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16 days ago
By motogp.com

Espargaro: “A big piece of Marquez’ bike hit my left hand"

Despite this resulting in a plate being moved in his left hand, the Aprilia rider achieved a fourth top ten of the year in P9 in Australia

It was a difficult weekend at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in more ways than one for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro. Having to test two different bikes throughout the weekend and being hit by debris from Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Marc Marquez’ (Repsol Honda Team) crash – moving a plate in his left hand – was far from ideal.

“On the main straight I couldn’t see anything when Marquez and Zarco crashed,” explained Espargaro, who had an x-ray after the race to see what the damage was to his left hand: “A big piece of Marquez’ bike hit my left hand. I was lucky because it hit the clutch lever and completely turned it down and hit my hand where I had the operation last year and it seems like the ligaments and plate have moved a little bit and I’m in quite a bit of pain now. I just did the x-ray, so we’ll see.”

And what about having to use two different RS-GPs in Australia? Not easy, says the Spaniard: “It has not been an easy weekend, with a different bike. It’s never easy when you have two different bikes on a race weekend, and we’ve struggled a lot during the sessions. Unfortunately, we lost a lot of time… in the race I actually did a lap almost a full second quicker than in qualifying, which isn’t good. At least we finished the race in the top 10, some points.”

Just like he mentions, the Spaniard was able to secure his fourth top ten result of the season after pipping Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) to the line in P9. But now, attention turns to Sepang and what spec bike he’ll be using there:

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“We have to see and talk now but my plan to stay on this bike, to give it another chance, to see how the bike works,” said the number 41 rider. “Obviously, this track is quite strange, the weather conditions are not easy, so I think we’ll give it another chance in Malaysia.”

Can the older Espargaro brother break into the top ten again as we enter the final two legs of the 2018 season? 

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