Pol ‘nursing the neck injury’

Pol Espargaro returns home to Valencia eager to put in a good result but worried that a neck injury may hamper his chances.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider hurt his neck in a warm-up crash at the last race of MotoGP's triple-header, the Malaysian GP.

The determined 24-year-old still took to the grid later in the day but the pain meant he was not able to attack and he brought his M1 across the line in ninth place.

Although he is hoping before a better result at Valencia this Sunday, Espargaro concedes his neck injury may scupper his chances.

"I am looking forward to racing in front of my home fans at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, which is a track that I really enjoy riding on and one that always has an amazing atmosphere," he said.

"However, I am under no illusions that this round will be easy, especially because I am nursing the neck injury from the Malaysia GP. I am still in pain and to be honest, that race was one of the toughest that I have ever had to ride.

"It marked a tricky end to the flyaway events, which were all quite challenging and for sure, I would have liked to finish those three races further up the order.

"However, we never gave up and pushed nonstop so now we will focus on Valencia and I am confident of riding to a solid result.

"Last year, I completed the GP in sixth, which was a positive way to end the season and even though this may be a bit tricky to repeat due to the competition as well as my injury, it is what I will be hoping for.

"Having said that, the fans support will really help me and motivate me even more. There will be thousands there and I will do my best to give them a good result to remember the race by.

"I know that we can conclude the year positively and I will fight through the pain and do my absolute best at Valencia with my Yamaha M1."