Franco Morbidelli has undergone successful surgery on his left knee and will now face an eight-week rehabilitation programme.

The Italian’s knee was operated on for an hour to fix his injured meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament and will remain in hospital under observation until Sunday. Morbidelli aggravated the existing injury in a training incident earlier in the week and consequently ruled out of this weekend’s Dutch TT at Assen.

The predicted eight-week lay-off will likely mean that Morbidelli will miss the two rounds at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. The respective races are being held on back-to-back weekends – August 8 and August 15 – following the five-week summer break.

“After another painful incident with my left knee training on Wednesday I made the decision, together with PETRONAS Yamaha SRT and the VR46 Academy, to fix this issue that I’ve been carrying for too long now,” Morbidelli said. “I underwent surgery this morning with only one idea in my mind: to come back in the best form as soon as possible and to be able to perform at 100% on the bike. I want to thank Professor Maurilio Marcacci and his team for their work.

“I can’t wait to be able to start my recovery process. I’ll miss my team, my bike and all the fans during this period, but I’m looking forward to being at the circuits again and enjoying racing. Thank you for all of your messages of support. See you soon!”

World Superbike rider Garrett Gerloff has replaced Morbidelli for this weekend’s race at Assen, however the Grand Prix of Styria (August 8) will clash with WSB’s Czech round at Autodrom Most.

As a result, Yamaha may opt to use test rider Cal Crutchlow for both Austrian rounds if Morbidelli is unable to compete. Crutchlow retired from full-time competition at the end of the 2020 season, re-joining Yamaha following his departure from HRC.

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