MotoGP sophomore Di Giannantonio has been declared unfit for Sunday’s final day of pre-season testing at the Algarve circuit after suffering a concussion in a crash at the end of Saturday’s session.

The Italian slid off his satellite Ducati at Turn 7 and said he “completely disconnected” as soon as his head hit the gravel having up to that point harmlessly slid across asphalt.

Algarve’s gravel traps were a topic of discussion last year after riders complained about the damage it was doing to them, with world champion Francesco Bagnaia famously scooping some of the rocks to take to the safety commission meeting after taking a tumble in practice at the track.

Di Giannantonio was left angry at the fact he will miss one day of testing and several more of training due to the concussion caused by the gravel, and joked that “if we have to race like this we should go to Monaco where it’s more of a show and the risk would be the same”.

“It’s a pity also because it was just a lowside crash, but here the gravel is insane,” Di Giannantonio, who was ninth-fastest on Saturday, said.

“Every year we complain about the gravel because they are like really big rocks, and when you hit them it’s more painful than when you hit the asphalt.

“I was just sliding on the asphalt and once I hit them [the stones] it was like an explosion. And once my head banged the gravel, I completely disconnected.

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“If you see my helmet, it’s something completely unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like this.

“For this, I was complaining with my team to ask [for] something [to be done] because for all we talk about the safety of riders, the spray on the kerbs on the lines on the circuits I think has to be a guideline [for riders to keep to track limits].

“But it seems it’s not enough because like this it’s like going into a wall [with this gravel].

“What I was saying, if we have to race like this we should go to Monaco where it’s more show and the risk would be the same.”

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He added: “Honestly I’m angry for this, to lose a day of testing, to have this situation where I will lose two, three days of training at home – just for some gravel – I am angry.”

Di Giannantonio also said the circuit has altered the gravel for Turn 1, but nowhere else, and complained that riders have repeatedly been told wholesale changes would be made only for nothing to happen.

2023-03-12T12:47:49Z dg43tfdfdgfd