Herlings on the new MXGP season

Jeffrey Herlings was very open and honest in the press conference about his return to racing being not ideal in pre-season and his plan for the 2023 MXGP season. This is what he had to say:

“It was an easy time (being off) because I didn’t have to do anything! No, actually it was tough at times to have to watch your competition, it wasn’t easy but we are back here again.

“I must say, it was a bit of a shock to go back into racing. I did a race in England and France. When you haven’t raced in a long time it’s something you have to get used to doing but I am glad I am back. It’s going to be a very long series, I’m going to build up throughout the year and try to make steps every week from now on.

“The second one wasn’t really good, I had barely rode the sand, I was in the south of Spain. That track, I hadn’t seen a track like that for a while honestly, it was like a real sand track. I had just been riding a bit on the beach in Spain. The riding wasn’t good and I had some problems with starts and whatever but to be honest, I just wasn’t fast enough, Romain and Glenn were faster.

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“Last weekend (France) was good. My bike set up for the hard track was definitely better, I felt good there. We did a lot of testing last week, because it was the first time I did a race in about 15 months at Hawkstone, so then I was like I want to change this, this and this. Because what was really good for training when I go racing, I wanted to go in a different direction.

“It was already way better last weekend but I am also realistic, I mean, the French riders on French tracks are good but it’s nothing like I need to compete against this weekend.

“I am here with a different goal. For sure the end goal is hopefully to win the championship and that is my ultimate goal but I know right now is not enough to win races. I just want to build up and get better every single week.

“I’ve had multiple setbacks in my career, (this one) is not as easy one, but for me it’s just about staying healthy and being at all the races.

“With 19/20 races and 60 motos, you can only lose the first few races there’s nothing you can really win, so like I said, be there throughout the year, learn the bike because for me this is a new bike, I haven’t raced for a year and not many guys raced it last year. So for me it’s fresh and new so we just keep working and see where we get eventually.”