Espargaro escapes serious injury after violent MotoGP FP3 crash

The factory Honda rider was fired from his RC213V through the Ricardo Tormo Circuit’s long turn 13 left-hander in the latter stages of this morning’s FP3 session.

Espargaro did a full turn in the air and landed down hard, with the Spaniard needing to be stretched off track before being taken to the medical center for checks.

After initial checks showed no major injuries, Espargaro was taken to the 9 de Octubre Hospital for further evaluation having reported some pain in his ribs from the impact.

Honda has confirmed Espargaro has escaped serious injury but will miss this afternoon’s qualifying session.

A brief statement read: “After his fall, Pol Espargaro will not participate in the remaining sessions today at the Valencia GP.

“He is undergoing further checks in hospital and has avoided any serious injury.”

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Honda was already down to one factory team rider for the Valencia finale after Marc Marquez was declared unfit due to vision problems stemming from a concussion he suffered training ahead of the Algarve GP.

HRC had elected against replacing Marquez in Valencia with test rider Stefan Bradl as he will have a lot of work to do next week at the two-day post-season Jerez test on the 2022 bike.

Espargaro’s participation in Sunday’s Valencia finale remains in the air, but should he be ruled unfit it will mark the first race since Assen 1992 that no factory team Honda rider will line up on the grid.

Espargaro’s crash came after he made a strong start to proceedings on Friday in Valencia, ending the day second overall despite a small tip-off in FP2 and was only 0.012 seconds off the best pace.

Should he be unable to race on Sunday, Honda’s hopes will rest with LCR duo Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami – with only the latter currently occupying a place in Q2 for this afternoon’s qualifying.

On Friday, Honda team boss Alberto Puig said Marc Marquez’s doctor was “positive” over his recovery from the double vision issues he has been suffering – an identical injury to that which threatened his career after a crash in 2011 – but the rider had to exercise patience.