Going for Gold: Jeffrey Herlings Interview Part I

The MX2 World Champion remains unbeaten in 2013. Redbull.com gets the inside line from the Dutchman.

MX2 2013 Jeffrey Herlings Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Jeffrey Herlings at Lierop© Ray Archer / Red Bull Content Pool

The 2013 Motocross World Championship is exactly one-third of the way through its 18-round calendar and defending MX2 champion Jeffrey Herlings is, incredibly, still yet to drop a single point.

The 18-year-old has won all six Grands Prix so far this year, finished first in all 12 races, and looks well on course to retain the crown he won in style last season.

After his most recent triumph in Portugal redbull.com caught up with Herlings to see how he felt about the prospect of achieving the feat of going a whole season unbeaten, his inspiration, and where he sees his future...

Jeffrey, we're a third of the way through the season and you've looked untouchable so far. You're still on course for the aim you set of going undefeated...
“Going undefeated has always been a dream, and after becoming World Champion last year and knowing that strong riders like Tommy Searle, Jeremy van Horebeek and Joel Roelants had moved up I was thinking about maybe going undefeated.

“Then I won the first two rounds with around a 30-second lead so I set myself a new target: trying to go undefeated. I knew it was like a 0.1% chance I could make it, but we're one-third of the way through the season now and I've won every single moto so it's getting closer and closer every time.

I hope to pull it off! It isn't going to be easy, there are still 11 GPs to go and I'll do my best.

“There are so many factors involved, like if you get a mud GP then things can happen that are out of the ordinary. Everything has been quite normal so far. There's always the chance of a DNF, if the bike has a problem for some reason, then it's over, but as long as the bike stays in one piece then I'm quite convinced I can pull it off.”

What's been the sweetest win for you so far in 2013?
“I think Valkenswaard. It was my home GP, I had two really bad starts from 40th gate pick, so I started each race almost last and had to work my way to the front to win twice, and with all the Dutch fans it was a really cool one.”

Growing up, who were the idols you wanted to emulate?
“I've always looked up to Ricky Carmichael. The guy was a machine back in the day! Also Stefan Everts, who's now my team boss! When I was 10 years old I went to watch my first GP and Stefan was winning, and you're always supporting the winner at that age! You always want to be just like him. I was always looking up to him.

If I could pick a side though I'd still go for Ricky Carmichael because he had a riding style I really liked; wild, aggressive, he really hung it out.

“Stefan was quite correct and always standing on the pegs, and didn't do anything silly!”

Read part two of the interview on redbull.com on Tuesday.