Pramac Ducati MotoGP rider Francesco Bagnaia will miss this weekend’s Czech Grand Prix after fracturing his right knee in a crash during FP1 on Friday at Brno.
The 23-year-old Italian sophomore suffered heartbreak at the Andalusian GP at Jerez last month when an engine issue took him out of a maiden podium in second, though he felt after that weekend he was now a “fully-fledged” rider.
A favourite to be in the podium battle this weekend and at the subsequent Austria double-header, both venues primed for the Ducati, Bagnaia’s Turn 1 crash towards the end of FP1 required a trip to hospital in Brno for checks on a suspected knee fracture.
Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti confirmed on the MotoGP world feed that Bagnaia would sit out this weekend’s race, and expects him to miss next weekend’s Austrian GP too.
Pramac and Ducati has now confirmed Bagnaia will return to Italy for surgery on his leg after fracturing his right tibia, and will be out for at least two races.
“The radiographs show a fracture in the tibia, which will certainly have to be operated on,” Guidotti said.
“Now he is doing the magnetic resonance to see if there is involvement of the ligaments [in the injury].
“As soon as we have more detailed information, we will decide how, where and when to operate, but certainly the fastest way possible.
“He will return to Italy 100%, where it is still to be decided on the type of operation to be done.”
Bagnaia is the latest in a growing list of riders who have endured bruising 2020 campaigns so far.
The most notable being reigning world champion Marc Marquez, who was forced to miss the Andalusian GP after breaking his right arm in the Spanish GP.
Marquez was forced to undergo a second operation on Monday after the Honda rider broke the titanium plate opening a window at his home in Spain.
LCR’s Cal Crutchlow fractured a wrist in a crash at Jerez last month, while Suzuki’s Alex Rins fractured and dislocated his left shoulder.
Both had to miss the Spanish GP, but were back in action at the second Jerez race.
Ducati test rider Michele Pirro is favourite to fill in for the injured Bagnaia in Austria, with that decision to be made either today or Saturday according to Guidotti.