Herlings and Coldenhoff – 2023 Preparation

With the 2023 Season starting a little later than usual, in March in Argentina, I was surprised when I called two of the two riders from the MXGP class that they were already pushing hard in their preparation for the upcoming season.

Jeffrey Herlings and Glenn Coldenhoff have pushed aside the cold and wet weather of Europe to start their testing and training programs months before the season start and that is a sign of how serious they are taking the new season’s challenge.

Of course, Herlings, who had a complete 12 months away from racing due to a foot injury is back on the bike and trying to catch up on testing that he missed this year due to his injury. Motivation will never be a weak point of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s rider.

I am back on the bike a while now around a month,Herlings said. “We are doing a lot of testing, as I didn’t get to do that with the new bike this year. I could have done the last few races in September, but I wasn’t keen on doing that, missing an entire season and coming back for just one or two races, there wasn’t any point in doing that. I let the injury heal properly, or as well as it could. I had multiple surgeries, even though it was a clean break, they had to plate it and the first surgery in Belgium went wrong and that is why they had to do two more surgeries afterward, to get it as good as possible. The bone had healed, but it wasn’t in the right place. They had to scrape some bone off here and there to make the pain go away. Now, when I ride, I can still feel it, but it isn’t too bad. At the same time, they made another surgery on my right foot, the one I shattered four years ago, so that improved also that side a lot and is now really good, while the left heel is still a little sore when I am riding. Is not really painful but I can feel something in it.

As for Coldenhoff, despite finishing the 2022 season strongly, with a Grand Prix victory and a long list of top-three finishes, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP rider knows that to improve on his past seasons, he needs to be better prepared than ever before.

I took four weeks off after the season,” Coldenhoff said.I had a great holiday and really felt like I was ready to begin again. I started the training again, doing the boot camps already. The testing is going really well and as you probably heard, the new bike is really good. There are many positives with this bike, and I like it a lot more than the previous model; this week we do some physical tests and then next week more bootcamp in Spain, going into the mountains and do our gym work and cycling. I will come back before Christmas and do a little bit of riding. Take some time off for Christmas and then in January, we will start full-time riding. Our season starts a bit later, so we have a lot of time. As for pre-season races, I would like to do Hawkstone Park, because I really like that race. Most of the time it is muddy, but that is good for me and gives a good impression in the mud on the new bike and I really want to do that race. The rest we need to see what fits into our program.

So while a bunch of MXGP riders are still traveling on holidays and resting up, or in the case of Tim Gajser flying to Japan to meet and greet the HRC personnel, Herlings and Coldenhoff are working away in the cold of Holland, or the warmth of Spain, trying to capture that extra little bit to help them win Grand Prix’s, and maybe the World Championship.

 

Photo copyrights: Juan Pablo Acevedo

 

Author: 
Geoff Meyer

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