When we are just few hours from the start of the first big event of the season, the news of the absence of Jeffrey Herlings named in the paddock of the first round of the Internazionali d’Italia MX SDV series.

The Dutch KTM factory rider, suffered the stretching of a wrist tendon during the training period in Sardinia. Back in Holland to make some check it has been advised by the doctors to rest, as a precaution.

With these three race victories, Jeffrey Herlings repeats his result from the Hawkstone International MX last weekend in the UK to close off a very solid pre-season race practice.

Team Manager Joel Smets said Valence completed the factory team’s race practice before the start of the world championship season, although there would be more testing in Belgium before the opening round. “Jeffrey is riding well and is very motivated and we couldn’t wish for a better end of our pre- season race preparation. I’m satisfied, so is he, and so are all the crew. He’s now able to stay calm and learn from his mistakes and I believe this has made him a very complete rider.”

Herlings’ maturity was well illustrated in the way he tackled the final Open class race at Valence. Although the MX1 riders had the obvious advantage over the smaller bikes, he got away well at the start and was running in fourth place. Herlings then rode a clever and concentrated race to gradually close down the gap to the leading MX1 riders and moved into second place in the final stage of the race, behind KTM-supported rider Shaun Simpson. He made the pass into the lead with two laps to go and carried it to the finish to wrap up a very successful day’s racing.

Results MX2 Motocross International Valence 2016
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (1-1)

2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Suzuki (2-3)
3. Max Anstie (GBR), Husqvarna (3-2)
4. Alexandr Tonkov (RUS), Yamaha (4-6)
5. Benoit Paturel (FRA), Yamaha (5-7)Results Open (MX1+MX2) Motocross International Valence 2016
1. Herlings, 23:39.836 min (MX2)

2. Shaun Simpson (GBR), KTM, +2.456 sec (MX1)
3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL), Suzuki, +50.967 (MX1)
4. Milko Potisek (FRA), Yamaha, +52.345 (MX1)
5. Tonkov, +53.336 (MX2)

Jeffrey Herlings of the Red Bull KTM Factory Team was unbeatable in the international race in Hawkstone Park. Herlings underlined that he is back in the business of winning races in these pre-season events and after two MX2 moto victories also went on to win the Superfinal to put his KTM 250 SX-F well ahead of the bigger 450 racing bikes. British rider Shaun Simpson, a fully supported KTM rider, was second to Herlings in the Superfinal.

KTM MX2 Team Manager Dirk Gruebel: “Jeffrey went really well today and had two convincing wins in the MX2 class. He was also impressive in the Superfinal and finished ahead of the 450s by about seven seconds. Davy also rode well in the first race and had a good battle with Ben Watson but in the second race he got stuck behind Jeremy Seewer and finished 4th. Today was very tough. It rained in the morning and it was muddy and it was also very hard on the bikes.”

Herlings’ victory in the MX2 and his impressive win in the Superfinal shows he has worked hard to prepare for the 2016 season after being sidelined through injury in 2015. Pootjes came away with a 2-4 moto result to be second overall in the MX2 class.While Coldenhoff will race in the final round in Italy next weekend, Herlings and Pootjes plan to compete next weekend at the Valence International MX in France to continue their pre-season race warm-up ahead of the first round of the 2016 MXGP and MX2 World Championship.

Next Race: February 13-14, 2016 Motocross Int. Valence (FRA)

Results MX2 Hawkstone International MX 2016
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM (1-1)
2. Davy Pootjes (NED), KTM (2-4)
3. Max Anstie (GBR), Husqvarna (5-2)
4. Ben Watson (GBR), Husqvarna (3-5)
5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Suzuki, (7-3)

Results Superfinal Hawkstone International MX 2016
1. Herlings, 30:14.605 min
2. Shaun Simpson (GBR), KTM, +7.404 sec
3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL), Suzuki, +10.551
4. Clement Desalle (BEL), Kawasaki, +53.769
5. Watson, +1:15.902 min

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings made an impressive return to the MX2 track on Sunday in the opening round of the Italian International Motocross Championship at Alghero in Sardinia, a series that serves as a warm-up to the MXGP World Championship.

