Injured Aleix Espargaro in doubt for Austrian GP after practice crash

A call on Aleix Espargaro's Austrian Grand Prix participation will be made on Saturday, after the Suzuki MotoGP rider injured his hands in a Friday practice crash

Injured Aleix Espargaro in doubt for Austrian GP after practice crash

Espargaro crashed at Turn 8 early in the afternoon session, and while he attempted to return to the track, he managed just a single installation lap before heading to the clinica mobile.

The Spaniard has a small fracture in the third finger of his left hand, which has been fixed to his index finger with an elastic bandage.

He has also sprained a joint in his right thumb, which is being treated with physiotherapy, ahead of further checks to both injuries on Saturday morning.

"The crash generated a small fracture and he will need some physiotherapy this evening, so let's wait to see how he will feel in the night and then tomorrow morning and together we will decide what to do," Suzuki boss Davide Brivio said.

Espargaro had set the 15th fastest time in the morning session.

Team-mate Maverick Vinales beat the Ducatis in first practice and was then their closest challenger in the afternoon, finishing third, 0.854 seconds off the pace set by Andrea Dovizioso.

"This morning was pretty hard with the tyres, the grip started to drop after one run and we tried to work on the set-up according to this," Vinales said.

"In the afternoon I wanted to test the hard tyre and finally the best lap came with that one, so my feeling is positive.

"Here, the machine works well with the grip, the new track helps in this, but we still need to work to finalise a compromise between pure performance and consistency in order not to stress too much 'tyre-thinking' in the race.

"We also tried new winglets today, they are meant to help me keep the front-end on the ground and give a better acceleration; my feelings on this are positive and we made a step forward."

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