Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global
MotoGP Dutch GP

Pol Espargaro “didn’t recognise my body” recovering from Portugal MotoGP crash

Pol Espargaro says one of the hardest parts of his recovery from his serious Portugal MotoGP crash was the fact he “didn’t recognise my body” after losing so much weight.

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing

The Tech3 rider crashed in the latter stages of FP2 in the season-opening Portuguese Grand Prix and suffered numerous fractures, including to his back and jaw, after hitting an unprotected tyre barrier.

Espargaro required surgery on the three vertebrae he broke in his back, and his jaw had to be wired shut for a month, forcing him onto a liquid diet.

Speaking in his first appearance since the crash during the Dutch GP weekend, Espargaro revealed that he was losing over two kilos of muscle weight each week while his jaw was wired shut and called this “the worst moment” of his recovery.

“The worst moment was that four weeks after I exit the hospital, I had my mouth completely closed,” he said.

“For four weeks I couldn’t eat, so I was just drinking soup and losing 2.5 kilos per week. This is insane. I was losing two kilos of muscle, not fat, because I didn’t have fat at the beginning of the year.

“You are with a lot of pain and everything, but you look into the mirror and say ‘I will need to recover all of this.

“How much work did I do to gain three kilos in the winter? How much work will I have to do to gain eight, nine kilos?’

“That was a bad feeling. I looked into the mirror and it was not my face, not my body. I didn’t recognise my body and that was hard.”

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing

Photo by: GasGas Factory Racing

Espargaro says he was down to his “125cc weight, or even lighter” during his recovery but is now “training quite good” and sees the five-week summer break as “like another pre-season for me”.

Asked if he considered giving up racing at any point during his recovery, Espargaro replied: “Yeah, that’s for sure. These kinds of injuries, they are big. Over the last month, I was just looking forward to going back on the bike.

“But in the hospital, when you are so bad and a lot of people are coming and telling you what you have, and in my situation with my wife and two daughters, it’s tough.

“But at the end of the day, it’s what I do. I’ve raced all my career, hurting myself, recovering and going again. And this is part of this job. I try to see it as the bad side of the job.

“More or less [that feeling of giving up is gone now]. It’s gone because I’m looking forward to coming [back].

“But these moments bring you back to the reality. When it doesn’t happen you don’t think about it, but when it happens you think ‘wow, this is real’.

“So, it stays real for a little bit longer than when you break a finger or a hand or whatever.

“For sure this is more serious, so I’m going to pay more attention when I’m going to be on the bike.

“Even I’m an experimental guy, I’ve been here for a lot of years in MotoGP, but still this kind of thing happens. So, you need to be careful.”

Read Also:

Espargaro also praised the support that KTM gave him during his recovery, saying it was more than he could have ever expected.

Having eyed a comeback to racing during the Italy/Germany/Netherlands triple-header, Espargaro should be back on the grid for August’s British GP.

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Why Honda seriously risks losing Rins to a MotoGP rival
Next article Miller hails “unreal” first half of KTM’s 2023 MotoGP season

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global