MotoGP: Marquez Dislocates Shoulder in Austria
When Marc Marquez crashed in the third free practice session today, the complexion of the MotoGP championship changed from the moment he hit the ground. Given his ability to bounce back, however, it promptly changed back again.
It happened at Turn Three, tightest on the track, with a flat-out approach. Marquez, riding with customary abandon, lost control under braking as he was aiming for a tight entry. He might have saved it, but at that moment team-mate Pedrosa’s Honda was cutting right across his escape route, running wide and much more slowly.
Marquez narrowly missed Pedrosa’s back wheel, but the effort pitched him off. A hard landing dislocated his left shoulder, and while it was relocated and the team readied his bike to go out again, instead he was helicoptered to hospital for further investigation.
He was back after lunch, however, and ready to qualify fifth.
While the injury could hardly have come at a less propitious time, on the brink of two back-to-back races, he had an encouraging history to fall back on. In 2013 he crashed and dislocated the same left shoulder in morning warm-up, return to finish very close second to Lorenzo, losing the lead only in last corners.
Aleix Espargaro had already fallen victim to a track widely adjudged perilous, breaking a finger on his left hand in a fall in FP2. The Spanish Suzuki rider was already battered, having suffered multiple abrasions in a training fall in the summer break.