After seven years in the Moto2 World Championship, Spanish motorcycle racer Xavi Vierge joined Team HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) for the 2022 Superbike World Championship (WSBK) season. Number 97 didn’t waste any time acclimating to the WSBK paddock, though, finishing nine of the first 12 races in the points and securing ninth place in the championship standings.
Just when Vierge’s progress was peaking during the series’ Italian round at the Misano World Circuit, an unfortunate crash in the weekend’s second race put a halt to his season. With just 10 laps until the checkered flag, Vierge was battling with Motocorsa Racing (Ducati satellite team) rider Axel Bassani for fifth position when the two tangled at turn 11. Bassani went on to finish the race, but Vierge’s campaign ended in the gravel trap. He later took to Instagram to explain the incident.
“I think the other rider (Axel Bassani) overtook me, touching my front wheel, so I found myself in direct line with the wall and had to jump off the bike,” explained Vierge. "I was lucky because I touched the ground at very high speed. After an initial check, it looks like I might have broken something in my right hand."
Initial examinations carried out at the Barcelona, Spain’s Hospital Universitario Quirón Dexeus confirmed that Vierge suffered “six fractures..., two of which require surgery.”
In a released statement, Team HRC revealed that “The two bones in question are the third metacarpal bone and the hamate bone, which will be operated on by Dr. (Xavi) Mir and his team on Thursday (June 16, 2022). The surgery will not be done any earlier because it is important to wait three days to be sure that Xavi is suffering no consequences from the blow to the head that he suffered in the fall."
The news is even more devastating considering that Vierge already battled through a rib injury earlier this season and was vying for his third top-five result when the latest injury occurred. Hopefully, the Honda rider can return to fitness soon. If not in time for the Great British and Czech Republic WSBK rounds in July, then possibly for the French round following the series’ five-week break.