Aleix Espargaro plans Assen return

Aleix Espargaro planning to be back on track at this weekend's Dutch MotoGP.
Aleix Espargaro plans Assen return

Aleix Espargaro will attempt to ride in this weekend's Dutch MotoGP round at Assen, following left leg injuries in Catalunya.

The Aprilia rider was struck by wild-card team-mate Bradley Smith in an incident at Turn 10 on the opening lap (pictured) and, although able to stay on his machine, subsequently pulled into the pits.

The Spaniard will need to undergo medical checks on Thursday but is confident he will be cleared to ride.

"This week I went through some intense rehabilitation, with all possible techniques and equipment," said Espargaro, who missed the post-race Barcelona tests due to a 'micro-fracture to the femur and an injury to the left tibia'.

"I am pleased with the results because I feel rather well, despite still having some difficulty with lateral movement due to the bone edema.

"In any case, I am highly motivated to get back on the track in Assen, one of my favourite circuits on the MotoGP calendar."

Should Espargaro not be passed fit, or have too much difficulty in riding, it is assumed that Smith will be on standby as a replacement.

While both Smith and Espargaro failed to finished in Catalunya, Andrea Iannone took his best RS-GP result so far with an eleventh place finish.

"I like the Dutch track, where I have sweet memories of the races I have ridden on this historic circuit," Iannone said. "I hope it will be a positive weekend for us. We were able to demonstrate some encouraging signs in Barcelona and we’ll be trying to improve even more."

Aprilia are now eleventh points behind KTM in the battle to avoid being last in the constructors' championship.