MotoInterview – Jeffrey Herlings

Jeffrey Herlings dominated the MX2 class once again in 2016. The young dutchman won the world championship once again, for the third time. This season he will move with the big guys in MXGP and he accepted this interview for Wheelies.

Hi Jeffrey, it’s a big pleasure for us to talk with you. How’s going? How was your season and how would you rate it?
Last years season was good, and a beautiful year too look back at.
You are known as The Bullet. Who gave you this name?
A dutch commentator.
Why do you race with #84? Any reasons behind the use of this number?
It’s the first race number I ever got and my brother is born in 19″84″.
350 or 450 and why?
450. A little extra power is always welcome.
Would you ever try to race in AMA?
Maybe in the future I will do a race or something, but nothing is planned for the moment.
Who do you regard as your biggest rival?
Ken Roczen.
Jeffrey Herlings, Red Bull KTM, photo credits: Ray Archer
Can you explain for us a bit the differences between a MX2 bike and a MXGP bike?
A MXGP bike is faster then a MX2 bike.
What’s your pre-race ritual? Do you have any superstitions?
Not really anything special.
Given the chance to have a superpower for a day, what would you choose?
I’d love to be Superman.
Can you describe what’s like to be in the KTM family?
Very happy and great to be a part of the KTM Family as I am there already for such a long time as well it already feels like family for a long time and I feel blessed to be part of such an amazing team as the Red-Bull KTM Factory Team.
Any motocross heroes? Or motorsport heroes?
Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart.
If you were given the chance to meet someone famous that you haven’t met yet who would it be?
Justin Bieber.
Me and my mates from our blog call you The Herlings Show. Do you like our version of your name? 
Haha, sounds cool to me.
Bikes or girls?
Any favourite track to compete?
350 or 450?
Jeffrey Herlings, Red Bull KTM, photo credits: Ray Archer
Any hobbies besides motocross?
I like to cycle and spend time with friends.
Who do you regard as your biggest influence in your career?
I have many people who influance me in many different ways as riding, daily life, my fitness training, my food programme, financial things and so on. So I dont have one specific person.
Any piece of advice for young riders?
Never stop believing in yourself and always try to be the best you can be and try to achieve your goals.
A message for the Wheelies fans, please.
It was a pleasure to do this interview and keep up the good work.
Thanks a lot, Jeffrey and good luck for next year.
Thank you.
Photo credits: Ray Archer/ KTM Media Library

MotoInterview – Tim Gajser

2016 produced another shocking year in motocross. After Romain Febvre’s success in 2015, another rookie came along and won the MXGP title. His name? Tim Gajser. The young slovenian rider accepted this interview for Wheelies.


Hi Tim, how would you describe this season in your own words?

It was an amazing season I think every rider dreams about seasons like that, being 15 times on the podium out of 17 was amazing for a Rookie.


Did you expect before ’16 to be so fast? What were your objectives for the first year?

I came into the season without any big expectations because of being a Rookie so I was just there to learn and get experience but I would say it was one of the best years that I will never forget. I knew I was faster because we have pre-season testing and I had some good lap times and I felt comfortable on the bike but it is totally different going into the race as you have 30 other riders on the start line and they all ride differently on the track. I managed to put everything together and ride like I know, so it worked.


Which was your high point of 2016?

Definitely the first race was amazing for me when we surprised everyone with a double win in my first every race in the MXGP class.


And your low point, if there was any?

Lommel was bad for me when I finished 15th and then Assen when I DNF”d after I crashed and broke my front brake. Everyone has bad races but you just have to keep trying.


When did you ride a motocross bike for the very first time?

I was 2 1/2 years old and my dad sat me on the bike and showed me where the brakes and accelerator was and I started riding from there.


You won several championships when you were a kid. Can you name your biggest rival back in the days?

The riders are riders that I actually still race with now like Jeffrey Herlings 65/85 MX2 are Max Anstie – we are all growing together.


Any motocross heroes from the past? 

My hero is actually my dad but as a kid I was always watching motocross movies and AMA supercross /motorcross. Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath are also heroes of mine.


Hobbies besides motocross?

In the winter, I didn’t practise a lot on the bike as it was snow in Slovenia. I played football and ski and I was also successful in judo. But obviously, these were just during the winter when I was not able to ride the bike as much as I wanted to.


Do you have any superstitions before the gate drops?

I have many, I pray all the time and try to focus myself on riding and the start as a start is important in motocross.


Two strokes or four strokes and why?

I have to say 4 strokes because the last couple of years I have been on 4 strokes but I was European and jnr world champ on a 125. I would love to try a 2 stroke again if Honda made a 250 or 125 but the CRF 450R is such a powerful torquey bike that I get on well with it and it is really easy to ride.


Rumours had it that you have some sort of fear of heights, Is that true?

It is true! Not actually on the bike. We were building a house at home and I couldn’t work on the roof as I was afraid of it so I ended up working on the ground.


There was a video that went viral with you doing a low scrub. What’s the secret behind your technique?

It is hard to describe because I naturally do it. You have to be really quick and carry a lot of speed on the ramp to go so low.


What are your main objectives for 2017?

