Jeffrey Herlings has elected to sit out his second GP in a row, and this one is hard for him to miss because it in the sand at Lommel. As the world’s greatest sand rider, Herlings is unbeatable at Lommel. But, his broken collarbone has not healed yet. His current 250 World Championship points lead has shrunk to 127 points over Jeremy Seewer, and will probably drop into the 80-point range after this week’s Lommel race. Not need to start sweating, because 80 points would stil lbe a massive lead with only four races left. Following 7 days after Lommel will be the Swiss GP in Frauenfeld—then there is a 14-day break until the Assen GP (an artificial sands track on a road race circuit) on August 28. Barriung infection in the plated collarbone, which Jeffrey had issues with in the past, he will probably be forced to wait until the MXGP series come to the USA on September 3 in Charlotte or September 11 in Glen Helen to clinch the crown (if he doesn’t have 100-point lead after Assen).
Meanwhile, KTM 250 teammate Pauls Jonass, currently third in 250 GP points (44 points ahead of fourth place Benoit Paturel) will also sit out Lommel because the lingering effects of a concussion he suffered in the Czech GP. Jonass has to worry about the fast-closing Dylan Ferrandis, who scored maximum points in the Czech Republic last week and is only 45 points behind Pauls.
Without the top two KTM factory riders in the 250 class, the KTM team will have to depend on Davy Pootjes, who has missed 7 of the first 13 races to injury. And has only scored points in three of the last six motos. Pootjes, once a heir apparent to Herlings in the 250 class, has been nursing an badly injured wrist and probably won’t be a threat in the rough Lommel sand.
KTM will also bring Jorge Prado up to race his first-ever 250 GP alongside Pootjes.