Zarco thought he’d broken ankle when hit by Lecuona’s crashing bike

MotoGP

Johann Zarco was afraid that his horrific accident with Iker Lecuona’s bike during MotoGP’s Valencia Grand Prix had fractured his left ankle, but he escaped without any broken bones.

Zarco, along with Danilo Petrucci and debutant Lecuona, crashed at the Turn 6 left-hander halfway through the race, all three riders falling separately mere moments from one another.

While walking away from his accident in the gravel trap, Zarco was hit by Lecuona’s crashing Tech3 KTM and launched into a violent backflip.

Zarco was taken away on a stretcher but tests showed no broken bones.

“I was so disappointed because of the feeling that I lost the race and I have lost the last race at the moment that I can do in MotoGP,” said Zarco, whose future is uncertain again now his three-race deal to replace the injured Takaaki Nakagami at LCR is over.

“The sad feeling did not stay for long. I was walking to my bike and Lecuona’s bike totally took me away and this was a big surprise.

“It was a really hard shock and immediately the left ankle was a strange feeling. I could not move it and in the way it took me, I was thinking something was broken.

“I needed time to maybe stand and see if it is getting better. Now it looks [like] all bones are all OK, nothing broken, but ligaments maybe not good, so I will have [tests].”

Zarco had just moved up to 10th courtesy of Petrucci’s crash before his own fall and said he was hoping to even catch Valentino Rossi, who finished eighth.

“The race for me was hard at the beginning but then I felt that I was on the way to catch a better feeling,” said Zarco.

“I saw Petrucci crash, then immediately I was thinking ‘OK, keep the pace, maybe you can catch Valentino’.

“But just a few seconds after, I was crashing also in this T6. Not exactly in the same place as Petrucci but I had the crash, losing the front.

“I maybe lost a little bit of focus in that moment, or maybe the conditions were a bit difficult, also myself I’m still not able to bring the bike in a good way as I would like.”

Lecuona was “very scared” for Zarco and was confused about why three riders crashed at the same moment.

He suggested that Aron Canet’s KTM leaking oil earlier on Sunday at the corner, which caused a 10-minute delay to the Moto3 race, could have played a part.

“I went to the box to speak with him [Zarco] but he went to the Clinica to check the foot. When the team tells me he is [OK], I was very relaxed because I was very scared for him,” said Lecuona.

“I don’t know what happened in the crash. I know two riders crashed in the same lap like me, same point like me and same line as me. I don’t know why I crashed, I did not brake later, I didn’t push more.

“Maybe the temperature is possible, maybe the Moto3, this race Canet lost all the oil so maybe this with this cold temperature, it was possible to have this crash for three riders.”

Lecuona was running 15th when he crashed, the 19-year-old pleased to be battling for the points on his MotoGP debut.

“I am really happy about this weekend. I improve a lot, I go very fast and I stay in the points, it is amazing,” he said.

“I have one mistake in the race when I crashed but for sure I am very happy.”

KTM test rider Dani Pedrosa will ride for the Tech3 team in this week’s two-day test at Valencia in place of the injured Miguel Oliveira, who recently underwent surgery on the shoulder injury he suffered when Zarco took him out of the Silverstone race in August.

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