Bastianini to miss three MotoGP races due to broken shoulder

Enea Bastianini injury

Enea Bastianini will miss at least three races due to injury. Picture:

Enea Bastianini has been ruled out of next weekend’s Argentina MotoGP round due to an injury suffered when Luca Marini crashed into him in the Portugal Sprint race.

The new Ducati Team rider did not make it to the end of Lap 2 of the first ever MotoGP Sprint, taken out by fellow Desmosedici rider Luca Marini at Turn 5 of the Portimao circuit.

A statement from Ducati advised, “Starting with the sixth fastest time, Enea had managed to stay in the fight for the top positions after the start, but on the second lap, he was involved in Luca Marini’s (VR46 Racing Team) crash, suffering a fracture of his right shoulder blade.

“Bastianini will therefore be forced to miss tomorrow’s race and the Argentina GP scheduled for next week.”

Ironically, Marini escaped punishment despite losing the front of his bike and clattering into Bastianini’s, whereas Joan Mir has been issued a long lap penalty for his Lap 1 contact with Fabio Quartararo.

Then, Mir crashed but Quartararo managed to stay upright, although he did lose five positions due to the hit.

Bastianini’s misfortune vindicates one of the criticisms of the new-for-2023 format of multiple races, namely the increased risk of injuries which take riders out of Sunday afternoon’s feature race.

It is also a big blow for the Italian’s title hopes, as he records a ‘zero’ from at least four races, being the Portugal Sprint due to the DNF plus the Portugal Grand Prix and both in Argentina.

In theory, that is as many as 74 points left on the table, with the standard 25 for a Grand Prix race win and 12 for a Sprint.

For the Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna, it was a “bittersweet” afternoon in Portimao given Francesco Bagnaia won the Sprint on the other factory entry.

“Pecco did an incredible race, and I am happy that he took this win in the first Sprint race of the season,” he said.

“Now we must stay focused and work to be just as ready for tomorrow’s race.

“Unfortunately, with Enea’s injury, it was a bittersweet day for us.

“We hope he can recover soon and get back on track with us as soon as possible.”

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