Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli reveals fitness concerns for 2022 MotoGP season

Yamaha MotoGP rider Franco Morbidell admits there are question marks over fitness going into winter as he continues recovery from knee surgery

Franco Morbidelli - Yamaha Factory Racing, MotoGP

Franco Morbidelli has revealed he remains concerned over whether he will have returned to full fitness in time for the 2022 MotoGP World Championship as he continues to deal with the aftermath of a serious surgery on his knee.

The Italian spent several rounds of the 2021 MotoGP season on the sidelines after undergoing an operation on his knee to alleviate an ongoing injury he aggravated between the German and Dutch MotoGP rounds. 

Indeed, not only did the recovery take in five rounds between Assen and his comeback at Misano, it also included the long summer hiatus meaning he spent almost three months off the bike.

During that time Yamaha underwent a shake-up of its rider line-up with Morbidelli promoted from Petronas SRT Yamaha to the factory Yamaha team by the time he returned, but fitness issues would limit him to just two points’ scoring finishes in the final five rounds.

With a contract in place until the conclusion of 2023 - meaning Morbidelli won’t be subject to the current clamour of new contracts like much of the grid - the Italian told Sky Sports Italia that he remains cautious about whether he will be back to his best once pre-season testing gets underway in February.

“I am working to recover 100% from the leg injury,” he said. “It is not easy to determine when I will be able to return to the top, but I am giving everything and we will see how I will be in February.

“I will do my best to prepare myself for the start of next season.”

Morbidelli isn’t the only rider heading into the winter break with concerns over fitness. Marc Marquez is also a question mark after the recurrence of an eye injury that ruled him out of the final two events, while Jorge Martin also underwent surgery as a legacy of the huge smash that he suffered at Portimao during Round 3.

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