Aleix Espargaro is set to become the fourth MotoGP rider to undergo arm-pump surgery this season, but will wait until after next weekend's French Grand Prix.

While not struggling as badly as Fabio Quartararo, who dropped from the lead to 13th place at Jerez and promptly headed for an arm-pump operation on Tuesday, Espargaro felt his braking had been compromised in the closing stages.

"In the last laps I suffered a little bit of right arm pump," said Espargaro, who slipped from a high fourth to sixth, still equalling the RS-GP's best result.

"I had no strength to brake hard. I suffered a lot on the right arm, so I lose a little bit of performance on the brakes.

"I did operate more than ten years ago, but now I was talking with the doctor and maybe I have to do surgery again because it can be that there is again a [blood flow] block to the muscle. So I will do some tests Monday or Tuesday, because sincerely I suffered. It’s not normal."

After riding for just 12 laps at the Monday test, Aprilia confirmed to Crash.net that Espargaro is now set to undergo surgery prior to the team's home race at Mugello.

"Mugello is I think the worst circuit of the calendar [for arm pump]. I really suffer a lot during the last part of that race and I wasn’t the only one, so let’s see if I can fix it by there," Espargaro said.

The Spaniard added that he was 'curious' to understand why, ten years after surgery, the problem has now returned, but thinks part of the reason is the ever-increasing performance of the bikes.

"The race was close to 20-seconds faster than last year. It means because the bike’s acceleration is just unbelievable. From one small corner to the other, you arrive at more than 200k per hour. So you have to handle it, and it’s very difficult," he said.

"I don't think it’s [just] Jerez. I think the MotoGP bikes are every time faster, faster, faster. More downforce, more aerodynamics and more power. We are not machines like the bikes. We are humans.

"I love the fitness. I love to train. I love to try different, new things to be more in shape, but I don't know what more we can do to train for this. Maybe I can change a little bit the position on the bike to gain something, I don't know.

"I’m curious because it’s close to ten years that I’m in MotoGP, and I really never had this [arm pump] problem. So, it’s something new."

In addition to Quartararo, Ducati's Jack Miller and Tech3's Iker Lecuona underwent arm pump surgery between Qatar and Portimao.

'We cannot forget where we come from'

Espargaro, who believes the Aprilia can finish on the MotoGP podium this season, was 2.6s from achieving that goal in the Spanish Grand Prix.

"I had the same pace as Morbidelli [third] and was just 0.8 behind him, but then unluckily I lost two seconds on the lap passing Quartararo and that's when Taka and Joan overtook me. But races are like this sometimes.

"We cannot forget where we come from. Last year it was difficult to finish in the points," he added

"Last year we were really far. This year we are a lot closer, but we are fighting every race with a world champion bike in the Suzuki. We are not far from them, but we still need to gain a little bit of traction, especially when it is hot like this.

"So we are working. We are getting closer. It’s difficult to go from 15th to 3rd every race, but we’ve come from 15th last year to top 6 every race, so this makes me happy. But not enough!"

Espargaro is currently seventh in the world championship.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...