Aprilia racer Aleix Espargaró will sit out this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang after suffering worse than originally suspected injuries to his left hand after crashing out of last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
"The race was going well. Despite a less than perfect start, I had already re-joined the leading group and I had a good feeling. Unfortunately, as I was overtaking Miller on the first turn, I went a bit too wide, ending up on the dirty part of the track and sliding out."
The Spaniard had originally hoped to ride at Sepang this weekend to assess the condition of his hand, but announced today that he will instead fly home to Spain for surgery to have the broken bones corrected.
With such a late withdrawal, it looks unlikely that he will be replaced for this weekend’s race by the Italian manufacturer, but if they do elect to send a replacement rider, Monster Yamaha racer Michael van der Mark could be joined by another WSB regular, thanks to Eugene Laverty’s MotoGP experience and role as part-time team test rider.