Be well all season and that Is important to me so that all the training and focus. Ride like I do in practise and you have to bring that to the race. When your practising on your own


Do you plan to race in the US in the near future as some suggest?

There were plans to race the Monster Energy Cup last year but I injured myself but providing my season goes well and I am invited again, I will ride there but at the moment my goal is the world championship so there are no plans to race in America.


Rhythm section or whoops?

Whoops! I train a lot on a supercross track back at home. My dad made me a track behind my house so that I’m able to practise and I have both these elements in the track. Whoops are a lot easier when they are freshly made but they are tricky when they get worn down so I have to refine my technique.

Any advice for the young kids starting to race motocross from Tim Gajser? What should they do in their training to become as successful as you are now?

You must be motivated and know if you are starting your dream of working in this sport that you must make a lot of sacrifices. I don’t do anything that normal people do such as drink or go out. The other important thing to remember is that you don’t always have highs in your career you have lows too so you should remember not to give up and don’t think about giving up. You don’t believe in yourself if you give up and you have too. Dreams can come true if you work hard and give it your best.


A final word for Wheelies (romanian) fans from you?

I just want to say thanks so much for the support and hello to all the fans in Romania and hopefully I will see you at the races this year.


photo credit: Honda Racing Corporation

Toni Bou câștigă etapa inaugarală de la Barcelona

Toni Bou s-a impus în prima etapă a campionatului mondial de trial indoor.

Palau sant Jordi din Barcelona era gazda debutului stagiunii din campionatul mondial de trial indoor. După zece titluri consecutive, Toni Bou pornea și în 2017 cu prima șansă.

Multiplul campion iberic a ținut să își etaleze forma dominantă și la Barcelona. Cu doar șase puncte de penalizare, Bou și-a asigurat victoria cu două probe înainte de final.

Etern secondant în era lui Toni Bou, Adam Raga a încheiat pe locul doi la Barcelona. Podiumul a fost completat de Jeroni Fajardo, cel care l-a învins după o probă suplimentară pe Albert Cabestany.

Clasamentul general coincide cu cel de la Barcelona. Prin urmare, Toni Bou e lider, cu 20 de puncte și este urmat de Adam Raga, cu 15 puncte și de Jeroni Fajardo și Albert Cabestany, cu 12 puncte, respectiv 9.

Următoarea etapă a campionatului mondial de trial indoor va avea loc pe 11 martie la Wiener Neustadt, în Austria.

SX Oakland: Eli Tomac reușește imposibilul

Eli Tomac s-a impus în etapa a cincea a campionatului mondial de Supercross.

După succesul de la Phoenix, Eli Tomac se părea că revenea în postura de pretendent pentru titlul mondial al clasei 450. Dificilul traseu de la Oakland avea însă să-i joace feste în calificări, el reușind doar al optulea cel mai rapid tur, în fața campionului și liderului de la general, Ryan Dungey.

Mai mult, sesiunea de calificări a produs o uriașă surpriză. Jason Anderson, pilotul echipei Husqvarna, a fost cel mai rapid pilot și a încheiat în pole position. Startul Main Eventului i-a adus holeshot-ul lui Vince Friese, dar imediat după, Ryan Dungey a preluat ștafeta de lider și se părea că va evada în frunte către o victorie sigură.

În spate, Eli Tomac recupera avansul pierdut după startul dezastruos și urca poziție după poziție. Davi Millsaps, Cole Seely, Jason Anderson și Cooper Webb au fost rând pe rând victimele americanului de la Kawasaki.

Cu aproximativ șapte minute rămase din Main Event, Tomac se regăsea pe poziția secundă la aproximativ cinci secunde în urma lui Ryan Dungey. Simțind că are în mână o victorie nesperată la începutul manșei, pilotul de la Kawasaki a jucat totul pe cartea ofensivă și tur după tur a tăiat din avantajul campionului de la KTM.

Ultimele trei minute se anunțau incendiare. Tomac și Dungey rulau roată la roată, iar nici unul nu dorea să cedeze în duelul lor. Cu toate acestea, campionul de la KTM a fost prins pe picior greșit, iar Eli Tomac a trecut fără prea mari eforturi în fruntea întrecerii din Oakland.

Finalul întrecerii a stat la discreția pilotului de la Kawasaki. Cu șefia asigurată el a continuat forcingul, în timp ce Ryan Dungey, în binecunoscuta sa constanță, a preferat să încetinească și să se mulțumească cu punctele aferente locului secund.

Eli Tomac a încheiat victorios pentru a doua etapă consecutivă. Ryan Dungey a încheiat pe locul secund, în timp ce, Cooper Webb a obținut primul podium din carieră la clasa mare. Campionul clasei 250 West l-a ținut în spatele său pe un Jason Anderson aflat pe val.

În clasamentul general, Ryan Dungey continuă să conducă. Campionul mondial en titre are 111 puncte, cu 17 mai multe decât învingătorul de astăzi, Eli Tomac. Podiumul acestei ierarhii este completat de Marvin Musquin, cu 86 de puncte.

Următoarea etapă a campionatului mondial de Supercross va avea loc la Arlington, pe 11 februarie.

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