MotoGP championship leader Pecco Bagnaia has been diagnosed with a broken ankle one week after his crash with Maverick Vinales in last weekend’s French Grand Prix, but his Ducati team is adamant he will be fit for the next round of the season at Mugello in three weeks’ time.
In a statement released to the media on Sunday, the factory team confirmed that Bagnaia suffered a small break to his right talus bone in the fall.
The injury was only diagnosed after he continued to suffer with pain in the ankle following his Le Mans crash and after he attended the medical centre at Misano circuit for further checks.
Ducati insisted the fracture would not affect his ability to ride at the next round of the series – the all-important Italian Grand Prix in front of Bagnaia’s and Ducati’s home crowd at Mugello, a race that he won 12 months ago.
“This minor injury,” the team’s statement read, “will not prevent Bagnaia’s participation in the next Italian GP, scheduled in three weeks at Mugello. Pecco will therefore work hard to fully recover and be in perfect fitness for our home grand prix.”
The news comes at a time when reigning champion Bagnaia holds a slender single-point lead over satellite Ducati rider and close friend Marco Bezzecchi in the standings.
Things are even worse elsewhere at Ducati, though, with Bagnaia’s team-mate Enea Bastianini – a victim of a crash in MotoGP’s first ever sprint race at the season-opening round at Portimao – still also unfit.
Bastianini suffered a broken shoulder blade in the fall with Luca Marini and has been ruled out of the four subsequent rounds, although he too will be targeting a return from injury at Mugello.