Honda withdraws Espargaro from Valencia MotoGP finale

Honda has announced Pol Espargaro will not take part in Sunday’s 2021 MotoGP season finale at the Valencia Grand Prix following a heavy crash on Saturday.

Listen to this article

Espargaro suffered a violent highside in FP3 on Saturday morning when the rear end of his Honda let go as he rounded the long left-hander at Turn 13.

The Spaniard landed heavily on his back and needed to be stretchered off track by marshals before he was taken to the medical centre for checks.

Initial scans showed no major injuries, but Espargaro was taken to hospital for further evaluation – which also showed he’d suffered no broken bones, but was in considerable pain from some bruising.

He was declared unfit to take part in the rest of Saturday’s sessions, and will now not race as both he and Honda have taken the decision to focus on the Jerez post-season test next week.

A brief statement from Honda read: “After assessing his condition this morning, Pol Espargaro will not participate in the Valencia GP as he and the Repsol Honda Team focus on the Jerez test.”

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Commenting on his crash on Saturday, Espargaro said: “Unfortunately today I had a very big crash during FP3 at Turn 13.

“The impact was very hard but fortunately I have no serious injuries and nothing appeared broken in the tests we did at the hospital.

“At the moment I have a lot of pain from around my ribs when I breathe, this is what hurts the most.

“I’m really disappointed because we had great speed and I was feeling really confident. I’m sorry for my team.”

The Jerez test is an important opportunity for Honda to put much-needed miles on its 2022 challenger as it looks to correct the issues which have plagued its 2021 campaign.

Honda has already had a major setback in its pre-season plans owing to Marc Marquez’s vision issues following a concussion which have ruled him out of the final two rounds as well as the Jerez test.

With both Marquez and Espargaro out of action for Sunday’s race, it will mark the first time since the 1992 Dutch TT that no factory team Honda will line up on the grid. 

shares
comments

Related video

Valencia MotoGP - Start time, how to watch & more
Previous article

Valencia MotoGP - Start time, how to watch & more

Next article

Valencia MotoGP: Bagnaia wins as Rossi brings career to a close

Valencia MotoGP: Bagnaia wins as Rossi brings career to a close
The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form Prime

The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form

Following Suzuki's decision to quit MotoGP, both of its former riders have landed at Honda for 2023. But perhaps its biggest signing from the now-defunct team could instead be a highly-rated technical manager. Is Ken Kawauchi the right man at the right time to steer HRC back to glory?

MotoGP
Jan 26, 2023
How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team Prime

How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team

Suzuki's unexpected departure left more than 40 professionals virtually jobless for the 2023 MotoGP season. But that human drama has been successfully corrected by the paddock itself, with most former Suzuki crew members absorbed into other operations.

MotoGP
Jan 14, 2023
How one MotoGP team went from title challengers to losing it all in four years Prime

How one MotoGP team went from title challengers to losing it all in four years

The Petronas Sepang Racing Team came into MotoGP with a bang in 2019 as regular front-runners, with wonder rookie Fabio Quartararo mounting a title challenge in 2020. But it all went wrong for the Razlan Razali-helmed squad as the team changed hands and tumbled down the order - and RNF Racing plans to right this in 2023

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2023
Is Marc Marquez ready to reclaim his MotoGP throne? Prime

Is Marc Marquez ready to reclaim his MotoGP throne?

Marc Marquez’s sixth premier MotoGP title seems a long time ago given the injury woes he has faced in the three years since. At the end of a fraught 2022, in which he had a fourth major operation on his right arm, the Spaniard speaks exclusively to Motorsport.com.

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2022
How MotoGP's underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023 Prime

How MotoGP's underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023

As European manufacturers emerged as the strongest force in 2022 in a changing of the guard for MotoGP, one powerhouse couldn’t quite match the feats of Ducati and Aprilia. Its motorsport chief tells Motorsport.com why this is and what it is doing to become a consistent frontrunner in the class of kings

MotoGP
Dec 20, 2022
How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races Prime

How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races

With the expansion of the calendar to 21 grands prix and the introduction of sprint races, the 2023 MotoGP season will take the riders to almost 1,300 kilometres of more competition than this year, a factor that forces adjustments in their physical preparations.

MotoGP
Dec 9, 2022
Luca Marini: Why he's more than just Valentino Rossi's brother Prime

Luca Marini: Why he's more than just Valentino Rossi's brother

Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Motorsport.com – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend.

MotoGP
Dec 6, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022