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Jeffrey Herlings | Neck Injury Update

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INSTAGRAM | @jeffrey_herlings84
2020 MXGP OF CITTA DI FAENZA-ITALY | COMPLETE COVERAGE

PHOTOS | KTM

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 23 | It’s been a quiet two weeks since the last update from Jeffrey Herlings and Red Bull KTM,  but on Wednesday the rider shared the extent of the injuries he suffered in a practice crash at the Italian MXGP race and the impact it’s had on him.

“I can not describe how devastated it was being there on the ground temporarily paralyzed and not having any feeling from my neck down for minimum half an hour. Eventually I ended up breaking my C1, C6 and T3,” Herlings said in an Instagram post. “Doctors told me I got through the eye of the needle with not ending up paralyzed. From the good side, I got 3 stable fractures with only small cracks in the bones and the healing process wont be too long luckely and doctors say I will get a full recovery from this injury.”

“I was feeling I was more then 100% in control this season, accepting a 2nd place and felt more in control of the championship then ever. I feel like that I messed up for the 2nd season in a row, even I have the feeling there was nothing I can blame myself for, for this crash,” he explained of the lost title opportunity. ” I am sorry to all my sponsors and partners and fans for once again not being able to deliver a championship to them. And most of all I would like to thank my entire KTM team and crew for there patience and there constant support towards me and there support through thick and thin. It’s been a very though last 2 seasons but I know I still got plenty to offer in this sport.”

It’s still too early for Herlings to say when he’ll return to action, but he confirmed that he will sit out the upcoming trio of rounds in Mantova, which starts this Sunday at the 2020 MXGP of Lombardia. “For the moment the team and I have decided to sit out the next race in Mantova and look from there when exactly we will return to racing. I believe to become back healthy is the most important for now. Once again thanks to my team and partners for there great support. I will work hard to become back healthy again as soon as possible.”


 

 
 
 
 
 
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It’s been pritty quiet around me lately and I am sorry for not giving a update to my fans since my crash. I can not describe how devastated it was being there on the ground temporarily paralyzed and not having any feeling from my neck down for minimum half an hour. Eventually I ended up braking my C1, C6 and T3. Doctors told me I got through the eye of the needle with not ending up paralyzed. From the good side, I got 3 stable fractures with only small cracks in the bones and the healing process wont be too long luckely and doctors say I will get a full recovery from this injury. I was feeling I was more then 100% in control this season, accepting a 2nd place and felt more in control of the championship then ever. I feel like that I messed up for the 2nd season in a row, even I have the feeling there was nothing I can blame myself for, for this crash. I am sorry to all my sponsors and partners and fans for once again not being able to deliver a championship to them. And most of all I would like to thank my entire KTM team and crew for there patience and there constant support towards me and there support through thick and thin. It’s been a very though last 2 seasons but I know I still got plenty to offer in this sport. For the moment the team and I have decided to sit out the next race in Mantova and look from there when exactly we will return to racing. I believe to become back healthy is the most important for now. Once again thanks to my team and partners for there great support. I will work hard to become back healthy again as soon as possible. @ktmfactoryracing @redbull @jumbo @oakleymotorsports @giampishow @milwaukeetool @hennekenskay @knmv_motorbond @dodgeram.nl @debrug.eu @iamspecialized @autoridderhof #Josmaas

A post shared by Jeffrey Herlings (@jeffrey_herlings84) on


 

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 10 | The Red Bull KTM MXGP has confirmed that Jeffrey Herlings will miss the next four rounds of the 2020 Monster Energy FIM Motocross World Championship due to his crash at the 2020 MXGP of Citta di Faenza-Italy, which includes the last of the three races at the Italian circuit this Sunday and the upcoming triple-header that will run on September 27-September 30-October 4 at Mantova (MXGP of Lombardia, MXGP of Citta di Mantova, MXGP of Europe). The team has also said that Herlings already returned to Belgium for another MRI, that doctors will continue to monitor his upper body as it recovers from the hard crash, and that he will have another scan on September 29 to see the progress.

“While it was a scary crash we have to be thankful that Jeffrey was not badly hurt. The first scans are positive when you consider the injuries he could have picked up,” Dirk Gruebel, Team Manager and Technical Co-Ordinator, said of situation. “He is a really tough guy and has been through this process before. It is frustrating because of the good work he’d done in the championship standings but it is the negative part of the sport we have to accept. Hopefully the scan in a few weeks will show his recovery is going in the right direction. All the team will miss him until he’s back on the bike and doing what he does best.”

Although Herlings is still at the top of the point standings, his upcoming absence will almost certainly put the championship out of reach in 2020, as there are 12 total rounds still on the schedule for 2020 (most likely 11 since the trip to Argentina is still TBA).

Should Herlings not be able to finish the season, his future in the sport is safe, as he and Red Bull KTM MXGP announced a contract extension earlier this year that will keep him on the orange bike until 2023.


While most of us in the US were just waking up on Wednesday, the 2020 Monster Energy FIM Motocross World Championship saw its eventual outcome changed after a massive crash by Jeffrey Herlings during Free Practice at the 2020 MXGP of Citta di Faenza-Italy. Herlings, the winner of last Sunday’s MXGP of Italy and incoming leader of the MXGP championship standings, was taken to a nearby hospital citing pain in his neck and was unable to complete in the day’s race. The extent of the injury is still unclear, as announcements from the team stated Herlings had maintained feeling in his arms and legs, that he’d already been released from the hospital in Italy, and that he will miss the last of the three races at the Faenza circuit. 

The crash happened during a mellow lap during the morning Free Practice session, as the Red Bull KTM MXGP rider was violently thrown over the handlebars of his bike, flipped forward, and landed with full-force on his head-neck-shoulder. Per on-site reporting from MX Vice, medics were quick to the scene, took Herlings off the track on a stretcher, loaded him into a medical helicopter, and transferred him to a hospital in Bologna, which was would have been hour-drive by an ambulance. The initial word that Herlings had feeling in all of his extremities brought both relief and concern, and the team shared some details during the races via social media.



Although it’s still far too soon to know the full extent of the injury, the Red Bull KTM MXGP post-race press release offered some updates. “The Dutchman crashed during Free Practice when he landed awkwardly from the second jump of the course, taking most of the impact on his upper body,” stated the official KTM announcement. “Herlings was taken to a nearby hospital for an MRI on his head and neck and to also examine some pain to his shoulder. The 25-year old (26 next week) was conscious and had full feeling across his body. The trip to a clinic in Bologna was seen as precautionary measure and the team are waiting more updates. Herlings still holds the red plate.”

“Jeffrey went down on the fourth lap of Free Practice and hit his head quite hard. He regained feeling in his arms and legs pretty quickly but still went to Bologna for full body scans. We have yet to see the results, but he has been released from hospital,” said Dirk Gruebel, Team Manager and Technical Co-Ordinator, for the press release. “We’re talking about a pretty big compression of the neck, vertebrae and a hematoma of the shoulder. He’ll get back to Belgium tomorrow for some more examinations and hopefully it is not that dramatic. It will take a couple of weeks to recover but we cannot give an exact date right now.”

Despite his absence from the race on Wednesday, Herlings maintained his rank as the top rider in the MXGP championship thanks to the large cushion he had built earlier in the season. With zero points scored on the day, his advantage over second-place ranked rider and Red Bull KTM MXGP teammate Antonio Cairoli is now down to 22-points.

We will share more information on this as it becomes available…


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Michael Antonovich

Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.

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