“In practice I got a good position for the gate pick. First race, I think I was third at the start and then moved into second. Romain Febvre (Kawasaki) was having a really good race and at one point I just decided to stay behind,” said Herlings (KTM).
“Running at a good pace and on good lines. I wanted to save energy, and also for my shoulder. As everyone knows, I broke my shoulder blade so it’s not really normal to ride a bike within 13-14 days after.
“I did not know if I was going to fade with my shoulder because the track was rough and demanding on your body, especially on your shoulders as well. At one point, I felt I could run at a faster pace and I managed to pass Romain and make a gap.
“Obviously, Romain went down and then it was just a walking part from there.
“Second race turned out good. At the start I was around 4th or 5th I believe and then me and (fellow Dutchman) Glenn Coldenhoff came together, he took my rear wheel and we both went down. We were both last, so it was a shame.
“Then I fought my way back to 5th place within 15 minutes I think but then I just faded. I did not want to make a big error and go down, I can’t even lift my arm up right now.
“I think it’s been a good day to go 1-5 because one week ago I thought the championship was game over. Now, obviously, I know I need to hunt the boys down, but 42 points is not too bad. There is still a lot of races to go, so there’s a lot of options.
“Right now it doesn’t feel a good decision for me to race (the Belgian GP at Lommel). I think I lost a championship five or six times due to injuries. I’m just like my trophy on the podium – I am made from glass.
“It’s pretty frustrating at times, but I think right now I am still in a good place. I don’t want to give up the championship so quick, so I think we’re still in a good place once again. We just have to keep fighting.”
What are Herlings’ thoughts of the Motocross of Nations being staged in the middle of the GP season?
“I don’t want to speak bad, but for the country like (what world championship leader) Tim Gajser is in, it’s hard for his team (Slovenia) to win and there are no GP points on offer. I would be like … ’why would I go?’
“But for team Holland, France, these are teams capable of winning – then there is a point to go.
“I don’t know if there is many riders will go (because it’s mid-season). If I was leading (the MXGP championship) and had a bad team I don’t know if I would line up. Luckily I have a strong team and hopefully with Holland we can fight for the top spots – I’m going to do it.”
Photo courtesy KTM Europe
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