Raul Fernandez out of Sepang MotoGP Test: “Sorry to Aprilia and my team”

Raul Fernandez will take no further part in the Sepang MotoGP test.

Raul Fernandez, Sepang MotoGP test, 6 February
Raul Fernandez, Sepang MotoGP test, 6 February

A highside on only his fourth lap has ruled Raul Fernandez out of the remaining two days of the Official Sepang MotoGP test.

The Trackhouse Aprilia rider was fastest in the opening laps on his 2023-spec RS-GP, then set red sectors on lap 4 – only to suffer a big highside at Turn 11.

Reigning world championship Francesco Bagnaia crashed at a similar time, and Fernandez indicated his fall was due to ‘track conditions’.

Limping heavily as he returned to the paddock, the Spaniard underwent checks in the medical centre before returning to the garage.

Fernandez went on to complete 21 laps but was struggling with heavy bruising to his hip and pelvis. 

Hospital scans at the end of the day fortunately showed no serious damage. 

However, Fernandez said that “to ride the bike like this is not safe for me” and will now aim to return during the final pre-season test in Qatar on February 19-20.

“First of all, I would like to say sorry to Aprilia and our Trackhouse Racing MotoGP Team,” Fernandez said. “This morning in my first laps I had a big crash because of the track conditions. Honestly, I didn’t expect that coming.

“But because of that crash, I won’t be able to continue this test here in Sepang. 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 and try to be at 100% in Qatar test in order to do all the work we planned to do here.

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

Fernandez joins Franco Morbidelli in missing the test, the Italian having been ruled out of both MotoGP pre-season outings after being knocked unconscious in a training accident.

Miguel Oliveira was 15th fastest on his 2024-spec Trackhouse Aprilia during day one in Malaysia.

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