Jeffrey Herlings of the Red Bull KTM Factory team suffered a major setback during the 15th round of the MXGP world championship series at Arco Di Trento in Italy. Herlings was forced to retire right at the start of the first heat, and finished fourth in the second race.

Herlings was confident as qualifying started, seeing as he came into the event with a 24 point lead over his closest rival. As was the case on Sunday, he claimed pole position.Things went haywire, though, at the start of the first race. Herlings slid out, and another rider rode over his bike. The handlebar and throttle housing of the bike were so damaged that he could not continue, and he was forced to retire.

Herlings was dead set on getting the best possible result in the second race. He battled with armpump because of missing the first heat, and the best that was on the plate for him was a fourth place finish.

Herlings was 11th overall for the day. He is still in the lead in the world championship series, but his lead has shrunk to a single point. The next round of the world championships will take place at the same track on Sunday.

“It was a disappointing day for me,” Herlings said. “My front wheel slid out and someone rode over my bike. There was a lot of damage, including to the handlebar and throttle housing. It is painful so see my championship lead almost disappear as I was forced to watch on. I had to ride the second race fresh, without the benefit of the first heat experience. I got bad armpump and could not get into my flow. It was a bad day, there is nothing else I can say. The next three races will be interesting. We’ll see how they turn out.”

Overall MXGP Pietramurata:
1 Antonio Cairoli 45 Pnt
2 Tim Gajser 42 Pnt
3 Romain Febvre 41 Pnt
4 Jeremy Seewer 40 Pnt
5 Glenn Coldenhoff 29 Pnt
11 Jeffrey Herlings 18 Pnt

World Championship MXGP Standings:
1 Jeffrey Herlings 573 Pnt
2 Romain Febvre 572 Pnt
3 Tim Gajser 570 Pnt
4 Jorge Prado 473 Pnt
5 Antonio Cairoli 464 Pnt