Jordi Tixier is within touching distance of the red plate in the 2014 MX2 FIM Motocross World Championship and has increased pressure on team-mate Jeffrey Herlings to make a potentially risky return from a broken femur in time for the final Grand Prix of the season in Mexico next month.

With his victory in Czech Republic (first ever) and moto win and second place overall in Belgium the Frenchman has narrowed the gap to the absent Herlings from 145 to 57 points with a maximum of 100 left to win in the remaining two fixtures of the year in Brazil and Leon, Mexico.

Despite his excellent progress in Herlings’ absence and answering critic’s suggestions that he cannot face the pressure or spotlight of being team leader, Tixier admits his feelings on the title – that so convincingly looked to be Herlings until his injury at the Everts and Friends Charity race last month – are mixed.

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“Everything is possible but I am not thinking too much about the championship because if I do then it is too much pressure,” he said. “If I do think about it then it is really sad to win it like this because he is my team-mate and we have a good relationship and a lot of fun…but this is the sport and people can get injured. I’m sorry for that, but hopefully this is going to be my time and we will see what happens in Mexico.”

Tixier has accrued 40, 40, 43 and 45 points in the last four Grands Prix and is now favourite for the 2014 crown that can only be clinched by one of the two Red Bull KTM athletes. KTM have been champions in the MX2 category since 2008 with four different riders.

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