The 2018 MXGP World Champion Jeffrey Herlings made a late decision to attempt the Grand Prix in Sweden with a view towards extra race time and mileage as part of the recovery process from a fractured right ankle.
The Dutchman had been riding his KTM 450SX-F for a couple of weeks and made the call to use Uddevalla as a valuable chance for more conditioning.
Herlings earned a brilliant qualification heat victory on Saturday and then proceeded to lead most of the first MXGP moto until he tired with arm-pump and a small crash led to another rider hitting the prone KTM. He had to retire due to the damage.
In the second moto he found a more effective rhythm to take a solid fourth.
Standing Construct KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff continued his scorching run of form by going 1-2 in the motos with his 450 SX-F. It meant a third consecutive podium – and second victory – for the Dutchman.
“The problem was that I took the holeshot,” said Herlings. “Yesterday [on Saturday leading] was fine for 20 minutes but in the first moto I was really struggling with arm-pump.
“We made some changes to the bike to have the suspension a bit softer because I was not at my normal pace. I led for the first 20 and then couldn’t hold on so well and had a small tip-over. Another rider hit my bike and damaged it pretty bad so I couldn’t finish, which was a shame because I think I could have been fifth-sixth.
“In the second moto I didn’t get a holeshot: which was pretty good because I don’t feel comfortable leading yet. I was around eighth and worked my way up to fourth. Together with first yesterday it hasn’t been bad practice for less than two weeks on the bike.
“We can still work for a few more races until the ultimate goal in Assen.”
Just two rounds remain on the 2019 schedule and the penultimate meeting of the year will occur around the hard-pack of Afyonkarahisar for the Grand Prix of Turkey in two weeks time.
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