'My reflexes were not good' - Fernandez halts testing after another fall

MotoGP rookie Raul Fernandez struggles with the aftermath of Saturday's heavy Mandalika accident, halts testing early after another fall.
Raul Fernandez, Bruising on his head from a crash, MotoGP, Indonesian MotoGP test 12 February 2022
Raul Fernandez, Bruising on his head from a crash, MotoGP, Indonesian…
© Gold and Goose

Should Raul Fernandez have been prevented from riding on the final day of the Mandalika MotoGP test?

That was the logical question after the Tech3 KTM rider, who suffered a big accident at Turn 12 on Saturday, fell again after just a handful of Sunday laps and admitted his 'speed reflexes were not good'.

The team had reported 'nothing too serious came out from the medical check' on Saturday, with Fernandez (pictured after the accident, with possible bruising visible) saying: "I feel good overall, despite a small pain in my head."

But following the second accident, Doctors 'decided that the safest option was to stop' and Fernandez sat out the remainder of the day.

“Yesterday I crashed and everything seemed good after my medical check. However when I got on the bike this morning, I didn’t feel well," Fernandez said.

"I crashed again this morning and [at that] moment I did not understand why, so I went for another medical check and my speed reflexes were not good. The doctors decided that the safest option was to stop for the day."

Giving Fernandez the green light to return when he appears to have suffered a sizeable impact to the head is surprising given the stricter medical checks recently announced for 2022.

Under a section title 'Medical Fitness to Race', it was stated that: 'The [Grand Prix] Commission approved a number of new regulations concerning the medical assessment conducted to permit return to competition.

'Specifically, there are new requirements on evidence that must be considered when reviewing recovery from head injury and concussion…'

Fernandez, who finished the test in 22nd place overall courtesy of his Saturday time, now has three weeks to fully recover before the start of his debut MotoGP race weekend in Qatar.

"Anyway, we did a good job here in Mandalika. Day after day, my feeling with the bike gets better and I feel competitive because yesterday I was in the top 15 most of the day," said the Spaniard.

"Now it is time for me to rest and focus on recovery because it has been a very intense preseason from a physical perspective.

"The process since the Jerez test in November has been positive and I have improved a lot. I feel happy with the work done, my team, and I am really motivated to go racing in Qatar.”

Team-mate Remy Gardner, who underwent wrist surgery shortly before the Sepang test, was just behind Fernandez in 23rd.

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