'Angry' KTM rider Pol Espargaro in doubt for Misano MotoGP return

KTM rider Pol Espargaro is in danger of having to miss a further MotoGP race at Misano because his fractured collarbone is not healing correctly

'Angry' KTM rider Pol Espargaro in doubt for Misano MotoGP return

Espargaro has been out of action since fracturing his collarbone in a warm-up crash at Brno earlier this month, an incident that also left him with swelling around his spinal cord.

KTM was not obliged to replace him for the Austrian Grand Prix, which took place the following weekend, but had to seek a replacement for this weekend's Silverstone race despite regular test rider Mika Kallio also being unavailable due to injury.

The Austrian marque eventually settled on World Superbike rider Loris Baz, who lost his Avintia Ducati ride in MotoGP at the end of last season, for a one-off return.

Espargaro's elder brother Aleix provided an update on his situation at Silverstone, indicating the collarbone injury was possibly worse than first thought.

"[Pol is] very angry," said the Aprilia rider, "because after the crash, they [the doctors] said, 'No worries, the collarbone is not problem, you just need to wait two weeks and it will heal up'.

"Three days ago he had a scan and the collarbone was worse - completely broken. He said, 'If it was like this, why didn't you operate on me?'

"Now he's thinking [about whether] he gets an operation or waits more - because if he waits to race in Misano it's not that clear he can race in Misano because if you don't have an operation to the collarbone, it's [the recovery] quite slow."

A KTM spokesperson told Autosport the team hoped Espargaro would be fit for a Misano return, but that Baz will not fill in for the Spaniard if he cannot race.

Recently-recruited test rider Randy de Puniet would most likely race instead, following a test at Aragon set to take place early next week.

Baz (pictured above) - who is set to return to WSBK action at Portimao in mid-September - stressed he had no plans to race for KTM beyond Silverstone.

"Honestly it's just for one race," he said. "I really think Pol will be fit [for Misano], and I hope he will be.

"It's the plan to ride only here."

Baz was 24th and last in first practice for the British Grand Prix, 4.6 seconds off the pace and 2.7s behind KTM regular Bradley Smith.

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