Jorge Lorenzo has withdrawn from the remainder of the Malaysian MotoGP race weekend and will be replaced by Ducati test rider Michele Pirro at Sepang.

Following a tough Friday practice for the Spanish rider, he opted to assess his left wrist after a night of recovery before making the final call on whether to race at Sepang this weekend.

But following little improvement and continued pain from his left wrist, Lorenzo has pulled out to allow Pirro to fill-in – with the Italian rider attending the Malaysian round as Ducati’s contingency plan if Lorenzo was unable to race.

Just over a week ago Lorenzo underwent surgery on his left wrist to repair a damaged ligament sustained in his heavy crash during practice in Thailand.

Lorenzo accepted it would be a tall order to be competitive at Sepang given the tight timeframe for his recovery and duly struggled for pace in both sessions, ending FP2 over five seconds slower than timesheet-topper Alex Rins for Suzuki with just nine laps to his name.

It marks the fourth consecutive race Lorenzo will miss following his heavy crash in Thailand which ruled him out of the Buriram race followed by a withdrawal from the Japanese round in order to have surgery on his left wrist.

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While having an operation in Spain, Alvaro Bautista filled in for the former world champion at Phillip Island with Lorenzo hoping to be fit for Sepang.

The withdrawal continues a frustrating end to his time with Ducati triggered from the British MotoGP when the race was cancelled due to safety conditions. Lorenzo, who had been due to start from pole position at Silverstone, also secured pole positions at both Misano and Aragon but crashed in both races before his nightmare flyaway sequence started in Thailand.

Lorenzo will now aim to regain fitness for the 2018 MotoGP finale in Valencia, for his final race with Ducati, while he’ll also been keen to be strong enough to ride at the post-Valencia test for his debut outing with Repsol Honda.

 

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