Fabio Menghi will make only a handful of wildcard outings for VFT Racing Ducati in the 2017 World Superbike championship while continuing his lengthy return from injury.

The Italian's 2016 plans were wrecked when he sustained a fractured pelvis and three broken tendons in his shoulder in a heavy crash during the final pre-season test at Phillip Island and has missed the start of the 2016 season, with Matteo Baiocco filling in for VFT Racing.

The 31-year-old made his belated World Superbike debut last June at the Misano round but was forced to withdraw from the following round in Laguna Seca due to his injuries which have seen Menghi out of action for the past eight months.

With Luca Scassa seeing out the 2016 campaign for VFT Racing, the Italian squad missed the opening two rounds of this season with Menghi still on a lengthy recovery path and the team has now confirmed it will only make wildcard appearance in World Superbikes for 2017.

Menghi has recently completed initial tests in Cartagena to regain feeling after such a long stint away from racing but is relishing the opportunity of his belated return to World Superbikes.

"It was tough to get back on track after eight months without even riding on a simple scooter," Menghi said. "These tests in Cartagena were important because they allowed me to begin to find the right motivation, and the feeling with the bike and circuit. I enjoyed it, the feeling is positive and I can already be competitive after a few laps.

"I am working closely with the guys in the gym in Rimini, so I feel ready to get back out there. I will be the only VFT Racing team rider for this season because both the team sponsors have faith in me, and I'd like to thank them for the support they give me."

Menghi had high hopes for 2016 having graduated from the World Supersport championship the previous year having scored points in all but four races on his way to 15th in the riders' championship.


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