Several years ago, when Jeffrey Herlings—the dominant MX2 rider in the FIM Motocross World Championship—was simply demolishing Europe, he decided he wanted to come to America and race. The Dutch prodigy did not want to move here; he simply wanted to enter a round of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and show the unknowing Yanks that he, and not Eli Tomac or former MX2 world champs and European imports Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin, was the best 250F rider in the world. Herlings may have had a point, but just before the scheduled showdown at Unadilla, he broke his femur riding a charity minicycle race. His U.S. adventure would have to wait.
Before leaving MX2 (our 250 Class), Herlings would accumulate a mind-boggling 60-plus MX2 wins before moving up to the premier MXGP (450) class this season, but he never got the chance to race a national against Tomac, Musquin, Roczen, and friends. And even when he raced the U.S. Grand Prix events here, he was either mostly out there by himself due to a lack of AMA-based rider interest, or he simply got beat (i.e. Cooper Webb at the one-and-done Charlotte MXGP last fall). But the kid called Bullet by an adoring European press never forgot jumping into a race in America, and it would have to be an outdoor national, because supercross is simply not his game.