Nightmare for Team Pons: Axel breaks hand as Aleix only qualifies 32nd
The second day of the Italian Grand Prix has been very negative for the Pons HP 40 team with the unfortunate injury of Axel Pons during the first free practice on Saturday. The young rider from Barcelona collided with the bike of Ratthapark Wilairot, who had a crash and he had no time to avoid him. As a result of this accident Pons has fractured the third metacarpal of his left hand and sufferd a fissure of the left wrist as well as strong knock to the head. After a check at the circuit clinic he had to be moved to do some additional tests at a hospital in the nearby town of Borgo San Lorenzo, including a cranial CT scan to rule out any further injury. This Monday Pons will visit the doctors Mir and Ginebreda of the Clínica Dexeus in Barcelona and after this examination will determine the recovery period.
And in terms of riding it also has not been a good day for Aleix Espargaro, who finished 32th in a qualifying which took place in wet conditions. Espargaró, who was third in the free morning session in dry conditions, again had problems to ride with confidence in the wet in a very difficult session. Still, Espargaró is confident for a good race tomorrow.
#40. Aleix Espargaro: 32nd – 2’09’974
“This morning in the dry things went very well, we have improved a lot from yesterday. In the afternoon, in wet conditions, I have really started better than in previous races, I was 14th, but I changed my tyre and it was a disaster: everyone improved their laptime and I didn’t, I went out on track and I rode very uncomfortable. Tomorrow I start from 32nd, so I will have to make up a lot. If I’m lucky and don’t let the front guys get away we’ll see if I can get on the podium. My bike is very good aerodynamically and I think the long straight of Mugello could help me. You have to start well and push from the first lap and not let go. The first three laps will be crucial.”
Sito Pons – Team manager
“I’m very sorry about what happened to Axel. He’s had bad luck and it’s been a shame. He was improving a lot, lowering his laptimes and then he collided with a rider on the track and got injured again. I know he has crashed several times this year, but when a rider gets stronger and find his limit you can’t blame him. What’s satisfying is that he is always trying to improve. But this, combined with inevitable moments like today or when he hit a patch of oil on the Assen track or other things that have happened in his career that we all remember, I feel bad because they are not normal incidents. That always inhibits the normal evolution of a rider. I think he deserves much more for the effort he’s been making and I wished that this onslaught of bad luck would end.
Source: Pons Racing