MotoGP: Franco Morbidelli ruled out of Sepang and Qatar Tests

1 of 1

Franco Morbidelli will miss the Sepang and Qatar MotoGP tests following his accident during the World Superbike test at Portimao last week.

The Italian was knocked unconscious during the crash and was aided by Marc and Alex Marquez in the aftermath. The Marquez brothers moved Morbidelli, who had been riding a Ducati Panigale V4S, into a lateral position so that he could breathe.

The statement from Morbidelli’s team reads:

“Following the dramatic crash sustained during a private test in Portimão last week, Franco Morbidelli underwent further examinations by Prof. Franco Servadei (neurologist) and Dr. Roberto Donati. Despite being in general good condition, the Prima Pramac Racing rider decided to undergo a thorough medical check before deciding whether to travel to Sepang or not.

“After the results of various exams, which indicated a good overall clinical picture, Prof. Franco Servadei recommended, as a precautionary measure, that Morbidelli should refrain from resuming sports activities for the next three weeks. Consequently, Franco will not be able to participate in the upcoming official test in Qatar (February 19-20).

“His return to the track is expected for the first MotoGP race of the 2024 season, scheduled at the Lusail International Circuit from March 8 to 10.”

It’s a big blow for Morbidelli, who is seeking a return to form after two difficult campaigns with the Monster Energy Yamaha team. The VR46 Academy member will race alongside 2023 runner-up Jorge Martin on factory Desmocedici GP24s this upcoming season.

Ducati test rider Michele Pirro replaced Morbidelli on the opening day of the Sepang Test and will likely remain with the Pramac team throughout the pre-season test schedule.

The two-day Qatar Test takes place on February 19-20, with the season opener taking place at the same circuit on March 8-10.