But he is now planning a return to MotoGP which he hopes will be sooner than worried fans might imagine.

The Tech3 GASGAS rider sustained a broken jaw plus injuries to his lung and back after an accident on the Friday of the season-opening weekend, damage so traumatic that it almost caused him to call it a day.

We Could Lose Yamaha AND Honda feat. Jeremy McWilliams | Crash MotoGP Podcast Episode 88

He thought about retiring, he told DAZN: "Of course, it is evident. 

“I have had a lot of time to think, to reflect on what I do. 

“At times in the ICU I was with my wife. Perhaps those who have the worst [time] are those around you, my wife and my two daughters. 

“They have had a bad time, but above all my wife, seeing her suffer is perhaps what has led me to think about [retiring] the most, if all this is worth it to me.

"She already met me riding a motorcycle, which is what makes me happy. 

“I have been lucky to have them by my side, especially this time that without them I would have thought about whether to continue riding a motorcycle because later the recoveries are impossible.”

But Espargaro is on the mend.

His 10th season in the premier class could begin at the very next race, at Mugello on June 11, if his optimism is rewarded.

"Yes, I really want to,” he said. 

“It's why I get up every day, it's my fuel. 

“To think that after the trauma I've had, getting back on a motorcycle is difficult to understand, I suppose, for many.

"For me and for those of us who are dedicated to this, for those of us who like this sport so much, it is what I get up for every day. 

“I set a date to return and it is my goal. Every day I am doing my best rehabbing to get on the bike that day.”

If Mugello is not possible then Espargaro is determined to return in Germany (June 18) or the Netherlands (June 25).

“I'm thinking of trying to return in one of these three that remain,” he said. 

“I wanted to return to Le Mans, but obviously the doctor told me not to be crazy.

"In these three upcoming races, I would like to get back on the bike for one of them. 

“I don't know if it will be possible but it is what I have in mind, what I would like.

"Whether it's Mugello, Assen or Sachsenring, one of these three, perhaps the third, the last, which is the closest after the summer break and so I can recover because Kazakhstan isn't there. 

“In one of these, that's what I'm at. Waiting and recovering as I can, waiting for the doctor to give me the OK to run.

"I'd like to come back to Mugello. It's true that it's a very complicated circuit because of the speed in all the corners, maybe it's not the best place to come back to, so maybe I won't come back to Mugello, I don't know and I'll wait for a couple more races.

"Everything has to go according to a procedure that I have to comply with, especially listening to the doctors. 

“Doctor Charte, who has been my father these days and who has been calling me every day to see how I was doing and if he gives me the OK to run.

"Then I will see how I am in terms of strength and energy, and I will choose the Grand Prix that best suits my physical and mental state and everything to return. 

“Perhaps, what has been said, Mugello due to its characteristics, is not the most appropriate circuit.”

Espargaro’s mind takes him back to the crash that left him hospitalised and sidelined.

"Yes, it was very strong,” he remembers.

"It was one of those blows that you don't want to repeat. 

“It also happened at a time that I didn't expect.

“Normally when you are pushing in a qualy or during the race you are in a mode of preventing any fall or any type of action that passed.

"At that moment I was just coming out of the pits, I was ready to pull, to do just that fastest lap, and there was a chain of consequences for what happened in the crash. 

“It caught me off guard, not expecting that crash, so when I went flying I saw myself at a moment I didn't expect and then I started to spin around and lost my point of view.

"There were many factors for which I had the crash and the injuries I had. 

“The main ones were due to my mistake, for going too slow at the pit stop with the new tyre.”