Franco Morbidelli passes first hurdle for Qatar MotoGP - but more tests await

Franco Morbidelli passes MRI scan but faces more medical tests before racing at Qatar MotoGP

Morbidelli, Martin, 2024 Pramac livery
Morbidelli, Martin, 2024 Pramac livery

Franco Morbidelli has travelled to Qatar but is not yet assured of being able to race in the MotoGP season-opener due to injury.

An MRI scan on March 2 cleared Morbidelli to fly to Qatar.

But, on Thursday March 7 he must undergo more medical tests at the circuit.

Only if he passes will he then be free to partake in Friday’s practice, Saturday’s sprint and Sunday’s grand prix.

"I am very pleased to have received the medical clearance to start the season," Morbidelli said. 

"I am eager to try the bike, to return to the dynamics of the races, and to get to know the people of my new team better. 

"This year represents a significant change in my career, and although this incident was unfortunate, it is now in the past, and I want to look forward. 

"I thank the doctors who have been monitoring me, the people who have supported me during these weeks, and a special thanks to Prima Pramac Racing for their support."

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Morbidelli will make his debut as a Pramac Ducati rider if he is cleared to race.

He made the switch from Yamaha but, due to injury, has not had a preseason.

Before MotoGP testing, Morbidelli crashed a Panigale V4 on a WorldSBK test day in Portimao.

He was knocked unconscious and doctors told him that it would “pretty dangerous to hit the head again, right now” before preseason testing.

Morbidelli has since said: “It's an injury that almost doesn't feel like an injury because physically I'm pretty good.

“You need to take your time and keep respecting what the doctors say, because it's an injury that needs to be respected.”

Morbidelli will ride the GP24 this season with Pramac as Jorge Martin’s teammate.

But, with just a single day at the postseason Valencia test last year to adjust, Morbidelli may face an uphill struggle in Qatar this weekend even if he is passed fit.

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