Pol Espargaró suffered a horrifying accident during the second official practice sessions on Friday at the Portuguese GP, the scene of the premiere of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship. The 31-year-old rider from Granollers was thrown out of his GasGas at a change of slope on the turn 10 of the Portimao circuit and hit very violently, first against the ground and then against the barriers of the Portuguese track.
Late at night, after having been transferred by medicalized helicopter to the hospital in Faro, the capital of the Algarve, the doctors confirmed a fracture of the jaw and a dorsal vertebra, as well as a severe pulmonary contusion.
The hard fall of @polespargaro 😥
The rider is conscious, although he has been transferred to the Faro hospital after suffering chest and back injuries 😔#PortugueseGP 🇵🇹 #MotoGP 🏁 pic.twitter.com/bCIw0qJ5Vt
— DAZN Spain (@DAZN_ES) March 24, 2023
After more than half an hour without specific information about his incident and an atmosphere of great concern, Dr. Ángel Charte, the event's medical manager, detailed the first diagnosis of the rider from the circuit clinic: “He had a high-energy fall, with a polytraumatic contusion that will have to be seen that involves the entire spine, back, lumbo and sacrum.
At the cervical level it is fine, and at the neurological level too.
He has not lost consciousness at any time and has not specified that we had to intubate him.
It is true that he has a strong lung contusion ”.
With the pilot heading to the medical center, Charte was moderately optimistic about his situation.
“He is aware, oriented, responds perfectly.
He's a little sedated from the analgesia.
He moves everything, and there is no need to fear that he has a spinal cord injury.
There is no great concern in principle, but we have to wait for the complementary tests, ”he commented.
The serious accident of the little one of the Espargaró brothers stopped the second official training session of the recently launched season with almost 14 minutes to go.
It was a day with many falls and that left several surprises, such as Jack Miller's first place on the back of a KTM.
The Australian smashed the circuit record set by Pecco Bagnaia just a few weeks ago during the last pre-season test.
Marc Márquez and the rest of the Hondas confirmed their lack of pace by being left out of the top ten classified.
The pilots, outraged by the lack of security
The incident caused widespread anger among the pilots once the day was over.
“It has been a serious failure, because it is dangerous,” Jorge Martín, who two years ago already suffered a serious injury on the same stage, commented to the
The situation was discussed in the safety commission on Friday afternoon, where the entire grid participates.
"If Pol hit the tires, you have to put an air barrier tomorrow, not next year," said Marc Márquez.
"Hitting against that is like hitting a wall," added his partner, Joan Mir.
Bagnaia, who last year picked up the gravel from one of the run-offs after a fall to complain to the race direction about its size, was one of the harshest in his statements: “I am very angry about the lack of safety on this track.
We have been asking for the same things for four years, but we still haven't found solutions”.
Aleix Espargaró, for his part, wanted to thank the work of the medical team and Dr. Charte.
“That Ángel is here, it freaks me out, it gives us life.
How he takes care of us pilots, the tranquility that he transmits to you”.