The sensational news that FIM MX2 World Championship leader Jeffrey Herlings had broken his right collarbone last week at Halle in the Dutch Championship was met with disbelief in light of the Red Bull KTM rider’s poor luck with injury that saw both 2014 and 2015 titles slip out of his grasp.

Despite the unexpected setback to an outstanding season so far the 21-year-old has already undergone an operation to insert a new plate over the break and will decide next week whether to contest round 13 of 18 in the series at Loket for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic.

Herlings suffered a minor crash at Halle that re-broke the bone he fractured at the German Grand Prix last summer (from which he returned two weeks later to action at the Swedish fixture). The fresh damage was largely due to the condition of the bone that had been left weakened by the 2015 spill at Teutschenthal.


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“It was a strange high-side crash that was not particularly fast at all,” he described. “When I stood up I knew I had broken the collarbone but it was explained to me that it was because of last year. The bone was slightly fragile because it was bent after having the plate removed at the end of the season – which I had done to start strength exercises on my shoulder.”

The rider, who is unbeaten for GP wins this year, immediately had surgery to fix the problem and now has to consider the Czech fixture on July 23-24. “I have an appointment with the doctor next week and then we’ll make a decision,” he said exclusively. “I might have one or two days to ride so we will see – I’ve had more bad than good happen to me at Loket. I’m almost 170 points ahead so that’s nearly four races with just six left to go and I don’t want to rush and come back too quickly. Lommel is the following weekend and gives me one more week to ride.”

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Herlings does not have a particularly happy history on the Loket hard-pack. To counter his 2013 championship win at the venue he also dislocated his shoulder there during his first season in 2010 and then sustained a dislocated hip last year that ruined his ’15 bid and ended the campaign.

When asked if he was worried about the uncertainty over the predicament and the state of his race fitness Herlings was assertive that the ailment was not a serious issue in terms of affecting his quest for a third MX2 crown. “Last year I made stupid mistakes by pushing too hard and that won’t happen again,” he stressed. “I’ve had this injury before so I know how it feels. Normally a collarbone is not too long so I’m not too worried. It is not like a broken femur that ends a season.”

Destined for the MXGP class in 2017, Herlings is hoping to close a dominant 2016 chapter of his career in the remaining European rounds after Loket that venture to Belgium, Switzerland and Holland. He is 169 points ahead of Suzuki’s Jeremy Seewer and has won 23 from 24 motos this term. Round 14 will take place in the deep sand of Lommel and where Herlings is expected to rule comprehensively on the works 250SX-F.