Pol Espargaro hospitalised after horror Portimao crash

Pol Espargaro hospitalised after horror Portimao crash

Tech3 Gas Gas rider Pol Esparagro was involved in a horrific crash and sustained back and chest trauma at the second MotoGP practice session of the season opener at Portimao.

Espargaro was brought to the medical centre following his accident, and now, according to MotoGP, is headed to a nearby hospital for additional testing while still conscious.

The 31-year-old GasGas Factory Racing Tech3 rider suffered a fractured jaw, lung contusion, and dorsal vertebra, according to a medical update from MotoGP.

As part of the new sprint race-incorporating weekend structure, the first FP2 of the 2023 season was now planned to last 60 minutes rather than 45, but two extended red flag interruptions resulted in the actual running time exceeding two hours.

First, there was a power interruption at the circuit, which caused the timer to be frozen at little under 47 minutes for 30 minutes before racing restarted.

The second suspension was a little shorter, but considerably more worrisome, with Espargaro needing medical attention at the scene of an over-the-hill crash at Turn 10 after being flung from his RC16 and having it follow him into the gravel trap at high speed, leading to a presumed impact.

Espargaro had to be transported in an ambulance to the circuit’s medical facility, from which he is now traveling to a hospital.

According to Dr. Angel Charte, the MotoGP medical director, Espargaro “did not lose consciousness at any time,” as per Spanish network DAZN.

Espargaro experienced his second crash of the session this time. The first was also swift and occurred as a result of an unidentified issue with the bike’s rear.

In addition to Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez of RNF Aprilia falling almost simultaneously, Espargaro’s mishap raised the red flag, with the former suffering a horrific highside at the same Turn 10 but only suffering leg pain as a result.

Aleix Espargaro, Pol’s brother, was leading at the time of the red flag, but KTM’s Jack Miller finished the session first and set a new Portimao MotoGP lap record in the process.

This weekend’s KTM RC16 debutant Miller pursued Enea Bastianini of Ducati on his penultimate lap before sprinting to the top spot with a time of 1m37.709s.

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