POL ESPARGARO VERY CLOSE TO MOTOGP™ RETURN
GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 are anxious to welcome back Pol Espargaro to the MotoGP™ fray, but the crew will have to wait a little longer as the 31-year-old is still ‘on-hold’ to climb aboard the RC16 for this weekend’s Gran Premio d’Italia.
Pol has been rehabbing since his fall during the practice and quali program for the 2023 season-opener at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal in March. The Spaniard needed to recover principally from a back injury but has been full gas to return to shape. The initial target was to re-join the team and the MotoGP™ grid at Mugello for round six this weekend but Pol still has a small edema issue around his vertebrae that needs treatment.
Both the rider, the team and the GASGAS factory are hopeful that the #44 will appear from a Grand Prix pitlane in the coming weeks as the date in Italy is immediately followed by a journey to Sachsenring for the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland and then the TT Circuit Assen for the Dutch Grand Prix for a MotoGP™ ‘triple header’ before a sustained summer break in the schedule.
In the meantime, Pol’s teammate and star rookie Augusto Fernandez will be accompanied in Italy by Jonas Folger once more. The German rolled out for MotoGP™ action in the USA, Spain and France and will make his fourth appearance ‘in red’ this season around the fast and scenic curves of Mugello.
“I was really looking forward to getting back on my bike but, as I said from the beginning, the final decision would be made for me by the doctors and they asked me to wait a few more days. My original plan was to return for one of these next three races before the summer break and this continues to be the idea. The most important thing is to be physically ready, and this call means I have a few more days to keep working at home and arrive in the best form possible and as soon as possible. I’m feeling really good and I’m really motivated. I hope to see the team and everyone in the sport, and for sure the fans, as soon as I can.”