Andrea Iannone is to miss the MotoGP round at Motegi. The Italian has been advised by his doctors to skip the first of the three Pacific flyaway rounds to allow the vertebra he fractured at Misano to heal.
Iannone picked up the injury on the first day of his home race at Misano. Though the injury is on the forward side of the T3 vertebra, making it less vulnerable to a repeat injury, the fracture has caused him to miss both Misano and Aragon. Motegi will be the third race which Iannone will be forced to miss.
The factory Ducati team will not field a replacement for Iannone. The decision came as late as possible for the factory, to give Iannone as much time as possible to be fit in time for the Japanese race. That has not been possible, but doctors are confident that Iannone will be fit to race in Phillip Island, the second of the three flyaways. Given that Iannone had such a strong race there in 2015, ending on the podium after a four-way dice with Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, he will be keen to race in Australia, in the hope of pulling off a repeat.
Below is the press release from Ducati:
Andrea Iannone will miss this weekend’s Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi and is scheduled to return at Phillip Island
Andrea Iannone will not be taking part in the Grand Prix of Japan, which will be held this coming weekend at Motegi’s Twin Ring circuit.
Last week the Ducati Team’s Italian rider underwent a series of checks, which showed that the excess fluid in his back injury had been almost totally absorbed and that the calcification process of the T3 vertebra, which he fractured at Misano after crashing during the first free practice session for the San Marino GP, was now well underway.
However Iannone’s doctor has advised him to continue with his rehabilitation and to wait a few more days until the fracture has completely healed, before going out onto the track once again.
The rider from Vasto, in agreement with his team, has therefore decided not to take part in the GP of Japan and to return to the championship at the Australian GP from 21 to 23 October. Last year, at Phillip Island, Iannone was the protagonist of a spectacular race, finishing on the podium in third place.
The Ducati Team has decided not to replace Iannone for the Japanese round and will only line up on the grid at Motegi with Andrea Dovizioso.