MotoGP: Pol Espargaro returns to social media to give first medical update since Portimao crash

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Pol Espargaro has given his first injury update since his huge crash in FP2 during the 2023 MotoGP season opener at Portimao in March.

The GASGAS Tech3 went down at the fast turn 10 right-hander, landing heavily before barrelling through the controversial Portimao gravel trap and hitting the unprotected tyre barrier. Espargaro was diagnosed with multiple fractures, including to his jaw and back, as well as trauma to his lungs.

Espargaro did not lose consciousness at any time and was cleared neurologically and cervically by doctors treating him at Faro hospital. The Spaniard has undergone surgery on his injuries and had his jaw wired shut to help his recovery.

Now, Espargaro posted a video on his Instagram to give an update on his current condition and share the full extent of his injuries. In the video, Espargaro said:

“Finally, I’m back here on social media. 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 places and I’ve been with it completely closed for four weeks after the crash.

“I couldn’t eat, I lost a lot of weight, but finally, I can smile, and I can talk quite good. Also, I had an injury to my ear that’s been operated on after the crash.

“I had eight fractures in my body; two in my ribs, one on my neck, three of 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 its size. So, when you play with these kinds of injuries in the vertebrae you need to be really careful because as soon as a vertebrae is injured, it’s super easy to injure your spinal cord.”

Typically for a racer, Espargaro went on to say that he and his doctors are working “hand in hand” to come back as soon as possible, stating that he cannot wait to jump back on the GASGAS branded KTM RC16.

It’s a bike which had impressed in recent weeks. Brad Binder has won two of the sprint races held this season, whilst he and factory teammate Jack Miller finished second and third in last Sunday’s Grand Prix at Jerez.

“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,” Espargaro continued. “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 all for the messages you’ve sent during this time. It was super important to keep me motivated and 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. I don’t know when, it’s going to be soon!”

Pol Espargaro's GASGAS Tech RC16 flies through the air at Portimao

Espargaro returned to the KTM family after two difficult campaigns with Repsol Honda onboard the troublesome RC213V. During his time with HRC, Espargaro secured just two podiums and, like all Honda riders, suffered multiple crashes.

Espargaro helped to develop the KTM RC16 and to turn it into the successful bike we see today. He clinched the Austrian manufacturer’s maiden podium in the 2018 season finale at Valencia, before claiming KTM’s first MotoGP pole at the Red Bull Ring, Austria, in 2020.

He came close to winning that race, only to run slightly wide on the final lap, allowing fellow KTM rider Miguel Oliveira to clinch that particular piece of KTM history.

Espargaro has been replaced by KTM test rider Jonas Folger at Herve Poncharal’s Tech3 squad during his absence.