Enea Bastianini will miss at least the next three MotoGP events after undergoing surgery to help recover from a fractured ankle he suffered in the Catalan Grand Prix.
The factory Ducati rider instigated a crash at the opening corner at the start of Sunday’s Catalan GP, Bastianini attempting to dive down the inside at Turn 1 to gain positions – though got pinched and thus caused a domino effect that took down no less than five riders.
Fortunately injuries were minimal other than Bastianini, who was forced to miss the re-started race after it was red flagged for team-mate Francesco Bagnaia suffering a monstrous high-side that ultimately resulted in the circuit becoming covered with engine oil from his destroyed Desmosedici.
Bastianini subsequently was transferred to the local Catalan for further medical checks alongside Bagnaia, though while Bagnaia escaped with only minor contusions Bastianini was diagnosed with fractures of his left ankle as well as the metacarpal in his left hand.
Having undergone surgery on Monday in Modena order to speed up his recovery process, Ducati announced on Monday evening that he will have to skip this weekend’s San Marino GP as well as the Indian and Japanese encounters later this month, with a return hoped for October’s Indonesian GP.
Bastianini’s forced time on the side-lines is a further setback to his tumultuous 2023 campaign that saw him miss the opening five weekends of the year after sustaining a shoulder injury in the season-opening Portuguese GP after coming together with VR46’s Luca Marini, the four-time premier class race winner having since struggled to gel with Ducati’s 2023 premier class challenger.
With Danilo Petrucci – who replaced Bastianini at Le Mans earlier this year – busy at Magny Cours on World Superbike duties this weekend, Ducati test rider Michele Pirro is the most logical pilot to stand-in for his countryman due to already being on site for his second wild-card of the term – though whether he would remain in Aruba.it colours or factory ones remains to be seen.