Everyone who was anyone in 2014
JANUARY 2015 / MOTOCROSS ACTION 129
In the long run, no one remembers the rider who put in a gallant chase from 39th to second—because all that matters is who won.
The record books only list the champions, not the
riders with heart, bravery or bad luck. For example,
Ryan Hughes might well have won the 2001 AMA
125 National Championship, but the final race in
Troy, Ohio, was rained out and the title went to
Grant Langston. Langston went in the books and
Hughes did not.
And so it went in 2014 for Jeffrey Herlings. The
Dutch rider was well on his way to winning the
2014 FIM 250 World Championship. In fact, he
would have easily clinched the crown, his third in a
row, at the Czech Republic Grand Prix, except that
he broke his leg riding a minibike the week before.
Herlings sat at home and watched his previously
unassailable 184-point lead get whittled away by
Jordi Tixier. In desperation, Herlings showed up at
the final Grand Prix and tried to race with a barely
healed broken femur. He was brave; he was
determined; and, he was stupid. Though the pit
pundits say that Herlings’ brave ride in Mexico “will
be remembered forever,” we all know that isn’t true.
It is Tixier’s name that went into the record books.
Here are the champions of 2014—and the people
who chased them.