Injuries took their toll at the first back-to-back races of the season. KTM’s MotoGP rider Pol Espargaro was a prominent absentee, but Moto3 rider Jorge Martin was back in action a week after breaking his wrist at Brno, albeit below his usual dazzling form.
Espargaro had been reported with just a broken collarbone, a minor fracture at that, after crashing in morning warmup at Brno. But complications emerged afterwards, with a spinal injury causing serious worries as he lost feeling in his arms and legs.
It was caused, according to his Aprilia-riding brother Aleix, but swelling pressing on the spinal cord, and a neurosurgeon had deemed the younger Espargaro extremely lucky to escape more serious damage and potentially long-lasting consequences.
Martin however was back, his left wrist strapped after surgery to a radius bone fracture. He placed a modest 26th out of 30, running ran just ten laps in the morning and just four in the afternoon, improving his time before rain spoiled conditions, but was confident he could continue for the rest of the weekend.
“To be riding here is already a success,” he said. “I’m not fully comfortable but there is room for improvement. I will have to ride through the pain, but I’m not too far behind.”
By Michael Scott