Pol Espargaro breaks silence as recovery from Portimao crash continues

Pol Espargaro

Pol Espargaro. Picture: MotoGP.com

Pol Espargaro has spoken publicly for the first time since his shocking Portugal crash, saying he is keen to return to MotoGP “as fast as possible”.

In his first round back in the KTM stable, riding for GasGas Tech3, he crashed heavily in Practice 2 at Portimao into a section of barriers not protected by air fencing.

Espargaro’s injuries included a broken jaw, fractured vertebrae, and bruised lungs, although his team boss Herve Poncharal said he would return to “a normal life, pretty soon”.

The 31-year-old has now outlined the multitude of injuries which he suffered, but says he is working with doctors in order to get back onto a bike “soon”.

“Finally, I’m here back on social media,” said Espargaro in a video posted to Instagram.

“It’s been a month and a week after the crash. I can talk a little bit, because I broke my mandibula [jaw] in two pieces and I’ve been with it completely closed for four weeks after the crash.

“I couldn’t eat, I lose a lot of weight. But finally, I can smile and I can talk quite good, so that’s why I am making this message.

“Also, I had an injury in my ear that’s been operated on after the crash, in Barcelona.

“I had several injuries. I had eight fractures in my body: two in my ribs, one on my neck, three on my back, which are taking a little bit longer [to heal] because the doctors are checking deeply.

“There is one vertebrae that has lost half of its size. So, when you play with these kinds of injuries in the vertebrae you need to be really careful because as soon as the vertebrae is injured, it’s super easy to injury your spinal cord.

“So, we are working with the doctors, hand in hand, to come back as fast as possible.

“I need to come back healthy, but I’m the first one who wants to jump on the bike, especially after the results in Jerez.

“The factory is working huge and the bike is a rocket right now.

“So, I’m looking forward to it. I just want to thank you for all the messages you’ve sent during this time.

“It was super important to keep me motivated and keep me happy to come back as soon as possible. Also, thanks to my team and all the people who are with me when I’m racing.

“I’m looking forward to jumping on the bike, honestly. I don’t know when, it’s going to be soon.”

As Espargaro alluded to, Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder and Jack Miller finished first and third respectively in the Sprint at Jerez in recent days, then second and third in the Grand Prix race.

KTM test rider Jonas Folger has been filling the gap at sister squad GasGas, with the French Grand Prix next up on May 12-14 at Le Mans.


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