Four Ducati MotoGP riders set for Indonesia fitness test

Four Ducati MotoGP riders will look to be passed fit to ride in this weekend's Indonesian MotoGP following recent injuries

Enea Bastianini, 2023 MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix. - Gold and Goose

A training crash at the VR46 Motor Ranch last Saturday left Marco Bezzecchi with a broken collarbone, but swift surgery means he will nonetheless travel to the Mandalika circuit on the island of Lombok to see if he will be able to compete in this weekend’s MotoGP Indonesian Grand Prix; while Luca Marini, Alex Marquez and Enea Bastianini will also look to be passed fit.

It has been confirmed by Ducati on 11 October that Enea Bastianini will return to the MotoGP paddock this weekend for the first time since Misano. There, Bastianini was on the sidelines following the injury of his hand in Barcelona the week before. The #23 will have to pass a fitness test in order to ride in practice on Friday, as will the VR46 Ducati duo of Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi, and Gresini Ducati's Alex Marquez.

The news of Bastianini's intention to ride in Indonesia is good for Ducati, since its default replacement pick, Michele Pirro, suffered a broken ankle at last weekend's CIV Superbike race in Imola. Pirro was taken out by Lorenzo Zanetti, who went on to win the CIV SBK title.

News of Alex Marquez is perhaps not the most anticipated to be coming out of the Gresini Racing camp, but it is nonetheless confirmed that the #73 will attempt to return to action himself this weekend in Mandalika. The Spaniard has been out since qualifying in India, where he broke several ribs.

Luca Marini has been out of action for around three hours less than Marquez, having broken his collarbone in a first corner crash in the Indian Sprint. He, too, will seek a return this weekend in Indonesia.

Marco Bezzecchi's surgery on the collarbone he broke last Saturday took place one day after the crash, on Sunday 8 October 2023. This means he’ll have only five days between having his collarbone plated and needing to head out on track for FP1 in Indonesia, should he be passed fit to ride, with GPOne reporting that it is his intention to compete in Lombok this weekend. Additionally, geography dictates that a significant portion of those five days will be spent travelling.

In one sense, Bezzecchi picked a good moment to get hurt, because, even if he is not able to race in Mandalika, the chances are that he will be fit for the next round, one week later at Phillip Island in Australia. On the other hand, it means Bezzecchi heads into the first of two season-ending triple-headers with a significant injury.

Bezzecchi’s eagerness to avoid missing a race is almost entirely down to his current position in the riders’ standings, which sees him 51 points in arrears to current championship leader Francesco Bagnaia with 204 points still available from the remaining six rounds. Indonesia is not the ideal place to ride with injury, as the lack of use the circuit sees through the year means it is likely to be quite dirty, making the racing line quite narrow, and the Indonesian climate means that rain is likely to present itself at some point in the weekend.

Finally, Indonesia will see the second attempt at a return to racing for Alex Rins, who has been out of racing action since his broken leg was sustained in the Italian Sprint back in early June. Rins tried to return at the previous round of the World Championship in Japan, but was forced to retire from the weekend after Friday.