Inside the Herlings Camp

When news came out that defending MXGP Champion Jeffrey Herlings had been involved in an accident training in Spain, the whole motocross world went into overdrive. Rumors came from every corner, his time out of racing was unknown, and it seemed every person I talked to had a different answer from some insider. We caught up with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager Dirk Grübel and Red Bull KTM Trainer Joel Smets, who told us what Jeffrey thinks the outcome will be and what to expect in the coming six weeks.

“The surgery is done,” Dirk Grübel said. “Everything is in place, but we just need to wait and see how the healing process is, like when he is going to heal up. I mean before he has surprised us many times. With other injuries, some said he won’t be back for three months and he comes back after two months, or his collarbone injury, we wondered if he could ride, and he wins the GP. That is typical Jeffrey, but hard to make a prediction.”

Five-time Motocross World Champion Joel Smets, who also helps train Herlings, was in Spain at the time of the accident, and travelled back to Holland with the Dutchman where the operation was performed.

"Where does he have to go with his energy at home on the couch,” Smets said. “Can you imagine, he is used to riding with his body every day, and now he is bored and thinking of everything? Jeffrey has of course counted for himself that he will not be recovered for the first Grand Prix."

So the question still remains, when will the four time World champion be back? For now though, while the rest of the MXGP competitors line up for the pre-season races, all Herlings can do is sit and watch, wonder how his rivals will progress, and wait to come back in another Houdini act to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat.

Photo Copyright: Ray Archer

Author: 
Geoff Meyer

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