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Racer X Online, the sister company to MX Sports Pro Racing-the organizer of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, is reporting that Jeffrey Herlings has been assigned a number to race the 2017 Ironman MX, the final round of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. With the 2017 MXGP of USA next on the schedule for the 2017 Monster Energy FIM Motocross World Championship, the Red Bull KTM MXGP rider had plans to come to Florida early to ride with Aldon Baker’s crew in Florida and hinted at news that motocross fans will like in a social media post on Instagram that has since expired.
Herlings, a three-time world champion in the MX2/250 division, is currently competing in his rookie season of MXGP/450 class and is ranked second overall in the series standings. A hand injury in the early rounds of the 2017 season greatly impacted Herlings’ performance, but he found his form in the sands of Valkenswaard at the 2017 MXGP of Europe and has claimed eight moto wins since. A derailed chain in the second moto this past weekend at the 2017 MXGP of Sweden resulted in a DNF.
Herlings has attempted to race a round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship multiple times, but scheduling conflicts and injuries prevented him from lining up.
UPDATE 8/23: MX Sports has confirmed that Jeffrey Herlings will line up for the 2017 Ironman MX round of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in the 450 class. Herlings will pit alongside Marvin Musquin in the Red Bull KTM tent.
UPDATE 8/23 9:19 AM PST: MX Sports has released a second announcement regarding Jeffrey Herlings and the 2017 Ironman MX. An internal error mistakenly released a press release draft to a mailing list and Herlings HAS NOT CONFIRMED he will race this weekend’s event.
The press release reads in full below…
Due to an internal error while we were traveling to the Ironman National in Crawfordsville, Indiana, MX Sports Pro Racing mistakenly released a draft of a press release involving multi-time FIM World Champion Jeffrey Herlings’ possible participation in this weekend’s final round of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. Herlings has not actually entered the event and has only begun testing the bike he would have to ride, should he choose to participate in the AMA Pro Racing-sanctioned event; AMA Pro Racing and the FIM-sanctioned MXGP have different rules and regulations, and Herlings would not be able to use his usual race bike for this event.
“We totally jumped the starting gate on crafting a press release, and I take full responsibility for any confusion this may have caused,” said MX Sports Pro Racing’s Davey Coombs. “I apologize for the error and hope that Jeffrey enjoys his time here in America as he prepares for the main reason he and his team are here, which is next weekend’s MXGP of the USA in Florida.”
UPDATE 8/23 4:34 PM PST: Red Bull KTM has officially confirmed and announced that Jeffrey Herlings will race the 2017 Ironman MX. He will compete in the 450 class and pit alongside Marvin Musquin.
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team has confirmed today that multi-time FIM MX2 World Champion Jeffrey Herlings will compete in the final round of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship this Saturday, Aug. 26 in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
Herlings, who currently holds 2nd overall in the premier MXGP Championship, made the last-minute decision to race the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION on U.S. soil before heading to his regularly scheduled stop at the MXGP of the USA in Jacksonville, Florida one week later.
Herlings: "Since I was already coming to the U.S. to prepare for the hot and humid conditions that we're going to face in Florida, I thought it would be a fun opportunity to race against the best riders in America while I am already here. I'm looking forward to a fun weekend with the team."
Musquin, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's sole rider based under the U.S. tent, currently sits 3rd overall in the 450 Class championship standings as the season comes to a close. After battling a mid-season knee injury, Musquin came on strong in the latter half of the season to carry a six-moto win-streak into the penultimate round of racing. Musquin continues to strive for an additional 50 points this Saturday in Indiana.