Bagnaia being examined in hospital after MotoGP qualifying crash

Francesco Bagnaia gets to his feet after his highside. Picture: Fox Sports

Francesco Bagnaia has been taken to a local hospital for further checks after his big crash in Qualifying 1 at the Portuguese MotoGP.

Thankfully, however, the Ducati Lenovo Team has advised that its Italian rider has been cleared of fractures in his right shoulder, on which he landed hard after highsiding in challenge conditions at Portimao.

Bagnaia was one of those who gambled on slicks in the early stages of Q1 on what was still only a drying circuit, and while he was not the only one to be caught out, he was certainly bitten hardest.

The 2021 championship runner-up was flung from his Ducati when he touched a wet patch on the way to Turn 3 in the seventh minute of the session, getting to his feet with visible discomfort before sitting out the balance of proceedings.

Fitness pending, he will start Sunday’s race from the very back of the 25-bike grid, having failed to set a lap time.

The Ducati Team advised after the conclusion of Qualifying 2, “[Bagnaia] has been checked at the circuit medical centre, and no fractures were found in his right shoulder.

“He has now been taken to the local hospital for further examinations.”

Others to crash during Q1, all on slicks, where Tech3 KTM duo Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez, as well as championship leader Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing).

The latter two went to the medical centre for checks, with MotoGP advising so far that Bastianini has been declared fit.

His chances of leaving Portugal on top of the points table have taken a hit given he could only qualify 18th, although that is still five positions up on where his nearest rival in the standings, Alex Rins, is set to start.

Johann Zarco qualified on pole position on a Pramac Racing Ducati, ahead of Rins’ Suzuki Ecstar team-mate Joan Mir and Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro.

Gardner, who had crashed on his first-run out lap, was able to get back out and set a time good enough for 20th on the grid.

Race start is scheduled for Sunday at 22:00 AEST.

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