Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli announces fitness concerns …

Franco Morbidelli has announced that he remains concerned about whether he will be fully fit again in time for the 2022 MotoGP World Championship as he continues to grapple with the aftermath of a major knee surgery.

The Italian spent several races of the 2021 MotoGP season on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery to alleviate an ongoing injury sustained between the German and Dutch MotoGP races.

In fact, the recovery not only lasted five laps between Assen and his comeback at Misano, but also included the long summer break during which he spent almost three months without a motorcycle.

During that time, Yamaha saw its rider line-up reorganized, with Morbidelli being promoted to the Yamaha factory team from Petronas SRT Yamaha until his return, but fitness issues would limit him to just two points in the last five laps.

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With a deal until 2023 – which means Morbidelli won’t be exposed to current calls for new contracts like much of the starting lineup – the Italian told Sky Sports Italia that he will remain cautious about getting back to his best form will start as soon as the pre-season tests start in February.

“I’m working on 100% recovery from the leg injury,” he said. “It’s not easy to say when I can get back to the top, but I’ll give it my all and we’ll see how I feel in February.

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

Morbidelli isn’t the only rider heading off winter break with fitness concerns. Marc Marquez is also a question mark after the recurrence of an eye injury that excluded him from the last two events, while Jorge Martin also underwent surgery as heir to the big blow he suffered in Portimao on Round 3.