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MotoGP Le Mans: Aleix Espargaro sent flying at 200km/h

“It was the biggest of my career. Almost 200km/h. I fly a lot. So it's strange to say but I was really lucky” - Aleix Espargaro.
Aleix Espargaro suffered the biggest accident of his career on Saturday morning at the French MotoGP.

The Suzuki star was launched into the air when the rear of his GSX-RR broke free after switching to the extra soft tyre.

Taken to the medical centre to have x-rays on his right hand and scans to his abdomen, the battered and bruised Spaniard was fortunately given the all-clear to return for final practice and qualifying.

“It was the biggest of my career,” Espargaro said of the fall. “Almost 200km/h. I fly a lot. So it's strange to say but I was really lucky because I have pain in all my back and all my body, especially my hand. I have one ligament almost destroyed. But I'm OK and I'll do my best tomorrow.”

Espargaro defied his injuries to win one of the two transfer places in Qualifying 1, going on to finish an admirable tenth out of twelve riders in the Qualifying 2 pole position shootout.

“They gave me some medicine but I prefer to try natural,” he revealed. “In the hard braking I had a lot of pain when the handlebar is pushing my hand, but at least we know and tomorrow for the race I will [take some medication].”

Despite his condition Espargaro, who said he 'hates' the Le Mans circuit on Thursday, is confident of delivering a strong race due to a 'fantastic' set-up for his GSX-RR.

“This track I don't like at all, every year struggle a lot, but this year I don't understand why but the bike is fantastic,” he explained. “I think maybe it is the best setting I've had this year. Tomorrow we can do a very, very interesting race. A very good race.

“This morning I did a 1m 34.2s with 28 laps on the rear tyre, which is fantastic. So I pushed a little bit in Qualifying 1. I was not even looking at the pit board. The position I don't care. I just pushed and then I stopped in the pits and I was lucky I was into Qualifying 2.

“Then we had one [soft] tyre left, because I don't want to use the extra soft anymore, so I did just three laps in Qualifying 2. I think a '33.6 is a good time and enough for today.”

Team-mate Maverick Vinales did not progress past Qualifying 1 and will start 13th.

Tagged as: Suzuki , Espargaro

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May 16, 2015 4:21 PM

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May 16, 2015 3:19 PM

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