Pol Espargaro suffers broken jaw, bruised lungs in MotoGP practice crash

Pol Espargaro

Pol Espargaro

Pol Espargaro has been left with injuries including a broken jaw and bruised lungs after an ugly crash in practice at the Portuguese MotoGP.

The GasGas rider highsided at Turn 10 of the Portimao circuit just inside the final quarter-hour of Practice 2, rolling across the gravel trap and into the barriers at a section not protected by an air fence.

The incident caused the session to be red flagged as a medical crew attended to Espargaro, before he was taken to the circuit’s medical centre and then airlifted to hospital in nearby Faro for checks.

Since then, MotoGP has advised that he has suffered a pulmonary contusion, a fractured jaw, and a fractured dorsal vertebra.

Speaking before that full diagnosis was known, MotoGP Medical Director Dr Angel Charte reported, “Pol Espargaro has had a high-intensity crash and suffered multiple traumas.

“To determine the extent, he will need to be evaluated via further examination at Faro hospital, specifically his spine.”

The Spaniard did not lose consciousness at any stage, and he was said to be “perfectly fine neurologically”.

Dr Charte added, “his oxygen levels are good, but he has quite a significant lung contusion, the extent of which we will need to confirm with CT scans and MRIs at Faro hospital.

“He has suffered severe spinal trauma and a contusion to his lungs which we will have to monitor closely. Although I think he will recover well, we need to conduct the appropriate tests to determine the extent of his injuries

“He is conscious, alert, and responding well. He is slightly sedated due to the painkillers we have administered.

“He can move his feet, legs, and arms perfectly well, so there is no reason to fear any permanent spinal injury.”

The red flag for the Espargaro crash was the second of Practice 2, after a timing problem caused the first stoppage, with the hour-long session taking almost two hours of real time to complete.

On another RC16, Jack Miller set a new lap record in his first round for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, meaning he is already through to Qualifying 2 under the new 2023 event format.

The MotoGP field will be back on-track on Saturday morning (local time) for Practice 3 and the usual two-part qualifying process, before the first ever Sprint race in the afternoon.

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