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MotoGP Portugal GP

Pol Espargaro ruled out of Portugal MotoGP round after horror FP2 crash

Tech3 GASGAS MotoGP rider Pol Espargaro has been ruled out of the rest of the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend following his horror crash in FP2 on Friday.

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing crash

The Spaniard was flung from his Tech3-run, GASGAS-branded KTM in the closing stages of Friday’s FP2 session as he headed through the Turn 10 right-hander at the Algarve International Circuit.

Espargaro landed heavily before violently barrelling through the gravel trap and hitting the barrier on the edge of the track.

The session was immediately red-flagged and Espargaro was attended to by medical staff trackside, with the Tech3 rider reported as conscious throughout.

After almost half an hour, Espargaro was loaded onto an ambulance before being transferred by air to hospital in nearby Faro for further checks.

He was later diagnosed with a pulmonary contusion, a jaw fracture and a fractured dorsal vertebra.

Espargaro’s Tech3 team has now confirmed he will take no further part in this weekend’s Portuguese GP and will be out indefinitely, but is expected to make a full recovery.

“It was a horrendous moment, everyone was more than worried,” Tech3 boss Herve Poncharal told motogp.com.

“We’ve seen things like that that didn’t end up well. But the good news is Pol this morning is suffering from multiple trauma but he’s gonna be able to come out of it in full shape.

“He will have the possibility to live a normal life and be a MotoGP rider. The question is how long [will he be out?].

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing crash

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“This, I can’t answer to you. He’s going to be flying back to Barcelona in something like 48 hours.

“They will check a few things, the main question being will he need an operation on his jaw.

“The rest; stomach, back, lungs is not an issue, it just needs time to recover. Then we will communicate more when we know.

“This will be over the course of the next week that we’ll know more how long he will be out of action.”

Espargaro returns to Tech3 – with whom he made his MotoGP debut in 2014 – and KTM, who he raced with between 2017 and 2020, for 2023 after two torrid years with Honda.

The Spaniard’s accident led to a number of riders on Friday voicing their frustrations at the safety conditions of the Algarve International Circuit.

The long-maligned gravel traps was one point of concern raised, with reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia claiming that – had the circuit listened to riders’ repeated complaints on this matter – the violence of Espargaro’s crash would have been minimalised.

Riders were also unhappy at the fact no air fence was installed at Turn 10 in front of the tyre barrier, with Honda’s Marc Marquez saying this had to change overnight and not next year.

A new air fence has been installed at Turn 10 where Espargaro crashed, after the issue was raised in Friday evening’s rider safety commission meeting.

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