The record-holder for most Grand Prix wins in the entire history of the FIM Motocross World Championship, Jeffrey Herlings, will ride his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 450 SX-F this weekend at Vantaa in Finland for round fourteen of the 2023 MXGP season.
The 28-year-old Dutchman has recovered sufficiently from the fractured neck vertebra he sustained as a result of a crash while leading round nine of nineteen in Germany. The winner of four Grands Prix this season (still the joint-highest total in 2023) missed rounds in Indonesia, Czech Republic and Belgium while he convalesced from the injury but received the all-clear from doctors this week to begin riding and will now attempt MXGP’s first visit to Vantaa this century.
The sandy nature of the Finnish course, located close to Helsinki, should play into Herlings’ favor but, instead of harboring ambitions of race results, #84 is merely looking to build-up his GP speed once more and place points on the board to improve his current standing of 7th. Finland represents the third fixture in three weeks for MXGP, so the Red Bull KTM ace will then have another two weeks to continue his comeback prep before round fifteen, the Grand Prix of Sweden, in mid-August.
Herlings claimed the MX2 Grand Prix of Finland at Hyvinkaa in 2014 but was on the sidelines for the return to the circuit in 2022 last year. He has six podiums from nine GP appearances in 2023 to-date.
Jeffrey Herlings: “Once I knew the problem with my neck and back was going to need time and I’d sit out races then my only focus was to heal 100% before I came near the bike again. I know the physical and the mental cost of setbacks like this and I was determined to follow the doctor’s advice. If I couldn’t have the title this year then I wanted my health. I’m still in good shape so I hope it won’t take too long to get back at the front.”