Honda withdraws Espargaro from Valencia MotoGP finale

Honda has announced Pol Espargaro will not take part in Sunday’s 2021 MotoGP season finale at the Valencia Grand Prix following a heavy crash on Saturday.

Espargaro suffered a violent highside in FP3 on Saturday morning when the rear end of his Honda let go as he rounded the long left-hander at Turn 13.

The Spaniard landed heavily on his back and needed to be stretchered off track by marshals before he was taken to the medical centre for checks.

Initial scans showed no major injuries, but Espargaro was taken to hospital for further evaluation – which also showed he’d suffered no broken bones, but was in considerable pain from some bruising.

He was declared unfit to take part in the rest of Saturday’s sessions, and will now not race as both he and Honda have taken the decision to focus on the Jerez post-season test next week.

A brief statement from Honda read: “After assessing his condition this morning, Pol Espargaro will not participate in the Valencia GP as he and the Repsol Honda Team focus on the Jerez test.”

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Commenting on his crash on Saturday, Espargaro said: “Unfortunately today I had a very big crash during FP3 at Turn 13.

“The impact was very hard but fortunately I have no serious injuries and nothing appeared broken in the tests we did at the hospital.

“At the moment I have a lot of pain from around my ribs when I breathe, this is what hurts the most.

“I’m really disappointed because we had great speed and I was feeling really confident. I’m sorry for my team.”

The Jerez test is an important opportunity for Honda to put much-needed miles on its 2022 challenger as it looks to correct the issues which have plagued its 2021 campaign.

Honda has already had a major setback in its pre-season plans owing to Marc Marquez’s vision issues following a concussion which have ruled him out of the final two rounds as well as the Jerez test.

With both Marquez and Espargaro out of action for Sunday’s race, it will mark the first time since the 1992 Dutch TT that no factory team Honda will line up on the grid. 

shares
comments

Related video

Valencia MotoGP - Start time, how to watch & more
Previous article

Valencia MotoGP - Start time, how to watch & more

Next article

Valencia MotoGP: Bagnaia wins as Rossi brings career to a close

Valencia MotoGP: Bagnaia wins as Rossi brings career to a close
Load comments
Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve Prime

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve

Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve

MotoGP
Jan 17, 2022
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Prime

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Prime

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the 2021 MotoGP title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and a revitalised Marc Marquez. Read on to see who makes our top 10 list.

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Prime

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021