The track for the Moto2 Catalan GP was seemingly less damp than for the early 125cc race, but the asphalt still presented a wealth of problems for the intermediate class riders. The equality in lap times shown during the practice sessions was mirrored on race day, despite Stefan Bradl trying to pull away. The hopes of the home riders looked stronger with every passing lap, with Julian Simón, Aleix Espargaró and Mark Márquez all putting in strong lap times. In the end the German held on, taking victory on a day in which the Montmeló circuit celebrated 20 Grand Prixs.
Julián Simón could never be accused of lacking courage, something that he showed once more at his home round. The Spaniard had not had an easy weekend in practice sessions for the race, starting eighth on the grid -and with doubts in his head- as a result. Somehow he managed to move up into second place before the end of the opening lap on race day, thanks to a super take-off and sheer force of will. The MAPFRE Aspar rider was looking to be the most likely of the home riders to catch Bradl, until he was dealt a cruel stroke of luck on lap fifteen. Sofuoglu came on far too strongly when entering turn eleven, clipping the back of Simón’s bike and sending him through the air. The Clinica Mobile diagnosed a fractured tibia and fibula in his right leg. Taken to the Catalonia General Hospital in Sant Cugat del Vallés by ambulance, Simón was given a further verdict by Dr. Carlos Guinot. The doctor expanded upon the damage, confirmed as a “Third degree fracture of the distal tibia, with a 1/3 fracture of the fibula” in scans. The MAPRE Aspar rider will now be taken by medical plane -provided by MAPFRE with maximum urgency- to Madrid, where he will be operated on at the USP San José Hospital by Dr. Ángel Villamor.
Xavi Forés also had a dose of misfortune at his home race, experiencing a brake problem that obliged him to retire on lap eleven. He had expected better from a weekend in which he had earned his best qualifying result of thirteenth.
Julián Simón (DNF):
“We could have fought for the victory today. I had doubts at the end of the day yesterday, but this morning I felt very comfortable on the bike. The start was almost perfect and gave me a big boost, and when I saw that I could keep up with Bradl I didn’t think twice about trying. I was hit from behind suddenly by another rider and that was ‘game over’ for me. I immediately noticed that something wasn’t right with my right leg, which has now been confirmed. Right now I just have to focus on recovering as soon as possible. I wish to thank MAPFRE for their efforts in making it possible for me to be transported to Madrid so quickly.”
Xavi Forés (DNF):
“I am pretty annoyed, because the weekend was going well and we could have ended it strongly. I didn’t get off the line well, but I knew that we had the pace to be up there. I was fighting for eleventh place when I noted a loss off pressure in the front brake. I decided to overtake Cluzel, but when I grabbed the lever it didn’t respond. That took me off track and, although I wanted to rejoin the race, it was too dangerous and I was forced to retire.”
Source: Aspar Media
- “We will do our best to make our people proud of us”
- Marquez: the king of the crashers!
- PTT Thailand Grand Prix voted best of 2018
- Crowd pleasers: MotoGP™'s biggest weekends of the season
- F.C.C. to continue as official clutch supplier to Moto2™
- Argentina to host MotoGP™ until 2021
- XControllers, new official licensee of MotoGP™
- An abundance of World Champions lineup in MotoGP™ for 2019