Jeffrey Herlings went on to take third in race two behind US national champion Cooper Webb, which gave the overall win to Webb. American Austin Forkner was overall third.
On his way to the title, Herlings won the first twelve rounds on his KTM 250 SX-F, dropping only three possible points with a second place in the opening moto in Italy. He then sat out three rounds (Czech Republic, Belgium and Switzerland) to heal a broken collarbone. He bounced back at the next round at home in Assen for another GP win, and on the start of race one at Charlotte he knew he only had to finish in front of closest rival Jeremy Seewer to take the title.
Herlings: “I am super, super happy, especially after everything we’ve been going through with a broken femur, a dislocated hip, two broken collarbones and almost losing my little finger. It’s number three and hopefully many more to come. The two strongest guys from America Webb and Forkner were here. Webb is the national champion and I beat him straight up in the first race and then he beat me in the second. I think the competition is stronger in the US, but we won the championship and that’s what it’s all about. I like the track at Glen Helen and it should be better than this track. Like always, we will do our best to make it happen.”
Herlings two MX2 factory teammates Pauls Jonass and Davy Pootjes are both recovering from injury were not with the team in the USA. It was a tough two races for the fourth member, 15 year old Jorge Prado of Spain, new to the MX2 factory lineup, and who took a podium third last week in Assen. He finished 19th overall with a 17-19 moto result.
The races at the man-made track in Charlotte were difficult for several reasons for the European riders. Qualification was washed out completely on Friday and they only had a free practice and a timed practice to learn the circuit. Added to this, the races were on Saturday night under lights. For riders and teams struggling to adjust to a six-hour time difference, this meant opening motos were run at 23.00 and midnight, and the second motos at 02.00 and 03.10 hours Central European Time.
Joël Smets (Motocross Sport Director): “You could feel the tension in the whole team in the last two GPs because what has happened in the past, so it’s quite normal that everyone is very emotional when the title in finally in the pocket. Regarding Jorge, we were all hopeful after Assen but we didn’t expect a podium. His own goal was to finish top ten. We do have to be realistic because he’s only 15 and we can’t expect miracles. Our boys are all talented and overall we have a good package, and for next weekend in Glen Helen we expect Jeffrey to do well and Jorge to improve.”
Results MX2 Charlotte Motor Speedway 2016
1. Cooper Webb (USA), Yamaha (2-1)
2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (1-3)
3. Austin Forkner (USA), Kawasaki (3-2)
4. Thomas Covington (USA), Husqvarna (4-4)
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED), KTM (5-8)
10. Brian Bogers (NED), KTM (8-10)
19. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP), KTM (17-19)
DNS Pauls Jonass (LAT), KTM
DNS Davy Pootjes (NED), KTM
Standings MX2 2016 after 17 of 18 rounds
1. Herlings, 689 points (MX2 World Champion 2016)
2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Suzuki, 595
3. Benoit Paturel (FRA), Yamaha, 485
4. Max Anstie (GBR), Husqvarna, 473
5. Jonass, 403
7. Bogers, 372
21. Pootjes, 94