to win convincingly, because of his confident nature, but the task may be tougher than anticipated – it’s been a while since he last had to battle with another rider for more than a couple of corners!

Unfortunately for us, the fans, Jeffrey holds the key to a thrilling MXGP season. If he were to move up, the two classes would be wide open, as Antonio Cairoli would have another formidable competitor in the MXGP class, and the many young guns would be left to battle for the MX2 crown. However, with Herlings’ intentions to stay on a 250F confirmed, it seems we will have another tedious season of watching him dominate by even more than he has done this year, as a majority of his main competitors will have moved up! However, rather than looking down at the Dutchman that is sometimes misunderstood, perhaps we should take a second to appreciate just how great he is?

Words: Lewis Phillips

Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer


Impressive Second for Benistant at MXGP of Trentino as Bonacorsi Delivers Career-Best Result




Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Thibault Benistant returned to form at round four of the MX2 World Championship with an impressive runner-up finish at the MXGP of Trentino. Adding to the team’s success in Pietramurata, Italy, was Andrea Bonacorsi, who delivered a stunning career-best result of sixth overall in front of his home crowd. At the same time, Rick Elzinga put in a hard-charge for ninth overall.

In Race One, Benistant got off to a great start and ran third before passing Sascha Coenen on Lap 12. Continuing to ride with a high pace, the French sensation closed in on the eventual race winner, Kay de Wolf, during the final laps of the race and crossed the line just under four seconds adrift of victory.

Another strong start in Race Two saw Benistant quickly engage in a battle for a place on the podium. Holding fifth until just past the halfway point of the race, Benistant capitalised on a mistake by Mikkel Haarup and moved into fourth. From there, the 198 chased home his teammate Bonacorsi and secured fourth for second overall. As a result, he has regained third position in the MX2 Championship Standings.

Bonacorsi, spurred on by his passionate home crowd, delivered a career-best race and overall result in Pietramurata. Despite having a rider fall in front of him at turn one, the 20-year-old put in a spirited ride through the field to finish 12th in Race One.

In Race Two, ‘Bona’ emerged from the first corner in second and immediately gave chase to the early leader. After slipping to third on lap seven, he maintained his impressive pace and kept the position to the flag. Following his breakout ride, Bonacorsi maintains 12th in the championship chase, but has closed the gap to the top 10.

One week on from his impressive sixth-place finish in Sardinia, Elzinga carried that same speed and momentum into round four and placed fourth in Race One. An unfortunate crash at the start of Race Two gave the Dutchman a lot of work to do on a circuit that proved challenging to pass on. Maintaining his razor sharp focus, the 44 fought back to 13th, which was enough to maintain ninth position in the MX2 Championship Standings.

The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place in Agueda, Portugal, on the weekend of May 5th.

Click here for all the results from the MXGP of Trentino.

Thibault Benistant

 2nd MXGP of Trentino, 40-points

 3rd MX2 Championship Standings, 148-points

“It wasn’t an easy weekend for me despite being on the box. I rode well, but there is still room for improvement and to show what I am really capable of. I know my speed can be better. Of course, I’m happy to finally be on the podium for the first time this year; it’s a big step in the right direction. But I want more, so we will keep working. It’s still a long season.”

Andrea Bonacorsi

 6th MXGP of Trentino, 29-points

 12th MX2 Championship Standings, 83-points

“Today I was able to show what I can do with a good start. I know I can run up front in MX2 and I proved that I can in race two. I’m really proud of myself with sixth overall and now we’ll keep working and focus on the next race in Portugal.”

Rick Elzinga

 9th MXGP of Trentino, 26-points

 9th MX2 Championship Standings, 110-points

“I’m not a ‘hard-pack’ rider, but I tend to ride well here. I felt good on the bike all weekend and put in a really good ride in Race One after making a mistake. I really pushed and made it all the way up to fourth. So, I was happy with that. In the second one I had another good start but in turn one a few of us crashed and my bike got tangled with another rider. It took two laps to catch the pack, but I kept pushing and ended up in 13th. My speed is good, and I’m happy with my riding, so we’ll keep working ahead of Portugal.”

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Pro Motocross

The MX Vice SMX Review Show Episode #22 – Lars Lindstrom

HRC Boss talks about their amazing 2023 season



In 2023, MX Vice is running a regular SMX Review show, where we talk all things AMA, frequently with a star guest or pundit. This time Ben & Brad are joined by Honda HRC USA Team Manager Lars Lindstrom, talking about the red team’s amazing 2023 season, his time as Chad Reed’s mechanic, and his riders’ plans for the Motocross of Nations!

Images: HRC Honda

Lars (crouching with his arm on the front fender) has enjoyed a great year with his team in 2023

Massive thanks to Lars for joining us and we wish you and your team all the best for the rest of the year!

This podcast was recorded prior to the Washougal National, so apologies for the delay and for the few sound issues.  None of these were caused by Lars or his systems. Enjoy the podcast!

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Live Results – AMA Pro Motocross Round 6 – Southwick

Practice Times & Race Results from The Wick



The action is underway at Southwick for round six of the AMA Pro Motocross series. Will Jett Lawrence dominate again, and how will Hunter fare after his issues at RedBud?

Featured Image: HRC Honda

This page will have all of the results from The Wick. The results are posted in an easy-to-view fashion, with the latest results at the very top of the page. If you do not immediately see the most recent results, hit the refresh button in the top-right corner and then the issue should be rectified.

450 Updated Championship Classification

450 Overall Results

450 Moto Two

250 Updated Championship Classification

250 Overall Results

They said the sand might suit him! Tom Vialle takes his first overall win in the USA, and the 250 wildness continues through the pack as the red plate changes hands for the first time in either class this summer!

250 Moto 2

450 Moto 1

250 Moto 1

450 Consolation Race

Just for British fans, SC Sporthomes Husqvarna rider Charlie Putnam finished 19th in the Consolation Race after not making the cut in Qualifying.

250 Combined Qualifying Times

450 Combined Qualifying Times

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