News 14 Jun 2023

Neck injury sidelines Herlings ahead of Indonesian rounds

Fractured C5 vertebra discovered following Teutschenthal crash.

Image: Supplied.

Multiple MXGP world champion Jeffrey Herlings fractured the C5 vertebra in his neck at Teutschenthal, with Red Bull KTM announcing he will miss rounds 10 and 11 of the 2023 season in Indonesia.

The 28-year-old Dutchman crashed while leading the first moto of the Grand Prix of Germany, only to remount and complete the final laps in 20th place.

Pain and discomfort in his neck prompted an initial scan at the track, which revealed a potentially cracked C5 and then an MRI on Monday confirmed the injury.

Herlings, who has won four GPs and stood on 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. He’ll sit out Sumbawa and Lombok at the end of the month and into the beginning of July.

“It’s hard to find many words,” Herlings said. “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.”

It’s still Red Bull GasGas rider Jorge Prado who leads the world championship standings in commanding fashion after going 1-1 in Germany, an extensive 67 points ahead of Herlings, with Romain Febvre (Kawasaki Racing Team) a further 39 points back in third position.