Crash ends Fernandez’s Sepang MotoGP test early

Crash ends Fernandez’s Sepang MotoGP test early

Trackhouse Aprilia rider Raul Fernandez has joined Franco Morbidelli on the sidelines for the remainder of the three-day MotoGP pre-season test at Sepang.

While Morbidelli was a no-show from the start owing to a road bike crash at Portimao – and will miss the full pre-season – Fernandez’s Sepang outing comes to an end as a consequence of an early highside on Tuesday.

Fernandez took a hard hit in the fall and his RS-GP caught fire.

And while he returned to the track later in the day, he did not log much in the way of meaningful mileage – before heading to the hospital for checks.

Trackhouse, Aprilia’s new satellite team which has replaced RNF for 2024, says Fernandez has suffered no serious damage but will not ride on Wednesday nor Thursday due to bruising in the pelvic area and on the hip, and to the risk of exacerbating the damage.

“First of all, I would like to say sorry to Aprilia and our Trackhouse Racing MotoGP team,” Fernandez was quoted as saying.

“This morning in my first laps I had a big crash because of the track conditions. Honestly, I didn’t expect that.

“I feel really, really bad, because we won’t have the chance to continue to understand the new bike better and to learn how it feels.

“For me, it’s just going to be important now to recover well and to rest. To ride the bike like this is not safe for me, so I need to focus on my recovery.

“Again, I want to say sorry to Aprilia and the team.”

The ‘new bike’ Fernandez alludes to is the 2023-spec Aprilia RS-GP, which is new to him as he raced the 2022 bike last year.

He is due to be upgraded to the 2024 chassis at some point in the season assuming that he and Aprilia see a benefit from pivoting from the 2023 version – which Fernandez had already used to top last November’s post-season test.

The Sepang test will be followed by two days of testing in Qatar later this month, which Trackhouse hopes Fernandez can be “fully fit” for.


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