The Red Bull KTM team continued their winning ways in the FIM MX2 World Championship thanks to Jordi Tixier owning the Grand Prix of Czech Republic last weekend. The Frenchman is 102 points behind team-mate Jeffrey Herlings with a maximum of 150 still left to grab in Belgium, Brazil and Mexico. Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna’s Romain Febvre is 141 points away in third place.
According to KTM race team staff Herlings is keeping a close watch on the results sheets and is counting the hours and days in his slow recovery from a fractured left femur bone to see if he can return to the saddle of the 250SX-F before the end of the season and confirm the third title that he richly deserves. The Grand Prix of Mexico is the final round of seventeen and will take place on September 14th, one week after the second Brazilian meeting of 2014.
“We have talked to different doctors and they have all said that if everything goes well and there is no inflammation, infection or whatever then after six weeks he should be able to start training again,” commented Technical Co-ordinator Dirk Gruebel. “Brazil is too optimistic in my opinion but Mexico is possible although I don’t know how many MX2 riders will show up there anyhow so there he could score valuable points if necessary. He is going to look how things go in Lommel this weekend and then make a plan.”
The German technician is one of the main heartbeats of the factory squad that has ruled the MX2 division since 2008 and MX1/MXGP since 2010. He spoke of the blow that Herlings’ accident at the Everts and Friends Charity race caused last Monday. “Nobody really believed it until we heard from his Mum and Ruben [training mechanic] and then it settled in,” he said. “It was a big shock, especially for Rami [Falt, Herlings’ race mechanic] who has worked so hard all year – as have we all – for that goal. It was a massive disappointment but it could have happened during practice or training. It has been a strange feeling.”
Even though the status quo hasn’t really shifted in terms of their normal day-to-day work, the team are in the odd position of trying to support one of their riders against the other as Tixier’s unexpected push for Herlings’ title began in decent form at Loket last Sunday. “We are completely neutral,” remarked Gruebel. “If he [Tixier] starts to win every race then he has the chance to wrap it up. It is up to him. He has the same machinery and we support him 100% like we have done all year and there is no difference.”
The new circuit in Leon, Mexico could be the site of a tense championship decider.