The Latest Injury
Injuries are nothing new to this Dutch professional. In 2014 he couldn’t compete in Brazil due to a shoulder injury. Later that year he fractured his femur in Belgium. It was earlier this year that he injured his foot in an accident during training in Spain that kept him out of the loop for seven rounds of the championship. This caused a significant setback in KTM’s plans for the young star. 2018 was a brilliant year. Herlings had 33 moto victories, he won 17 GP’s and had a total of 19 podiums. He was heading for his first title, but then the injury happened in January, taking him out of the race and into a cast.
Uncertainty Regarding His Future
After this injury, there was for a short moment some doubt whether Herlings will remain in Europe for KTM. The alternative was to move over to the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. In March it was confirmed that the Red Bull KTM rider would remain in Europe. Later that month, physical training for Herlings increased, and it was announced that he would possibly be back on his bike in late April. After already missing out on the opening round in Argentina, it was clear that he will also not be at the Grand Prix in Holland, Britain and Italy. He remained positive about his recovery. He was eager to get back and gave his all during training, but due to the complexity of the operation to his foot, he was hesitant to pushing too hard too fast and create another setback in his season.
Return for MXGP Russia
All the training and rehabilitation finally delivered results. Herling announced this week that he will be part of the MXGP in Russia and is already for three weeks back on his bike. He competed in the Dutch Masters last week at Rhenen and didn’t only win his first moto, but also came in third overall. In Austria he raced in the ADAC MX Masters came in just behind Jeremy Seewer in second place.
Herlings stated he felt that he could handle a high speed on his bike, but certain aspects still created issues for him. This meant that he had to change his thinking when going to Russia. Always committed to winning and glad to be back with his KTM team, he stated that any place between 5th and 10th would make him happy for now. He also mentioned that the more sandy terrain of Latvia would probably mean that he would have to rethink his strategy while keeping the situation with his foot in mind.
Although for now, it seems that his 84 GP wins will remain at that number for a little longer, he is keen on delivering a second half of the season which will equal his performance during last season. With his determination and KTM’s support, he will probably do just that. For now, he might be just hanging in the back but expect to see this young champion on podiums again soon.