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MotoGP British GP

Pol Espargaro ‘worked more than ever’ to get fit as MotoGP comeback confirmed

Tech3 MotoGP rider Pol Espargaro says he has “worked more than ever” to recover from his numerous serious injuries as his British Grand Prix comeback is confirmed.

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing

The eight-time MotoGP podium finisher suffered numerous fractures to his back and jaw after hitting an unprotected barrier in a crash in FP2 for March’s season-opening Portuguese Grand Prix.

Espargaro underwent surgery on his injuries and had to have his mouth wired shut for the better part of a month early in his recovery.

This forced him onto a liquid diet and contributed to him losing 2.5kg per week of muscle mass, with Espargaro telling the media at the Dutch GP during a visit that he “didn’t recognise my body”.

While he had hoped to be able to come back for the Italian GP in June, doctors were not yet happy with the progress of his back fractures and insisted he defers his return to this weekend’s British GP.

Having rode his bike during the Goodwood Festival of Speed last month for the first time since his crash, Tech3 has confirmed Espargaro will be back in official MotoGP action at Silverstone.

“I am really happy to finally have the opportunity to come back after this tough period,” he said in a team press release.

“I have been working more than ever in my life to arrive to this day, and for me, being in Silverstone is already a big prize.

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

“I know that I will need to be patient, and that it will take time to be at my 100% again, with both my bike and my body, but I am full of energy to take on this challenge!

“Let’s get on the gas again!”

Espargaro was replaced by former Tech3 MotoGP rider Jonas Folger from the Americas GP onwards, the German’s own grand prix career interrupted by a liver condition known as Gilbert’s Syndrome during his rookie campaign in 2017.

Honda’s Joan Mir, who has been out since the Italian GP with a hand injury he suffered at Mugello, is also set to return to action at Silverstone.

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LCR Honda’s Alex Rins remains sidelined with a badly broken leg he sustained in a crash at the Italian GP and will be replaced by Iker Lecuona, as HRC looks to evaluate the young Spaniard for a potential MotoGP return in the future.

It means MotoGP will have to wait until at least the Austrian GP before its entire 2023 full-time roster is present for a round since FP1 of the season-opener.

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