Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings delivered a strong message to the critics and his fellow competitors on Saturday on the Losail night circuit in Qatar when he closed out the first round of the 2015 MX2 World Championship with a double moto victory.
It was a great performance by Jeffrey Herlings who has only had two weeks back on the bike after almost six months of injury layoff with a broken femur. Judging by his emotions at the finish, Herlings may have even surprised himself on his first time out for 2015.
“It was pretty amazing,” Herlings said. The Red Bull athlete added: “We have had a tough time both mentally and physically because of the injury. I didn’t expect to win here and this was something really special. I’ll remember it for a long time. Now I hope to keep up this rhythm and if I can put the bike on the podium again next week I am already happy.”
The Dutch racer opened his 2015 account in the MX2 class with a strong first moto and was in the forefront of the action right from the gate drop. He engaged in a tough battle with early race leader Dylan Ferrandis, tucked in behind him and made his move in the fourteenth lap, slipping into the lead after setting the fastest lap. He also got away well in the second moto, again with Ferrandis as his biggest challenger at the start. But by lap three he was out in front by two seconds and never looked back, cutting his way through the gnarly track at the Losail circuit in a style reminiscent of his dominant performances in the first half of 2014.
Results MX2 Qatar
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (1-1)
2. Julien Lieber (BEL), Yamaha (3-2)
3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA), Kawasaki (2-5)
4. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda (4-7)
5. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS), Husqvarna (10-3)
Standings MX2 after 1 of 18 rounds
1. Herlings, 50 points
2. Lieber, 42
3. Ferrandis, 38
4. Gajser, 32
5. Tonkov, 31