An Accident Takes Aleix Espargaró and Bradley Smith Out of the Race in Barcelona
This is a press release from Aprilia Racing Team Gresini…
(June 16, 2019) – In a race conditioned by numerous crashes, a contact in a braking section took both Aleix Espargaró and Bradley Smith out of the action in the early stages. The Spanish rider, who returned to pit lane in pain, is now undergoing further checks to assess the condition of his left knee.
In the early part of the race, Andrea Iannone set a good pace, making up ground on the central group. The Italian rider then struggled a bit with a drop in performance, probably attributable to tyre wear, hindering his comeback. Aided by the DNFs, in any case, Andrea finished eleventh.
Massimo Rivolas – Aprilia Racing CEO
“This is undoubtedly a difficult time for us, and Aleix’s injury is the most pressing issue right now. He is a supporting pillar of our team and we hope to see him back in the saddle as soon as possible. Even more disappointing is the fact that it was Bradley who caused the crash, who is working on developing the bike. These episodes should not occur. Andrea rode a good race, positive in the early stages and then dropping off toward the end, probably due to tyre wear. We are making significant efforts to grow our project, but at the moment, the results are not very comforting. We have an important test tomorrow for development in view of the future and this injury was the last thing we needed, but we are absolutely united in our determination to reverse the trend. It does not matter who hard and how long we need to work. We’ll get there.”
“All told, we took home a good result, considering the fact that we started from the back of the grid because of some complicated qualifiers. Up to the mid-race point, I managed to maintain a good pace and, in fact, I was making up ground on the group in front of me. Then I had a significant drop in performance, struggling a lot with tyre wear. The bike started moving a lot and I was no longer able to do good lap times. In the tests tomorrow, we’ll be working a lot on this aspect to try to be more consistent from the first to last lap of the race. I’m sorry about Aleix. I hope he is not hurt badly and I wish him a speedy recovery.”
“I’m sorry about what happened today, even more so because Aleix was involved. Unfortunately, in that braking section the situation was a bit chaotic, as often happens during the first laps. I hope he will have a quick recovery. Right now, we need to work with our full potential to develop the RS-GP”.
Aleix Espargaró was in the Aprilia garage for the Barcelona tests.
(June 17, 2019) – As Andrea Iannone and Bradley Smith continue developing the RS-GP on the day of testing after the Barcelona race, Aleix Espargaró visited the Aprilia garage. The Spanish rider, involved in an accident yesterday, suffered a micro-fracture to the femur and an injury to the left tibia. At the moment, significant damage to the ligaments has been ruled out, so Aleix can begin recovery quickly.
The situation with the knee will be assessed in the coming days in anticipation of the Assen race. Espargaró’s goal is to be back in the saddle as soon as possible.
“I’m relieved since the medical check-up showed a better situation than we had initially expected. In any case, I’m sorry to have missed this day of testing. My goal is to begin recovery as soon as possible and speed up my return to the saddle, compatibly with the feedback from the doctors. They told me that in a couple days I’ll be able to get back to cycling and I’m counting down the hours!”