Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro suffered a painful premature end to his home Grand Prix at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya on Sunday, a collision with Aprilia test rider Bradley Smith on the opening lap caused the Spaniard to suffer left knee damage.
Missed amongst the drama earlier on, the two of the factory Aprilias failed to complete the first lap! ????— MotoGP™ ???? (@MotoGP) June 16, 2019
Here's what happened to @BradleySmith38 and @AleixEspargaro! ????#CatalanGP ???? pic.twitter.com/99gXAyvGYl
It is said that Espargaro has been diagnosed with a bone edema on the left knee, with the Spaniard set to undergo further tests when the swelling has gone down to determine the full extent of the injury.
Aleix will now miss Monday’s official Barcelona test and with a full diagnosis not yet possible, we’ll have to wait and see how long the Aprilia man is out of action for.
Massimo Rivola, Aprilia Racing CEO: “This is undoubtedly a difficult time for us and Aleix’s injury is the most pressing issue right now. He is a supporting pillar of our team and we hope to see him back in the saddle as soon as possible. Even more disappointing is the fact that it was Bradley who caused the crash, who is working on developing the bike. These episodes should not occur. Andrea rode a good race, positive in the early stages and then dropping off toward the end, probably due to tyre wear. We are making significant efforts to grow our project, but at the moment, the results are not very comforting. We have an important test tomorrow for development in view of the future and this injury was the last thing we needed, but we are absolutely united in our determination to reverse the trend. It does not matter who hard and how long we need to work. We’ll get there.”