Zarco still hoping to race despite failed fitness test – Reuters UK

(Reuters) – MotoGP rider Johann Zarco will miss Friday practice at the Styrian Grand Prix in Austria after he failed a fitness test a day after having surgery for a fractured wrist, but the Frenchman still hopes to race on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: MotoGP – Czech Republic Grand Prix – Masaryk Circuit, Brno, Czech Republic – August 9, 2020 Esponsorama Racing’s Johann Zarco celebrates third place in the MotoGP race REUTERS/David W Cerny

The Avintia Ducati rider was injured in a big crash at the Red Bull Ring last weekend and was operated on his right wrist on Wednesday.

“The operation went well… I am waiting but every hour the feeling is getting better and I will have a medical check 48 hours after the surgery,” Zarco told reporters on Thursday.

“It means I cannot ride on Friday but I have a good chance to ride on Saturday if they declare me fit.”

Zarco and Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli were summoned to a stewards’ meeting at the track on Thursday to discuss Sunday’s accident.

Some rivals have blamed the Frenchman for taking an unusual line while braking into turn three but he has denied making a deliberate move.

“I hope we will have a ‘race incident’ declared because for my opinion I didn’t do anything crazy or wrong,” said Zarco.

Morbidelli said the images, with Italian great Valentino Rossi lucky to escape serious injury as bikes flew through the air, spoke for themselves.

The Italian, who branded Zarco ‘half a killer” after the race, apologised for his language but still expected the Frenchman to be punished.

“I apologised for what I said after the race. It was a strong statement,” he said.

“Looking at the accident again I have the same feelings and the same sensations that I had last week but I have to apologise for the name I gave to Johann because I cannot clearly point his intent of doing that,” he said.

“We all do mistakes, we all do silly things and I think Johann’s was a pretty crazy and silly move but it can still be a mistake.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond and Pritha Sarkar

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