The latest Jeffrey Herlings update reveals the seriousness of his foot injury, the required lengthy layoff from motocross and putting AMA Pro Motocross on the table.
After undergoing another medical checkup today (Monday, March 11) Herlings gave an interview with NOS in the Netherlands that detailed how serious his foot injury is. “It was really badly broken, so bad it was the question whether it was going to be all right,” he told NOS.
“For me it is now the most important thing that it restores well because I want to use my foot for longer. That it will cost me a total of only three months,” he added.
Although he has declared himself happy with how the latest injury update went, it still means he’s out for many more weeks. It could be he’s not really fit until the MXGP of Portugal in Agueda on the weekend of May 18/19.
That date, for those of you that obsess about motocross will know, happens to be a significant weekend. But we’ll come back to that.
Herlings told NOS that he is recovering well from his broken foot but he will certainly be in recovery until the end of April.
“There is a big cross through that world title,” he said.
And he blames himself.
“It was my own fault, I fell and I can not blame anyone, people said I might have to train a bit less hard, but I kept going and sometimes that works well because last year that resulted in 17 victories in 19 races.”
“But now it is as if I have completely squeezed the orange and have thrown out another world title, which feels like failure – I am not proud of it.”
The Red Bull KTM Factory rider wouldn’t give a precise date for his return – NOS say that the best case is the fifth race of the season. And that kills any chance of an MXGP title in 2019. It also appears to kill The Bullet’s motivation.
“It is difficult to accept that I only participate in day [grand prix] successes and it will be difficult to motivate myself for races without a main goal [of the world championship].”
That circles us back to that date, May 18.
That’s the date the AMA Pro Motocross championship kicks into life with the Hangtown Motocross Classic at Rancho Cordova, California.
Is that a real possibility for the reigning world champion? It appears so. “That is indeed an option, I am certainly open to it, but only if I am completely fit again, can prepare well and be able to ride for the title.”
As I said before, it’s not just up to Herlings. His paymasters have to agree and it sounds like he and KTM are looking at that. “Next week we have talks with the team in Austria, which is one of the scenarios that will be discussed, but it is only later that we cut the knot,” said Herlings.
Jeffrey Herlings to the USA…it might just happen.