Jorge Lorenzo is bracing for a tough return to MotoGP as he aims to make a comeback at the Malaysian round following wrist surgery just over one week ago and concedes ‘I won’t be at 100%’.

The Ducati rider has endured a painful final third of his 2018 MotoGP campaign triggered by his first corner high-side in the Aragon race in which he sustained a fractured metatarsal and dislocated big toe on his right foot.

This was compounded in a huge crash during practice at the next round in Thailand which ruled him out of the race in Buriram before the pain from his left wrist caused by that off forced him to withdraw from the following event in Japan.

Having undergone surgery on a ligament in his left wrist, which ruled him out of the Australian round and saw Alvaro Bautista step-in, Lorenzo is targeting a comeback at the Sepang International Circuit but already feels he has a tough task to get up to speed so recently after his operation.

“Only eight days have passed since I had an operation on the ligament of my left wrist, but I’m feeling a bit better,” Lorenzo said. “For sure the operation was quite recent and so we’ll have to wait until I get on the bike to see how the wrist responds and if I still have a lot of pain when I ride.

“On Thursday I’ll go to the circuit medical staff for a check-up on my condition and I hope to be able to race even though I won’t be at 100%.

“I haven’t been able to train for the past few days and the Sepang circuit is very challenging, so this is not exactly an ideal scenario to return to the track.”

It’s believed Lorenzo was focusing his return on Sepang given Ducati’s strong showing at the Malaysian track with the Spanish rider setting an unofficial lap record last February during pre-season testing.

Lorenzo’s Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso has also secured back-to-back wins in Malaysia for the past two years while the Spanish rider missed out as runner-up to the Italian last season by under one second.

Lorenzo, who has three wins for Ducati this year, switches to Repsol Honda alongside reigning MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez next year.