until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Triple fracture yet 'very lucky' - Fernandez's weird crash

by Simon Patterson
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Trackhouse Racing Aprilia’s Raul Fernandez has revealed the full extent of the injuries he sustained two weeks ago during a testing crash at Sepang - as well as heaping praise on MotoGP’s medical team for being able to get him back into fit shape for this week’s Lusail test despite suffering three fractures to his hip and pelvis in Malaysia.

Fernandez suffered an unseen massive highside only three laps into the three-day test in Sepang, crashing shortly after reigning world champion Pecco Bagnaia went down at the same corner. But, while the Italian was able to walk away, Fernandez suffered more serious injuries that have significantly impacted the start of his season.

He did go out after the crash, but ultimately withdrew from not just the day's action but from the full test.

Raul Fernandez, Trackhouse Aprilia, MotoGP

“I am lucky,” he told The Race in Lusail ahead of the start of the second and final pre-season test. “Very very lucky, after the big crash that I had in Sepang. The doctors saw that I had three different fractures, and that’s not fun.

“It was strange. I saw Pecco, he crashed on the first lap and I crashed on the third one, but it’s not something that I understand very well. I was slower, I was on the correct line, but I felt that both the tyres slid and I did a highside.

“It’s really strange because I didn’t expect, I didn’t see any wet patches or oil. It was super strange. We saw that on the data, too. It wasn’t just a highside for having a lot of gas or anything like that, or that I was aggressive. Just that both tyres slid and in that moment I flew.”

Aided by MotoGP’s in-house medical team, he’s been able to recover in time to compete at the two-day Qatari test, something that’ll come as welcome relief given his somewhat patchy history of pre-season testing after a significant concussion at Mandalika in his rookie season in 2022 and arm pump issues in 2023.

That recovery is in no small part, he says, thanks to the efforts of the Quironprevencion team who replaced the venerable Clinica Mobile as the paddock’s rehabilitation and recovery specialists 12 months ago - to no small consternation among the riders at the time.

Raul Fernandez, Trackhouse Aprilia, MotoGP

“I feel like MotoGP in some moments do an amazing job,” Fernandez stressed. “What they did with the Clinica, everyone was in a really confused moment when they said that we would not have Clinca and they changed after a lot of years and Quiron came. But they were amazing, and we are really happy with them.

“In my case, I don’t have the words to dedicate to them, especially to Jaime [Benito] and Nacho [Gallego], the physio and the doctor. The team that they have is amazing.

“The crash was less than two weeks ago, but I can more or less walk, go on the bicycle, so I feel that the recovery has been quite fast. Normal people need four or five weeks to be here, and [yet] in less than two I will jump on a MotoGP bike.”

And while the new Trackhouse squad’s intention might be to eventually promote him onto a factory-spec 2024 RS-GP once supply chains catch up with demand within the Italian factory, Fernandez is right now feeling more than a little relief that he’ll be able to concentrate on the 2023 machine he already knows from the post-race Valencia test in November.

“The test is very important for us,” he admitted, “because we lost three very important days in Sepang. Now I can say that I am happy to have the old bike, because I did the test in Valencia and I felt really good with the bike.

“Yes, I only did three laps in Sepang, but in those three laps I immediately felt really good with the bike. The set-up we have, I don’t think we have to change too much, so this test is just to first of all feel how is the leg and then later on to take some good feeling.

“For me the most important is to again get this mind speed. It’s not easy. You can train at your home [with a road bike], but it’s not the same.

"This is important, that and to try and feel how I am physically. That’s important for me. To not do anything stupid and to get a lot of laps."

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