Man, it’s been a tough year for Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings. Entering the MXGP of Citta di Faenza, Herlings held a 60-point lead in the championship over teammate Antonio Cairoli. In practice at the event, Herlings had a crash and injured his neck. He later revealed he was close to being paralyzed in the incident.
“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,” he wrote in part. “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.”
The good news: Herlings has fully recovered from his neck and back injury. The bad news: he’s decided to sit out the rest of 2020 to undergo foot surgery.
“I decided to sit out the rest of the 2020 season. All year I have been struggling with a recent injury on my foot, and I believe it’s the best solution to get this fixed before I jump back on the orange machine. I will have surgery on that next week to hopefully be able to finally being able to ride a dirtbike again in two years without pain. The recent crash happened, because my foot came off as I had to put my foot differently on the peg as I always had pain and that’s why I went over the handlebars and crashed on my neck. On an other note, the neck and back injury is fully healed. The last two years have been difficult, due to the foot I wasn’t able to perform at my best. I believe this can be fixed and that we will have bright years in front of us. For now, I would like to thank all my sponsors and partners for believing in me and we will strike back in the future.”