MotoGP doctor gives Pol Espargaro update after violent Portugal FP2 crash

MotoGP doctor gives Pol Espargaro update after violent Portugal FP2 crash

Espargaro returns to KTM in 2023 with the rebranded Tech3 GASGAS squad after two dismal years with Honda.

Following a difficult winter testing phase, Friday in Portugal didn’t get off to the best of starts for Espargaro as he ended FP1 down in 20th.

At the start of this afternoon’s FP2 session, Espargaro had a small off which put a halt to his session.

With just under 14 minutes left on the clock in FP2, Espargaro suffered another crash, this time at Turn 10 when he was flicked from his KTM.

He violently bounced through the gravel trap and into the barrier, and received immediate trackside medical assistance as the session was stopped.

After almost half an hour of treatment, Espargaro – who did not lose consciousness in the incident – was loaded onto the back of an ambulance before being transferred to hospital in nearby Faro by helicopter.

Air ambulance

Air ambulance

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Dr Charte says Espargaro suffered “a large polytraumatic contusion” in the incident, particularly to his lungs, but has shown no neurological issues.

“He has had a high-energy fall with a large polytraumatic contusion at the level of the entire dorsal, lumbar and sacral spine,” Dr Charte said.

“We’ll have to see what the extent is once tests are done at the hospital in Faro.

“Cervically, he is perfectly fine. Neurologically, he is fine, he has not lost consciousness at any time.

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“We have not had to intubate him at any time and he has saturated well, but it is true that he has a strong pulmonary contusion.

“He is conscious and oriented, a little sedated, but the neurological examination is perfectly normal.”

Espargaro has also been reported to be able to move his arms and legs, and the key focus now is on the bruising to his lungs.

UPDATE: MotoGP has since confirmed Espargaro suffered a pulmonary contusion, a jaw fracture and a fractured dorsal vertebra.

KTM’s Friday at the Algarve International Circuit was salvaged by factory rider Jack Miller, who produced a lap record 1m37.709s to end the day fastest of all having made a gain of 1.9s on his best lap from first practice on Friday morning.

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