The Dutch rider took a dominant victory in the MX2 class then went finish fourth in the combined Elite Class, the only MX2 rider in the top 12 finishers. In his MX2 race he crossed the line an impressive one minute 20 second ahead of second placed Michele Cervellin. Beset by injuries in the past two seasons that prevented him defending his two MX2 world titles, Herlings has been working hard on his preparation and rehabilitation.

Herlings said it had definitely been a good weekend. “It was disappointing over the past two years because of the injuries so now we are just trying to get back what belongs to us and that’s the championship. We’ve had some good preparation and I’m looking forward to Qatar (the opening round of the 2016 world championship) and some more preparation. The bike is doing good, we’ve had two good weeks of testing with the team and everything is looking really positive.”

Speaking about his race day Herlings said the track at Alghero suited him well, even though it wasn’t the deep sand that is his usual natural habitat. “I enjoyed the track a lot but it wasn’t so easy with the 250 because there was only one line and it was difficult to pass. But the practice was good,” he added. Herlings races next week at the Hawkstone Park International, another one of his favorite venues and where he has many British fans.

Round One (of three)
at Alghero, Sardinia

MX2 Race
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM, 29 minutes 25.557
2. Michele Cervellin (NED), Honda, 30:45.138
3. Max Anstie (GBR), Husqvarna, 30:45.543
4. Karel Kutsar (EST), KTM, 31:08.070
5. Alvin Ostlund (SWE), Yamaha, 31:19.937

MX2 Championship points after round one
1. Herlings 120

2. Cervellin 100
3. Anstie 80
4. Kutsar 65
5. Ostlund

Former two time world champion Jeffrey Herlings got the green light from his doctor this week to start riding again. Herlings dislocated his hip at the Grand Prix in the Czech Republic and broke his pelvis as well.

It took him four months to recover from these injuries but this week the good news came from his doctor that he is fit enough to start riding again.

Herlings has to take it easy in the first couple of weeks and started with some enduro riding on Tuesday. The plan is to ride on Thursday and Saturday as well this week. In the beginning of December he will travel to Spain to start his preparation for the upcoming season.

Herlings has three months to be fit for the first Grand Prix of the season in Qatar. Last year he only had 2,5 weeks so things are looking much more positive for the Bullit!

KTM Racing has announced that Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings is currently undergoing follow-up treatment on the leg fracture he sustained during the second half of the 2014 MX2 World Championship. Following his accident, surgeons stabilized Jeffrey’s broken femur with metal plates and screws and his treatment involves the removal if these metal elements.

Jeffrey has already had seven weeks of therapy and physical preparation under the expert guidance of the Red Bull Training Center in Austria. He will take a short respite from training for a couple of days after the surgery and then return to his preparation for the 2015 season.

Pit Beirer, Head of KTM Motorsport said Jeffrey’s follow-up treatment was an important step to him being completely well and back on his KTM 250 SX-F factory bike.

“The removal of the metal from Jeffrey’s leg means he is one step closer to being able to resume his training and prepare for the coming season,” Beirer said. “Jeffrey is a fighter and a winner and we look forward to seeing him back on the bike as soon as he gets the green light from his doctors.”
Jeffrey Herlings: “Having the metal taken from my leg is another important step in my recovery process and I’m really looking forward to being back on my bike for some solid track time ahead of the start of the season.”

Herlings, a Red Bull athlete and already a double MX2 World Champion, was the outstanding MX2 rider in 2014 and had won 12 of the first 13 GPs on the calendar. He was just five points away from securing the title at the time of his accident.

His 2014 season will be remembered for his outstanding performance and consistent winning results on the KTM 250 SX-F, and for his heroic attempt to capture the handful of points needed to win the championship by returning injured to ride in the final round in Mexico.