Ongoing Bastianini injury woes set up Petrucci MotoGP comeback

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

Ducati MotoGP works rider Enea Bastianini will skip yet another round in 2023, and will this time be replaced by a rider who previously completed for the factory team – Danilo Petrucci.

Bastianini has not done a single racing lap in MotoGP since being collateral damage in a Luca Marini crash in the sprint race of the season-opening Portimao round.

The accident had left him with a fractured left shoulder blade.

Enea Bastianini Ducati MotoGP

Absent from the race weekends in Argentina and USA, he’d tried to ride in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, but withdrew after practice, having been off the pace and in a lot of pain.

And though he’d assessed himself as being at “60 percent” during that practice outing, lacking shoulder strength, it has now been decided that he will take more time off and sit out next weekend’s French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

It means that Bastianini, who’d joined the works team this season, will be waiting until at least the early-June Italian round at Mugello to actually log his first grand prix start with his new outfit.

Enea Bastianini Ducati MotoGP

Petrucci, now 32, spent two years in factory Ducati colours after a long stint at the satellite Pramac team, and ultimately won two grands prix on a works Desmosedici – but was replaced after 2020, his form having tailed off badly after a promising start to the two-year tenure.

Petrucci in factory Ducati colours


6th in the standings
1 win
3 podiums
93 points behind team-mate Andrea Dovizioso


12th in the standings
1 win
1 podium
57 points behind team-mate Andrea Dovizioso

A fruitless year at Tech3 KTM marked the end of his full-time MotoGP career, and he’d reconvened with Ducati in MotoAmerica, where he ended up second after a season-long title challenge. That season, he also made an emotional MotoGP return as injury stand-in for Joan Mir at Suzuki.

Petrucci currently completes on a Ducati Panigale V4 R run by satellite team Barni in World Superbikes, where he is seventh in the standings.

Danilo Petrucci Barni Ducati World Superbike

He will be one of at least three replacement riders in action at Le Mans, with Jonas Folger continuing to substitute for Pol Espargaro at Tech3 Gas Gas and Lorenzo Savadori getting an RNF Aprilia call-up in lieu of Miguel Oliveira.

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