Smets on Herlings plus Prado and Adamo
We caught up with the popular Joel Smets at the MXoN to talk about the 2023 MXGP season, a season that saw two of the riders he trains become world champions in 2023 with Jorge Prado in MXGP and Andrea Adamo in MX2, this is what he had to saw on both riders as well as Jeffrey Herlings…
To be honest, I don’t understand (how he comes back from the injuries) myself. I was a tough guy back in the day, but I’m happy I never had that many injuries. I had injuries just like everybody had but not as many as Jeffery luckily. I’ve really got respect for how he comes back but also he keeps on getting hurt as well. From the team side, there is not so much you can do.
You know the boy is putting the work in but at some stage, we have to accept that at some stage he judges certain situations a bit wrong which keeps him getting him hurt. That’s a bit sad for us because we know when he is fit, he is still the fastest kid on the planet as he has proven at times this year.
Jeffrey has been getting injured all his career, you could say one or two injuries could eventually be bad luck but the way he has been getting injured, yeah, I would not be honest if I would say that’s bad luck, then I wouldn’t believe myself, that’s not just bad luck. Then you have to analyze what you are doing and try to do things better.
The physical preparation is not the secret, all these guys out here work hard. At some stage in the races, the mental strength is going to command the physical strength and is going to take over. I think we would all be surprised how strong the head can be. Of course, Jorge was very ready physically. Don’t forget he is only 22, his body is still developing, his body is not fully grown I would say. Jorge Prado is only, for me is still not at 100% of his potential, Jorge will still be growing the next few years and that is nice to look forward.
It’s not that we made big changes to his physical preparation, but I have made him feel, and that’s my part in the whole project, I have made him feel comfortable and believe in his potential, I think that is my part and he has shown it on the track.
I have to be honest, I would be lying if I said I could see this coming in the winter, no I couldn’t. Our goal was to be consistent top five and fight for podiums and to see where we would end up if we could fight for a podium finish by the end of the season. This was a little bit the same story with Jorge Prado, step by step, he started believing more and more. Okay, we worked on his technical skills, that’s a difference with Jorge, Jorge technically, I think everyone agrees, is such a nice and smooth riding style. I didn’t have to add anything, I could never ride like he did!
But with Andrea, we took one step back to go two steps forward and that really worked really well. He worked on his technical skills in the winter and then slowly, step by step, he really started believing more and more in his potential because of that whole structure I am trying to create around him. But that it was going to turn our how it was going to turn out? I could not predict!
Get the full interview here:
Article: Jonathan McCready