Herlings out until early February with troublesome ankle
MX2 World Champion Jeffrey Herlings has been forced to the sofa for the rest of this month after the stress fracture in his right ankle has not healed sufficiently. The 19 year old Red Bull KTM rider was due to join Team Manager Stefan Everts and team-mate Jordi Tixier in Spain for an intense programme of riding and practice but will now not clamber aboard the factory 250SX-F until the first weeks of February.
Herlings delayed his departure to Spain by one day for a medical check on his leg and after thorough examinations by sports specialist Dr Claes was advised to cease activity to let the affliction heal properly.
“The results were not so good and the muscle has been overworked,” commented Everts. “Jeffrey has been dealing with it for a couple of months but he didn’t listen to advice in December to take some hard time off. He kept saying it was fine and continued riding. Dr Claes now says it will be around three to four weeks.”
“Hopefully he is now at home on the sofa,” semi-joked the former ten times FIM World Champion. “For him it is hard to be doing nothing. In one way it shows that he is a hard worker but then also shows that he still doesn’t really know his body that well. Anyway this incident is a good lesson.”
Herlings will not only miss the Spanish rendezvous for the Red Bull KTM MX2 group but the rate of recovery could have a bearing on some pre-season race appearances. “He can be back at the beginning of February and that is enough time to be ready for Qatar,” opines Everts. “For the championship it is not a big stress yet because the season is so long with eighteen rounds. I hope he can be fully fit and ready to go.”
Herlings, a double MX2 world champion before he turned 19, won 15 of 17 Grands Prix in 2013, led ten times more laps than the next closest rider, held the red plate for every round and claimed 25 of the 34 motos. He is set to start his fifth season in the class and is widely expected to switch to the MXGP category in 2015.
Photo by Ray Archer