Jeffrey Herlings wins 2012 Weston Beach Race
World MX2 champion Jeffrey Herlings claimed a debut victory in today's Weston Beach Race.
Dutch rider Herlings was first to see the chequered flag after a gruelling three-hour race over Weston-super-Mare's infamous dunes, while Shaun Simpson took second and Ken de Dycker third.
It was Belgian MX1 star de Dycker who set a blistering early pace on board his KTM 450, but a fall and extra fuel stops hindered his progress as Simpson took over at the front.
Simpson also failed to hold on to the lead and, like de Dycker, was also flung over the handlebars after making a poor choice of line through one of the circuit's many boggy sections.
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Simpson - he's the son of former Weston Beach Race winner Willie - had to make an extra pit stop to assess suspected radiator damage, which allowed Herlings to take over at the front.
Youngster Herlings proved uncatchable and, with only two pit stops in the entire three-hour race, he took the win on his first ever visit to the Weston-super-Mare track.
Nathan Watson crossed the line in fourth, and Brad Anderson was fifth.
Winner Herlings said: "I was surprised how well it went, as I paced myself in the beginning to save my energy.
"I was about 30 seconds back, but I cruised around and only had to do two pit stops for fuel, which helped. It was really something I liked to do, and it’s way different than riding normal motocross or GPs.
"I loved it, so maybe it’s something to do again in the future, and I definitely think everyone should have a go at racing it at least once in their lifetime.
"I didn’t expect to win the first time, so I’m quite surprised with the result. I had a couple of crashes, went through the fence really fast at one point.
"The straight was really cool, as you can get to over 100mph, which is an amazing feeling and I loved it.”
See This is Somerset tomorrow for more reaction and photos from the 2012 Weston Beach Race.
2012 WESTON BEACH RACE PICTURES