News 17 Feb 2016

Herlings responds to Townley take-out claims

Multi-time MX2 world champion defends himself following Everts' criticism.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings has dismissed claims that his pass on returning Kiwi Ben Townley was too aggressive at the Valence international last weekend.

Suzuki World MXGP’s Stefan Everts was critical of Herlings in the team’s post-race report, however Herlings has since taken to social media to deny his riding had any involvement with Townley’s reported knee injury.

Just to put some things straight, I did not take out Ben Townley last weekend in Valence as you can see in this video,” said Herlings. “I only out braked him, and did not even touch him. 
I know Ben very well, and he is a great athlete and ambassador for the sport.

“I know what it is to have injuries, I came back from two very bad injuries, a broken femur and a dislocated hip, so I would not clean somebody out and make him injured on purpose, I know this sport is already dangerous enough.”

Everts, a 10-time world champion, believes the move by Herlings on Townley was unnecessarily aggressive and is clearly disappointed in the Dutch rider.

“The pass on Ben by Herlings was unnecessarily aggressive,” said Everts. “It’s a pity to see that things like that happen as Ben hurt his knee. There are already so many injured riders and the season hasn’t even started yet.

“A little respect between riders is not misplaced. At the moment, we do not know how serious it is for Ben, but we will wait and hope for the best.”

The status of Townley still remains uncertain at this point as round one of the 2016 MXGP World Championship fast-approaches on 27 February in Qatar.