Jeffrey Herlings will not race Pro Motocross or MXGP in 2022

Jeffrey Herlings has confirmed that he will not be racing in 2022, either in the US or in Europe, as he seeks further surgery on his injured feet.

Jeffrey Herlings, 2022 KTM 450 SX-F. - KTM Media

JEFFREY Herlings has announced that he will not be racing at all this year, ending speculation that he will race in the US this summer. 

Herlings was injured earlier this year, hurting his foot and ankle, which meant he was unable to race the first MXGP rounds of the year as the reigning World Champion. 

As Herlings’ injury continued to persist, and his foot continued to not recover, plans became apparent from both Herlings and KTM to send the Dutchman to America this summer to participate in the AMA Pro Motocross series.

Herlings was back on a bike for the first time on Monday (2 May 2022), as shown by some videos posted to the Dutchman’s Instagram story. The purpose of that was to determine whether the condition of Herlings’ injured foot would be good enough to make an appearance at the US Nationals this summer. The verdict was clearly that Herlings still needs more time to be ready again to compete at the top level. 

A press release from KTM revealed that Herlings “will have a plate removed and his left foot corrected and will also visit the operating theatre a second time for more repair work on his troublesome right foot to reduce the discomfort and inflexibility the Dutchman has been suffering.” The procedures mean that Herlings will also not race MXGP at all in 2022.

In the press release, Herlings said, “I wish the situation was not like this and it’s so frustrating that my career keeps throwing things at me.” The reigning MXGP World Champion continued, “I’ve been recovering from the injury but the condition of my foot – because of some old problems – means it is not in the best shape and not enough to think about racing at the highest level this summer.

“It’s a bummer not to run the #1 plate in MXGP or to think about the chance of doing the AMA Pro Nationals but we’ve made our decision and now my only goal is to get my body right, get pain-free and think about preparation for 2023. It feels like a long way away but I know it will also come quickly. Thanks to all my fans for the messages of support and of course to the best team in the sport. Red Bull KTM have always had my back and I’m really grateful they still do,” Herlings finished.

Herlings had already competed in a Pro Motocross event in 2017, when he went to the Ironman National between MXGP rounds. On that occasion, Herlings was victorious, but we will not find out what he could do over a full campaign in the ‘States. At least, not yet. In an Instagram post, Herlings did say, “And one day, I will race at Pro Motocross again, believe me.” 

The confirmation of Herlings missing the 2022 AMA Pro Motocross season comes after KTM announced that both Antonio Cairoli and Ryan Dungey will be pausing their respective retirements to race for the Austrian brand in the 450MX class this summer.

In Europe, the MXGP World Championship Herlings has been unable to defend in 2022 is being grabbed with both hands of Tim Gajser, who is now well on his way to a fourth MXGP world title, after his triumphs in 2016, 2019 and 2020. The Slovenian is 66 points clear of two-times MX2 World Champion Jorge Prado after six races, and ahead of the Italian Grand Prix in Maggiora this weekend.