Morbidelli’s pre-season at risk after crash leaves him hospitalised


New Pramac Ducati MotoGP signing Franco Morbidelli might see his start to 2024 pre-season testing in danger following a fall at the Portimao circuit that has left the Brazilian-Italian hospitalised for observation.

It comes only days before the paddock travels to Sepang for the first track time of the year, which would mark Morbidelli’s second opportunity to ride his new bike after leaving the factory Yamaha team.

A number of MotoGP stars have joined this week’s World Superbike test at Portimao, with Ducati taking the opportunity to conduct one of its production bike group tests for its eight MotoGP racers.

They’ve also been joined by Morbidelli’s VR46 Academy boss Valentino Rossi on a Yamaha R1.

Morbidelli was originally reported earlier in the day as having crashed while riding his Ducati V4S and was taken to the circuit medical centre for assessment – but the severity of his condition was upgraded later in the day when his Pramac Racing team confirmed that the 29-year-old would remain in Faro hospital overnight for assessment.

“After a bad crash Franco was promptly taken to the hospital for further examinations,” the team stated. “Initial tests have provided encouraging indications about his current condition, he will spend the night at Faro Hospital for precautionary and safety reasons.”

The crash at Portimao’s Turn 9 brought out the red flags in this afternoon’s session, with the usual limited number of marshals at the test meaning that Gresini Racing brothers Marc and Alex Marquez helped Morbidelli following his crash.

The news comes at the worst possible time for him, with his first full Ducati test (following a single weather-hit day at Valencia in November) set to get underway next week when the entire MotoGP grid heads to Malaysia’s Sepang circuit for three days of track action.





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