Espargaro dedicates Catalunya win to Bagnaia after horrific crash

Espargaro dedicates Catalunya win to Bagnaia after horrific crash

Aleix Espargaro dedicated his victory to Francesco Bagnaia after winning the Catalunya Grand Prix which was overshadowed by world champion’s horrific crash.

Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro declared his victory saying “this one’s for Pecco” after winning the Catalunya MotoGP race at Montmelo on Sunday, which was overshadowed by Francesco Bagnaia’s terrible crash.

Espargaro’s Aprilia teammate Maverick Vinales finished in second place, as Pramac’s Jorge Martin rounded out the podium.

Meanwhile, Bagnaia was receiving medical care in a nearby hospital as Espargaro celebrated an incredible double at his home race after also winning the sprint on Saturday.

The Factory Ducati rider got out to a strong start but at the first turn, he escaped a multi-bike crash that Enea Bastianini had initiated. However, he lost control of his Desmosedici at the second turn.

Bagnaia was violently launched over the handlebars of his Ducati and into the air after experiencing a highside ahead of of the pursuing pack. Eventually Bagnaia’s leg was crushed by Brad Binder’s KTM.

The spectators clapped after Bagnaia seemed to escape the incident unhurt and the series leader was taken in an ambulance to the track’s medical facility while still conscious. Later, he was taken to the nearby hospital.

The world champion’s condition was later addressed in a briefing by MotoGP’s medical director, Angel Charte.

“Pecco has had severe polytrauma, a motorbike ran over him in the femoral and tibial area,” Charte told Spanish broadcaster DAZN. “We have taken x-rays of this area and have detected a small injury but we don’t know if it is current or old.

“We need to do an urgent CAT scan and that is why we have sent him to the general hospital.

“At cranial, thoracic and abdominal levels, he has been normal at all times. He was conscious and oriented.”

Espargaro was cognizant of the injured world champion as he dedicated the Catalunya win to him.

“This win is for Pecco, luckily we’ve just heard it’s nothing serious,” the Aprilia rider said.

Turning to his finest weekend in MotoGP he added: “I’m speechless… Thankfully nothing happened to us on the first lap.

“It was difficult in the wind. I thought I would not catch him (Vinales), but I waited and I did it.”

Espargaro’s weekend was one of personal atonement following his embarrassing blunder from the previous year, when he celebrated making the podium one lap too soon and ultimately placed fifth.

After Aprilia’s first 1-2 victory in the MotoGP racing fast lane, Vinales was also excited.

“First and second Aprilia – I’m so happy,” he said.

The race resumed for 23 of the 24 scheduled laps with Bagnaia absent and the track free of debris.
Vinales took the early lead from Martin and Espargaro, who happen to be born a few kilometers away from the Catalunya circuit.

Miguel Oliveira, riding a satellite Aprilia, finished in third as Espargaro surged into second place and trailed his factory Aprilia teammate.

Binder was forced to withdraw due to tyre problems, and the South African’s first course of action after the race was to visit the medical center to see how Bagnaia was doing. Vinales had opened up a gap between himself and Espargaro as Martin replaced Oliveira in third place at the halfway point.

This season’s 11th race was set up for an exciting finish by Espargaro’s all-out assault on the leader. Eventually, Espargaro overcame his teammate and fellow Catalan with four laps left to complete the race, earning a well-deserved victory for the 70,000 home spectators.

Jorge Martin reduced Bagnaia’s lead in the world championship to 50 points ahead of the San Marino MotoGP next weekend.

Leave a Reply