MotoGP: No time for Laverty to get up to speed as Espargaró replacement

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Aprilia MotoGP boss Romano Albesiano has told MCN that there wouldn’t have been enough time for Eugene Laverty to get up to speed had the Irishman jumped onto Aleix Espargaró’s machine this weekend at the Malaysian Grand Prix to replace the injured Spaniard.

Laverty’s experience in the premier class, Aprilia World Superbike racer and as a test rider for the RS-GP project means that he’s the first choice to step in for the Italian manufacturer – but with Espargaró hopefully sitting out only one race before returning to action, Albesiano says it’s not enough time for Laverty to be competitive.

“Coming back to MotoGP at a good level takes time and in the end we decided not to bring Eugene in to replace Aleix. If Aleix’s break had been for two or three races then maybe we would have considered it, but for once race only as we expect there’s no real meaning. It also disturbs Eugene ahead of the last race of World Superbikes – you don’t want to give him different feeling from the tyres. Maybe it was right or wrong, but it was the decision we made.”

Espargaró says he’s hoping to be back in action for the final round of the season at Valencia in two weeks’ time, too, already undergoing surgery on a broken metacarpus bone in his hand back home in Barcelona.

“The idea after the injury was to avoid surgery and to try to race here in Malaysia. Unfortunately, the situation is forcing me to go back home for surgery so that I will be able to fully recover for Valencia. In agreement with Doctor Mir, we agreed to have the surgery done on Thursday in Barcelona. It was an unfortunate crash, but I am already focused on the last race of the season where I want to demonstrate the level that the Aprilia RS-GP and I have reached.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer