"I thought about quitting" – Pol Espargaro

Talking to DAZN, the GASGAS Tech3 star opens up about how tough his injury recovery has been and when he aims to be back racing

Ahead of the SHARK Grand Prix de France, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3’s Pol Espargaro took the time to have a catch-up with Spanish MotoGP™ broadcaster DAZN about his ongoing recovery from the injuries he suffered in Portugal.

Espargaro posted a video message on social media recently in what was the first time we’d heard from the Spaniard since his Portimao crash. In that, Espargaro revealed the numerous fractures he’d sustained, including in his jaw which meant he couldn’t eat properly or talk for a month. “I lost around nine kilos and the muscle mass that goes with it,” the #44 reiterated to DAZN.

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In what’s been the toughest moment of his career, with the first four weeks after the crash being “unbearable” when going through the initial recovery stages from his lip, jaw, ribs and vertebrae injuries, Espargaro admits that he’s thought about quitting MotoGP™.

“I thought about quitting, these are thoughts I've had... I've had a lot of time to think. Seeing how those around me also suffer, seeing my wife suffer is what made me think about it,” said Espargaro to DAZN. “But she has told me many times that she met me riding, it’s what makes me happy and it makes her happy to see me happy.”

Now though, attentions have turned to trying to get back on the bike as soon as possible. The Italian GP at Mugello is the first race that Espargaro sees himself being able to compete at, but there’s no guarantee that’s going to be the case. The good news for Espargaro is there’s a three weekend layoff between the French GP and Italian GP – three crucial weeks for his recovery.

“I really want to get on the bike, it's what I get up every day for, it's my fuel. I would like to be back for the Italian GP. Seeing the KTMs working is also what makes me want to come back, in Jerez it was spectacular. I understand that at Le Mans it can be more complicated... And I would like to come back in Italy.

“It's a very fast circuit and maybe it's not the best place to come back, but I would like to come back. We'll see, if Dr. Charte gives me the OK, then I'll choose the GP that I think is best for my condition.”

Espargaro, who continues to “spend more than four hours a day in a hyperbaric chamber” alongside physiotherapy and having to sleep with equipment to help him recover quicker, also illustrates that missing Jerez and Le Mans have “hurt him the most” – one being his home GP, the other being a track he loves. Here’s hoping that we see the loveable former World Champion back in action at Mugello. 

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