Bastianini withdraws from Spanish GP

Enea Bastianini

Factory Ducati MotoGP rider Enea Bastianini has withdrawn from the Spanish GP at Jerez.

The Italian made his comeback this weekend after breaking his right shoulder blade following a crash at Portimao in Portugal, when he was hit by Luca Marini.

Bastianini missed the second and third rounds of the championship in Argentina and America, and has now been forced to concede defeat in his bid to race at Round 4 in Jerez.

It has been a nightmare start to the season for Bastianini after he earned a move to the Lenovo Ducati team alongside reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia.

After six laps in Saturday’s free practice session, Bastianini – 22nd and 20th in Friday’s two practice sessions – decided to call it quits, with Ducati confirming he would take no further part this weekend.

The 25-year-old will now focus on returning at Round 5 in Le Mans from May 12-14.

Ducati Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti said: “He was really trying hard to be in this race, so we tried yesterday but this morning actually it’s not mainly the problem with the pain to the right shoulder, it’s more the strength in the arms.

“He’s really not able to do what he needed to ride a bike in the two races over the weekend, so it doesn’t make any sense for him to risk,” he added.

“Pain can be managed but the strength is not there, so he has just decided it’s better for him to keep doing the rehab and try to be as fit as possible for Le Mans. It’s a shame, obviously, but it is what it is.”

Ciabatti said that although there is a long way to go in the championship, Bastianini – third in the 2022 title standings – will have his work cut out following a frustrating start to the season.

“He came to a factory team with a lot of hope and unfortunately he’s going to miss basically the first four rounds,” he said.

“The championship is long and open but obviously this doesn’t help.”

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