until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Morbidelli's MotoGP 2024 pre-season over on medical grounds

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Pramac Ducati MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli will skip not just the current pre-season test at Sepang but the upcoming one in Qatar too as a consequence of his crash in road bike testing at Portimao.

Morbidelli was left "completely unconscious" - in the words of brothers Marc and Alex Marquez, who were the first to attend to him - by his crash going over the hill between Turns 8 and 9 at Portimao last week, and was subsequently held in hospital for examinations (with a small blood clot reportedly found in his head).

Franco Morbidelli, Pramac Ducati, MotoGP

He was soon discharged, and there was talk of Morbidelli being ready to ride the Ducati MotoGP bike in either the whole of the three-day test at Sepang this week or at least its final day.

However, Pramac has now confirmed that not only will neither of those scenarios come to fruition, but that Morbidelli will also miss the February 19-20 Qatar test as a precaution.

The team reports the 29-year-old Italian is in a "general good condition" but has been advised by neurosurgery specialist Prof. Franco Servadei to "refrain from resuming sports activities for the next three weeks" despite a "good overall clinical picture".

Franco Morbidelli, Pramac Ducati, MotoGP

Pramac now expects Morbidelli's return to take place on March 8-10 in the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.

The Lusail round is thus set to be a real baptism by fire for Morbidelli.

He has made the switch to Ducati machinery after five seasons with Yamaha, and has only had a single day on the Desmosedici at Valencia last November - so will not only lack the recent Lusail experience all of his rivals will amass in the test, but general bike experience.

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