Get the real lowdown at the latest MXGP round from the only American media outlet with someone on the ground at every 2023 FIM World Motocross Championship event….
You reach 100 wins and normally you’d be delighted, and while Herlings made all the right faces, you know that 100 isn’t the goal whatsoever. 102 is goal. When he gets there, he’ll have overtaken Stefan Everts and that will give him truly immense satisfaction. You know how Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart have been so magnanimous about Eli Tomac passing them on the SX wins tally, well given the relationship Everts and Herlings have, don’t expect any sort of massive praise or compliments from either one about the other.
Toughest track in the world
Move aside Lommel, Riola Sardo has taken the crown as the toughest track in the world. Thankfully this year, the March temperatures were a lot kinder than years previously so that wasn’t an element that the riders had to deal with but this is still an absolutely brutal track to ride.
Ballache to get to
Getting on my plane on Monday morning, I noticed that Cagliari airport (the biggest on the island) only serves three airports outside of Italy. Which means that you’re going to have to connect flights. Or you can get the ferry, which costs about $1000 return, and takes eight hours. Make no mistake, its in Europe, but Sardinia is not an easy place to get for anyone.
New girls on the block
For a few years, the WMX class has become a bit stagnant. The racing at the front has usually been pretty exciting and the championship deciders have gone down to the wire more than once, its just the fights have usually been between the same riders. However, this year we really seem to have had a lot of new riders make big progress. Spanish rider Daniela Guillen took her first overall, 15-year-old Lotte van Drunen won the first moto and a sprinkling of other ladies are now mixing it up with the established stars like Courtney Duncan, Nancy van de Ven and Kiara Fontanesi.
Qualifying race points are really making a difference
Jorge Prado has 100 points, Herlings 93 and Renaux and Febvre 78. You take away the qualifying results and Herlings leads with 84, Prado 80, Renaux 70 and Febvre 66. As I mentioned after Argentina, Prado is loving these 20 minute sprint races, because he can holeshot and checkout. But for whatever reason he can’t put three motos together over a weekend. Herlings is only getting better, but he can’t afford to keep letting Prado get the freebie 10 points on Saturday, while the Factory Yamaha trio are really inconsistent right now, which is definitely not what they needed to be doing if they wanted to put pressure on Herlings who admitted he wouldn’t be coming out guns blazing and still has gone 2-1 overall.
Main image: KTM Images / Juan Pablo Acevedo