Andrea Iannone's fitness will be assessed by doctors on Saturday morning to determine whether he can take any further part in the Grand Prix of Misano.
On Friday afternoon it appeared as though the Italian's chances of competing in front of a home crowd were over, after he fell at speed at turn 13, suffering an fracture of the D3 vertebrae in the process.
Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti initially confirmed to MotoGP.com
that Iannone's weekend was over, only to find that doctors “slightly modified their decision” later in the afternoon.
Iannone was transported to hospital in Cesena for more comprehensive scans, and despite being in some comfort, doctors will review his fitness ahead of FP3 to see whether it is possible to compete.
“He was tumbling in the gravel,” explained Ciabatti. “He hit his back. When he went to the motorhome he was feeling some back pain. He was taken immediately to the medical centre at the circuit. He underwent some x-rays then an MRI. They didn't show anything major but a decision was made to fly him by helicopter to the hospital in Cesena to get a CT scan.
“The scan showed he had a fracture of the D3 vertebrae in his back. When he came back he was obviously feeling a lot of pain. He cannot move so much his head or his back at the moment. The doctors in the first moment told us that he is unfit but they slightly modified their decision.
“They said his fitness is to be reviewed. This means tomorrow morning they will visit him to see how he feels. If the pain or at least if a major part of it is gone and he can do some normal movements to be on the bike they said they will see if he's fit to go out in FP3 or not.”
Asked whether he felt allowing Iannone to compete on Saturday could be a potential risk to his long-term fitness, Ciabatti said how the judgement of both local doctors and Ducati's own specialists should be trusted.
“We are not doctors,” he continued. “Obviously we have sent the images of the scan to our doctors in order to get their opinion. We must trust what the doctors here say. If they say that provided he does not feel so much pain and he can sleep well tonight, and he is able to be on the bike tomorrow.
“I think we must trust them. I cannot judge because I didn't the scan plus I'm not a doctor. So I don't know if that kind of fracture is something that is worrying or not, apart from the pain. They are professionals. They know what they are doing so we must trust them.
"In order to give Andrea Iannone another opinion we will provide the opinion of some other very well known specialist. It will then be his decision based on how he feels tomorrow morning, connected with what the doctors will say to him when they visit him again.
So ultimately it will be the rider's decision if he wants to continue? “It will be mainly his decision. We can only provide as much info as possible. He's they guy that has to go out on the bike.
“He's the guy that knows if he feels pain which is manageable or not, and if he can move normally. It makes no sense for him to go out if he cannot ride almost normally. We must trust the doctor's decision here. They have the competence to say whether it's something which makes him safer to go out or not.”