German MotoGP: Randy de Puniet breaks left leg
A second big crash in less than 24 hours left luckless French rider Randy de Puniet with a double break in his left leg at the Sachsenring.
Having escaped injury when he crashed at high speed on oil dropped by Jorge Lorenzo in qualifying, de Puniet wasn’t so fortunate when he high-sided out of Sunday’s race on lap ten.
The LCR Honda rider landed heavily but suffered a broken left tibia and fibula when he was leg was run over by Mika Kallio’s Pramac Ducati.
The race was red flagged as de Puniet’s stricken bike caused chaos with Spanish duo Aleix Espargaro and Alvaro Bautista both suffering heavy falls as the RC212V machine.
The 29-year-old, who had scored five top six finishes in the opening seven races, was flown by helicopter to the Hartmannsdorf Hospital where he underwent surgery on Sunday night to insert a pin in his left leg.
He said: “It can’t be worse than this. I had a bad start from the third row but I was back to ninth and my race pace was pretty good. I could push for the sixth place despite my painful ankle after the crash in the qualifying.
"Suddenly I crashed at the exit of turn four and one bike hit my left leg. I immediately realised that it was something serious and after the X-ray we discovered the truth”.
Espargaro is confident he will be fit after he landed heavily and suffered damage to his neck and right wrist.
Checks at a hospital in nearby Chemnitz showed up a broken seventh vertabra but his Pramac Ducati believe it is an old injury and he was flying to California with the intention of contesting this weekend’s Laguna Seca race.
Espargaro said: “That was an unlucky race for me. I was reducing the gap to the riders ahead of me and I could easily fight with them for the eighth position.
"Unfortunately I found de Puniet's bike was lying on the track in front of me and I could not avoid it. I had a big pain in my right wrist and in my neck,
"I wanted to make the warm up lap of the second race to see my physical condition and if I was able to ride for the second race but I couldn’t do this. I just made X-rays at the circuit and fortunately nothing is broken.
"I had further checks in Chemnitz and they have found that my vertebra C7 is broken. But I am confident I can attend the race in America.”
Factory Suzuki rider Bautista was also uninjured but he was unable to make the restart over 21-laps having failed to return to the pits with his bike within five minutes of the red flag being waved.
It meant the second race commencing with just 13 bikes and the former world 125GP champion said: “It has been a bit of a disaster. I didn’t start that well and I couldn’t get enough warmth in the right-side of the tyre early on.
"After the first few laps I managed to get a good rhythm and was able to stay with the group for the top ten positions.
"After nine laps Randy crashed and I had some riders in front of me and I couldn’t see where his bike was on the track, but when the other riders disappeared I saw the bike in front of me and I couldn’t do anything to avoid it, so I crashed.
"I then couldn’t get to the box with my bike, so I couldn’t start again.
"The regulation is the regulation, but in this case maybe there could’ve been an exception because I crashed because of Randy not for something I had done.”