Franco Morbidelli’s Testing Crash: A Twist in the Pramac Rider’s Journey
The recent private test organized by Ducati for World Superbike teams at the Algarve Circuit near Portimao brought some unexpected turns and surprises. One of these twists involved Franco Morbidelli, the new Pramac rider who had been enjoying two days of testing on Monday and Tuesday.
While many MotoGP runners were present at the track, it was mostly dominated by riders from the Ducati orbit with their sporty Panigale V4 road bike. Among them were prominent names like reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia, Marco Bezzecchi, and even brothers Alex Marquez and Marc Marquez, set to ride with Gresini in 2024.
However, during the second session on Tuesday afternoon, a sudden turn changed everything as Morbidelli suffered a heavy crash at Turn 9. As this private event was organized by the Aruba Ducati team, there were officials and medical personnel on hand but not in large numbers typically seen at grand prix events.
In a stroke of luck or fate perhaps, both Marquez brothers arrived at the scene just after Morbidelli’s crash occurred. With a red flag displayed indicating an immediate stoppage, they quickly pulled up beside him to offer assistance before he could be evacuated from the track once an ambulance arrived.
The Pramac team expressed their gratitude towards Alex Marquez and Marc Marquez for their help via social media platforms. The impact of Morbidelli’s crash was severe enough that he appeared visibly shocked by its intensity. Consequently, he was transferred to Faro Hospital where a CT scan revealed the presence of a small blood clot in his head.
The medical center on the circuit made the decision to keep Morbidelli overnight for observation and further tests. On Wednesday morning, doctors performed a second CT scan to monitor any changes in the clot’s condition. Fortunately, early indications suggest positive progress despite the significant blow he sustained.
While awaiting results and following medical advice, Morbidelli remains under hospital care in Faro. The exact timing of his release is uncertain at this point; however, it is expected that he will need an additional day before being permitted to return home to Italy.
If everything aligns accordingly and Morbidelli can be discharged within the next couple of days, there may still be hope that he can participate in the upcoming Malaysia test scheduled for 6-8 February. Nonetheless, clearance from medical professionals is vital before embarking on two lengthy flights back home.
The transfer to Pramac from Yamaha marked an exciting new chapter for Morbidelli as he looks forward to riding a factory Ducati alongside championship runner-up Jorge Martin in 2024.