After a medical examination at Melbourne hospital on Monday, Niccolò Canepa has been forced to withdraw from this weekend’s Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
The Italian rider, who had a skin graft following his crash during Friday’s practice at Phillip Island, is unable to ride in this weekend’s GP while his injured arm heals.
Aleix Espargaró will ride in his place, having already raced twice for Pramac Racing at Indianapolis and Misano this season. Earlier this month the Spaniard signed a contract to ride in the premier class with the team for next season, and he will have the opportunity to further familiarise himself with their set-up at Sepang.
“I am very surprised and happy to be back in MotoGP so soon, even if I am always sad when a colleague gets hurt. I hope Niccolò gets well as soon as possible and is at his best for the Valencia race. I will use this weekend as a pre-season test. I have a lot to learn and this will be a great chance for me. After my last race in Misano I have trained constantly and I am certain to be in good physical condition, even if in Sepang it is always very hard due to the high temperature and humidity.”
“I am very sorry I’m unable to ride in Malaysia. The team was working very well together and in the last few races I wanted to secure a good place. The doctors have recommended that I don’t take any risks as the cut isn’t looking too good, and therefore I will be taking a break to ensure I’m at my best in Valencia next month. I still feel a lot of pain but now the worst has passed. I hope that Mika (Kallio) and Aleix will be able to secure good results for the Pramac Racing Team.”