Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings will miss rounds ten and eleven of the current 2023 MXGP campaign to allow a fractured C5 vertebrae to heal.
The 28-year-old Dutchman crashed while leading the first moto of the Grand Prix of Germany in Teutschenthal. Herlings was able to remount and complete the final laps of the race, scoring one point for 20th place, but felt pain and discomfort in his neck. An initial scan at the track revealed a potentially cracked C5 and an MRI on Monday confirmed the injury.
Herlings, who has won four Grands Prix and walked the MXGP podium six times with the KTM 450 SX-F this season while in firm contention for a sixth world title, fortunately does not require surgery to repair the fracture but will need to rest and recover. The convalescence means he’ll sit out Grands Prix in Sumbawa and Lombok at the end of the month and into the beginning of July.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing hope for a speedy return to full fitness for their star and will focus fully on their MX2 program with Andrea Adamo holding the red plate and Liam Everts still fresh after his maiden career victory in Germany.
Jeffrey Herlings: “It’s hard to find many words. It sums up my career in a way: we get the wins record but then suffer another injury and another setback. I still don’t know what really happened with the crash because I’d been using that line nicely in the moto until that point. Afterwards my neck didn’t feel right. I tried to finish and take what points I could but I know my body very well by now and could feel something was wrong. So, we’ll miss another two GPs at least but I’m glad I won’t need surgery and I hope to be back with my team and racing again as soon as I can. Thanks, as always, to Red Bull KTM and all the guys who have been in my corner and for all the messages of support.”