Tuesday, December 5, 2023
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Accident on lap 1 of the Qatar sprint: Miguel Oliveira and Aleix Espargaro injured

Miguel Oliveira misses Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix with shoulder injury, Aleix Espargaro’s participation questionable – What happened in the sprint accident

In the short Saturday race (sprint) of the current MotoGP weekend at the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar, there was an accident in the early stages in which two riders sustained injuries: Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) suffered a fracture to his fibula in the left knee area and Miguel Oliveira (RNF-Aprilia) sustained a fracture to his right shoulder blade.

What happened? A few seconds after the start, Miguel Oliveira made a mistake under braking in turn 6 of the first lap. He crashed into the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro in front of him, throwing the Spaniard off and causing Oliveira himself to fall.

Apart from that, Enea Bastianini (Ducati) was also involved in the accident. He was unable to avoid Espargaro’s bike. Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha), on the other hand, was able to avoid the accident, but had to take a detour through the asphalt run-off zone

Because both Aleix Espargaro and Miguel Oliveira suffered injuries, they were not available for interviews at the track on Saturday evening. Both riders were diagnosed with their respective injuries directly at the Lusail International Circuit medical center.

Oliveira, however, still has to undergo further medical examinations at a hospital in Doha. Regardless of the outcome of these examinations, it is already clear in the case of the Portuguese rider that he will not compete in the Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday

Espargaro, on the other hand, will only be medically examined again on Sunday before the warm-up. A decision will then be made as to whether the race weekend will also end prematurely for him or whether he will be able to take part in the Grand Prix.

Enea Bastianini, who, like Espargaro and Oliveira, crashed but, unlike the two Aprilia riders, was uninjured, described the accident as follows: “Miguel braked harder than the riders in front of us. He lost control of his bike and Aleix and I also crashed.”

While the contact between the two Aprilia bikes of Oliveira and Espargaro took place on the track after Oliveira braked, Bastianini rode his Ducati over Espargaro’s Aprilia, which was lying on the ground. Bastianini also fell off. “Jumping over it was just not possible,” he says

Despite this, Bastianini was able to continue the sprint. But more than P20 as last in the classification was not possible for him. “It was just an unlucky day for me. I think I could have finished in the top 5 today purely in terms of pace,” said the Ducati factory rider, who celebrated his first redemptive victory of an otherwise extremely difficult 2023 season in triumphant style last weekend in Sepang (Malaysia).

Franco Morbidelli simply said of the accident on the first lap of the Qatar sprint: “There were a few riders on the ground in front of me. To avoid catching them, I had to leave the track.” The Yamaha rider finished the sprint in 15th place



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