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MotoGP Italian GP

Pol Espargaro ruled out of MotoGP Italian GP as recovery continues

Pol Espargaro will sit out another MotoGP round as he continues his recovery from the violent crash at the Portuguese Grand Prix that left him with multiple fractures.

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing

The Tech3 rider had hoped to return to racing this weekend at the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, but is still suffering from an edema around his vertebrae that needs treatment.

The Spaniard was thrown from his GASGAS-branded KTM in the latter stages of FP2 at the season opener in Portugal and hit an unprotected barrier.

He was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with multiple fractures, including to his jaw and his back.

Espargaro underwent surgery on his injuries and for the four weeks after, he had his jaw wired shut to aid recovery.

Though his team said his initial target was to return this weekend, he now looks more likely to rejoin the grid at either the German or Dutch GP.

In a statement, the team said: "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.

Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing and Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing crash

Miguel Oliveira, RNF MotoGP Racing and Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

"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."

Espargaro will again be replaced by KTM test rider Jonas Folger, who also rode in place of the Spaniard in the US, Spain and France.

He will appear alongside Tech3 rookie and reigning Moto2 world champion Augusto Fernandez, who delivered his best result of the season so far at the French GP, finishing fourth.

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