Aleix Espargaro serves grid penalty then retires early from Qatar MotoGP

Aleix Espargaro retired early from the Qatar MotoGP after serving his grid penalty.
Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, Qatar MotoGP, 18 November
Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, Qatar MotoGP, 18 November

The Aprilia rider was hit with a six-place grid demotion and a €10,000 fine for slapping Franco Morbidelli on the helmet on Saturday.

But he later fractured his fibulia, ending Saturday with his leg in plaster, leading to doubts he could even the Qatar MotoGP.

The wording of his penalty confused matters. It appeared his grid penalty would specifically relate to the race in Qatar, and would not carry over to the next race that he is fit to compete in.

But a limping Espargaro confirmed that he was able to race after battling through the warm-up.

Starting from 16th on the grid, he took part in the early stages of the race before heading into the pits, where he retired early, with 15 laps remaining.

It ends any debate over his grid penalty, which was served.

A nightmare weekend for Espargaro concluded early.

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