News 6 Jun 2023

GasGas racer Espargaro targeting return before summer break

Folger to continue as replacement for recovering Spaniard at Mugello.

Image: Supplied.

GasGas Factory Racing Tech3’s Pol Espargaro is targeting a return to the MotoGP World Championship before the European summer break, with Jonas Folger to continue as the replacement for the recovering Spaniard at Mugello.

Espargaro sustained numerous injuries in a huge crash in the second practice session at Portimao, and has been sidelined since the opening round as he recovers.

The number 44 had expressed his desire to make a comeback weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, however, his decision to miss round seven of the 2023 season at Mugello was made on the recommendation of medical professionals.

“I was really looking forward to getting back on my bike but, as I said from the beginning, the final decision would be made for me by the doctors and they asked me to wait a few more days,” Espargaro explained. “My original plan was to return for one of these next three races before the summer break and this continues to be the idea.

“The most important thing is to be physically ready, and this call means I have a few more days to keep working at home and arrive in the best form possible and as soon as possible. I’m feeling really good and I’m really motivated. I hope to see the team and everyone in the sport, and for sure the fans, as soon as I can.”

The Mugello round is immediately followed by the German GP at the Sachsenring and the Dutch TT at Assen, with three rounds in three weekends before the summer break.

MotoGP rookie Augusto Fernandez will be joined by fill-in rider Folger once more at Mugello in the GasGas Factory Racing Tech3 team, the Italian round set to mark the German’s fourth appearance ‘in red’ this season.