Maximum yield for Aleix Espargaro on the MotoGP weekend in Montmelo: After the sprint victory on Saturday, the Aprilia rider won the Grand Prix of Catalonia on Sunday ahead of his teammate Maverick Vinales.
However, the Spaniard’s joy was restrained. “This win is for Pecco,” Espargaro said to Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia.
The world champion had been thrown from his Ducati after the start with a highsider. Most of the following pilots were able to dodge, only Brad Binder not. The KTM rider drove over the legs of the Italian lying on the asphalt. The race was stopped and Bagnaia, who was conscious, was taken to hospital by ambulance after receiving first aid at the medical center.
Angel Charte, MotoGP Medical Director, spoke of a “severe polytrauma” suffered by Bagnaia. “A motorcycle ran over him in the thigh and shin area. We took an X-ray and discovered a small injury that we do not know if it is acute or old,” it said in a statement. Computed tomography was taken at the hospital to rule out serious injuries.
The pilots had been told that Bagnaia got off relatively lightly. “Fortunately, Pecco doesn’t seem to be seriously injured,” said Espargaro, “I was driving right behind him and I was really worried, so I had to reprogram myself in my head.” He did that quite well.
trophy from his children
After the restart, the 34-year-old was second most of the time, but then benefited from tire problems at Vinales. “I tried everything, but we didn’t have a fresh rear tire for the second start,” said Vinales.
Espargaro’s home town of Granollers is just seven kilometers from the track. There was even an Aprilia triple victory in the air, but Martin and Johann Zarco managed to overtake Miguel Oliveira. Brad Binder retired with problems on his KTM. His teammate Jack Miller finished eighth.
It got emotional for Espargaro at the award ceremony: His children Mia and Max, who he immortalized on his helmet, were first allowed to present their dad with the trophy and then celebrate with him on the top podium. Marc Marquez, who was recently shaken by a series of falls, ended up 13th in the points. Marco Bezzechi, who had to switch to the soft compound after the accident at the start without fresh medium front tires, landed in front of him in twelfth place, just ahead of Marquez.
In the drivers’ championship, Bagnaia is still 50 points ahead of Martin, while Binder is fourth. The San Marino Grand Prix will be held in Misano next weekend.