Marquez, Bastianini out of Texas; Honda appeals penalty
By Kyle White
Wednesday 12th April, 2023 - 10:27am
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Lenovo Ducati’s Enea Bastianini have both been ruled out of this weekend’s third round of the MotoGP World Championship at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Bastianini – who suffered a broken right shoulder blade in a crash in the Sprint race at the opening round of the championship last month in Portugal after he was struck by Luca Marini – will be replaced by Ducati test rider Michele Pirro.
Marquez fractured his right thumb after wiping out Miguel Oliveira in Portugal and although it was hoped the Spaniard would make his return in Texas after missing Round Two in Argentina, his injury requires more time to heal.
“Following a final CAT scan, Marc Marquez and his medical team, led by Dr. Ignacio Roger de Oña, at the Ruber Internacional Hospital in Madrid have confirmed the first metacarpal is still in the healing process,” said the Repsol Honda team.
“After close collaboration with the Repsol Honda Team and HRC, all involved have elected to let the injury fully heal and avoid any unnecessary risks.
“Marquez will continue to work through his rehabilitation program at home in order to return at full fitness as soon as possible.”
Marquez, a seven-time winner at the Circuit of the Americas, already finds himself 43 points behind Italy’s Marco Bezzecchi in the standings. He will now aim to make his comeback at the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez (April 28-30).
The eight-time world champion received a Double Long Lap penalty following the incident with Oliveira at Portimao, which he was due to serve in Argentina.
However, FIM Stewards declared that Marquez would have to undertake the penalty at the next MotoGP race he was fit to compete in, following confirmation that he would not race in Argentina.
As a result of the Stewards’ alteration to the timeframe of the penalty, Repsol Honda launched a protest and the case will now be heard by the MotoGP Court of Appeal.
Bastianini, meanwhile, completed a number of laps on a Ducati Panigale V4S Superbike at Misano this week before undergoing a further assessment.
A statement from Ducati said: “After completing a few laps at Misano with the Panigale V4S, the Ducati Lenovo Team rider underwent a further check-up in Forlì at Dr Porcellini’s clinic, who confirmed that Bastianini will still need a few more weeks to fully recover from the right shoulder injury sustained in the Portuguese GP.
“Enea will therefore continue his rehabilitation with the aim of returning to the track in Jerez and will be replaced in Texas by Michele Pirro.”
RNF Aprilia rider Oliveira and Marquez’s Honda team-mate, Joan Mir, both hope to race in Texas. Mir missed the main MotoGP race in Argentina after sustaining ‘cranial and cervical trauma’ following a crash in the Sprint at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.
GASGAS Tech3 KTM’s Pol Espargaro will also miss the American round following his crash in free practice in Portugal last month, which left him with jaw and back fractures.
The Spaniard will be replaced this weekend by test rider Jonas Folger, who is set to compete in his first premier class race since 2017.
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