Pol Espargaro crashed into the tire barriers at Turn 10 at Portimao during the second free practice session of the Portuguese Grand Prix. In the impact he suffered several fractures, to the jaw and a vertebra, as well as an important pulmonary trauma. The Spaniard remained under observation before the doctors gave the go-ahead to transfer him to Barcelona, where he will be operated on.
Although it is still very early to assess the extent of the injuries, it is clear that the youngest of the Granollers brothers will not be able to get back on the bike in the next rounds. Apart from today’s race in the Algarve, GasGas has no intention of replacing him even for the next two scheduled races, the one in Argentina next week, and the one in Texas on April 16th.
“We won’t do it out of respect for Pol,” one of GasGas’ top management told Motorsport.com. “When we know how he really is and we have a clearer idea of the situation, then we will think of a plan,” he continued.
The regulation provides that the teams “must make every reasonable effort to propose a qualified substitute within ten days from the time of the stop”, according to article 1.11.3 of the sporting regulation.
Being part of the KTM group, it would be easy for GasGas to put one of the various test riders of the Austrian bikes on the track. Together with Dani Pedrosa, who will already take part in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on April 30th, there are Mika Kallio and Jonas Folger, the latter joining the Mattighofen test team this winter.
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