MotoGP rider field shrinks after accidents in Portugal.
The MotoGP rider field is shrinking after accidents at the season opener in Portugal. Four riders – Pol Espargaro (Tech-3-GasGas), Enea Bastianini (Ducati), Marc Marquez (Honda) and Miguel Oliveira (RNF-Aprilia) – will not be able to take part in the upcoming race in Argentina due to injuries.
Miguel Oliveira and his injury
Miguel Oliveira suffered bruises in the right pelvic area in the accident in the main race, caused by Marc Marquez. After an MRI examination in Lisbon confirmed tendon injuries in the outer hip joints of the right leg, which can not be operated and must heal naturally. The RNF team hopes that Oliveira will be able to return for the US Grand Prix in Austin (Texas) in mid-April.
Other riders and their injuries
Pol Espargaro suffered a crash in the second Friday practice session in which he suffered a pulmonary contusion, a fractured vertebra and a broken jaw.
Enea Bastianini broke his right shoulder blade in a crash with Luca Marini in the sprint race.
Marc Marquez suffered a fracture of the metacarpal bone of the right thumb in his accident in the Grand Prix, in which he cleared Oliveira, and has already undergone surgery.
Jorge Martin, who was also involved in Marc Marquez’s accident, broke a toe, while Fabio di Giannantonio (Gresini-Ducati) had to abandon the Grand Prix due to arm pump problems in his right forearm. Martin and di Giannantonio are expected to travel to Argentina, however.
No substitute riders required
As the Argentina race takes place just one week after the Portugal race, the regulations do not require teams to nominate substitute riders. This means that the MotoGP field at Termas de Rio Hondo will only include 18 riders.
Marc Marquez’s return and penalty
Following his surgery, Marc Marquez will miss the Argentina race and plans to return at the Texas race in mid-April. For his gross driving error, Marquez will be penalized with a double-longlap penalty in his next race. Jorge Martin, who also had problems in the race due to Marquez’s action, expressed his opinion that Marquez should be penalized more severely, but believes this is unlikely.
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