The latest update on the condition of MotoGP team boss Fausto Gresini confirms that the Italian, diagnosed with Covid 19 just before the Christmas break, was placed in a pharmacological coma after being moved from hospital in Imola to a specialised Covid ward in Bologna on December 30th.

Fortunately, the double 125cc world champion's condition has 'slightly improved' while in the Intensive Care Department and doctors have now decided 'to begin a slow awakening process to allow independent lung ventilation'.

The full update issued by the Gresini team can be seen below:

'The conditions of Fausto Gresini - who was transported to the Carlo Alberto Pizzardi hospital in Bologna on December 30th - are slightly improving.

'After his arrival at the hospital (Intensive Care Department of Prof. Cilloni) with very low blood oxygen saturation levels, the Gresini Racing Team Principal was induced into a pharmacological coma and received an endotracheal intubation to help organs oxygenation.

'During the last few hours, in light of stable and improving general conditions, the doctors decided to begin a slow awakening process to allow independent lung ventilation.

'Further updates will follow.'

After his own 12-year career as a grand prix rider, spent entirely in the 125cc class, Gresini moved into team management 1997.

To date, Gresini has won three titles in the smaller classes – the 1997 250cc world championship with Daijiro Kato, 2010 Moto2 crown with Toni Elias and 2018 Moto3 title with Jorge Martin - plus satellite Honda MotoGP race wins for Sete Gibernau (8), Marco Melandri (5) and Elias (1).

Gresini became the Factory Aprilia MotoGP team from 2014, an agreement that will conclude at the end of this season. The squad will then return to being a fully independent MotoGP entry from 2022 and is one of the teams linked with a satellite Suzuki project.