Pol Espargaro has a simple aim for the MotoGP off-season: "Heal up".

The Red Bull KTM rider suffered a hernia in his vertebra during a 250km/h fall at the very first test of the year, in Sepang, also ruling him out of the Thai test.

Later in the season, Espargaro suffered a broken collarbone plus a scary and painful spinal injury during practice at Brno, forcing him to miss three rounds.

Espargaro then re-broke the same left collarbone at Aragon, undergoing surgery before a comeback next time in Thailand.

The Spaniard's reward for such a physically punishing season came at the Valencia finale, where he made history with KTM's first MotoGP podium.

But even at the final test of the year in Jerez, the Spaniard was still suffering from the after-effects of his Brno fall.

"Even now, especially after the first [track] run I do each morning, I have an electric [shock] feeling in my hands when I put my neck down," he revealed.

"It means that there is still some irritation on the nerves and all these things in the back from the Czech Republic.

"I've had no time to fully recover. So I need to rest and heal myself up [during the winter] because it's been the toughest season of my life. No surgery is needed, just rest."

Espargaro will be back on track alongside his new KTM team-mate Johann Zarco during the opening 2019 test at Sepang from February 6-8.

 

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