Aleix Espargaro who had surgery on his left arm is racing against time to be ready for the Portuguese Grand Prix, which kicks off the MotoGP season, next weekend.
Aprilia race winner Aleix Espargaro was obliged to undergo surgery just ten days ahead of the Portimao MotoGP season-opening race.
The Aprilia rider battled fibrosis in his left arm during pre-season testing at the Algarve International Circuit over the weekend. The condition adversely affected his testing schedule the entire time, and the Spanish rider’s severe discomfort compelled him to visit the Hospital Universitari Dexeus in Barcelona on Monday.
The Spaniard was only able to do brief runs and realized that last-minute surgery was probably his only choice, but he nonetheless finished the Portimao test in ninth place, the fastest Aprilia rider.
“I was quite fast, but still I’m not riding good,” Espargaro said at Portimao. “I have no strength in the arm and I can do just 2-3 laps and then stop.”
“Even in the first lap, I have no strength on the front brake… It’s like this arm was completely sleeping. So it’s a bit frustrating.”
“It looks like they have to open [the arm], clean it and close it again… It’s not a dramatic surgery, but anyway at 8:00am [on Monday] I will be in Dexeus to do more tests.”
These tests revealed that he had fibrosis rather than the arm pump more frequently experienced by motorcycle racers, which necessitated an urgent operation. Fibrosis is a severe enlargement of the muscles in the affected location caused by thickening or scarring of the muscle tissue.
Espargaro posted a picture of himself lying in the hospital on Tuesday and declared that he was “ready to race” after the treatment. But, he has a short 12-day battle to be healthy enough to ride his RS-GP in the Spanish GP.
“Surgery done!” said Espargaro in an Instagram post on Tuesday afternoon. “I had a lot of pressure in my forearm, so everything is released and I’m now ready to race!”
Last season, Espargaro led Aprilia to its first MotoGP victory in Argentina. He went on to finish fourth in the riders’ world championship, a career high.
If Espargaro is deemed unfit to compete in Portimao, Lorenzo Savadori, an Aprilia test rider, will likely replace him and partner with Maverick Vinales.
The first practice session for the Portuguese MotoGP will be held next Friday. On Saturday (March 25) in the afternoon, the inaugural MotoGP Sprint race will take place, with the main event taking place on Sunday (March 26th).