We consider the quintic generalized Korteweg–de Vries equation (gKdV) $$u_t + (u_{xx} + u^5)_x =0,$$ which is a canonical mass critical problem, for initial data in$H$^{1}close to the soliton. In earlier works on this problem, finite- or infinite-time blow up was proved for non-positive energy solutions, and the solitary wave was shown to be the universal blow-up profile, see [16], [26] and [20]. For well-localized initial data, finite-time blow up with an upper bound on blow-up rate was obtained in [18].