Pol Espargaro is on track to make his return to action in the 2023 MotoGP World Championship before the summer hiatus, his GasGas Tech 3 Racing team has confirmed.
The Spaniard has been out of action since the opening round when a high-side in Friday practice left him with a litany of injuries that have so far kept him sidelined for two and a half months.
While his most extreme rehabilitation process involved having his mouth wired shut for almost a month to correct a break to his jaw, it was the injury to his back that has prolonged his recovery.
Nevertheless, Espargaro had been targeting this weekend’s upcoming sixth MotoGP round at Mugello for his comeback, but this has been shuffled back to either the following German MotoGP at Sachsenring or the Dutch MotoGP at Assen to be sure.
“I was really looking forward to getting back on my bike but, as I said from the beginning, the final decision would be made for me by the doctors and they asked me to wait a few more days,” Espargaro said.
“My original plan was to return for one of these next three races before the summer break and this continues to be the idea. The most important thing is to be physically ready, and this call means I have a few more days to keep working at home and arrive in the best form possible and as soon as possible.
“I’m feeling really good and I’m really motivated. I hope to see the team and everyone in the sport, and for sure the fans, as soon as I can.”
Espargaro - who is yet to start a race in GasGas colours after switching from Repsol Honda over the winter - will once more be replaced by Jonas Folger, who has scored seven points in the four rounds he’s participated so far.