The Italian Grand Prix at Mugello will see the return of RNF Aprilia’s full MotoGP rider lineup, as both Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez are scheduled to race after missing in action.
Oliveira, who has had a crash filled season so far, crashed during the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez and sustained ruptured ligaments in addition to a fracture to his left shoulder.
The injuries meant he missed Le Mans, and despite the time gap between those two races and Mugello, there was genuine uncertainty about whether he would show up there as well.
Aprilia Motorsport boss Massimo Rivola said Oliveira was “still in a very bad physical condition” when he piloted the Aprilia RS-GP in a public demonstration at the Aprilia All Stars event on May 27. Oliveira was “very uncomfortable” riding the bike at the event.
Oliveira now claims that he “felt an improvement the last few days” despite not having previously ruled out competing in Mugello.
“Hopefully that can be enough for me to arrive and be competitive,” Oliveira said. “That’s the main target.”
“I know that I need more experience with the bike and I need more races, but at this time it’s a priority to come back strong and at 100%.
“I will go to Mugello with that in mind and hopefully we can turn it into a good weekend.”
In the few races this season that he has been able to participate, Oliveira has been fast, however teammate Fernandez has not been able to deliver a good performance.
However, a significant amount of Fernandez’s form had been affected by severe arm pump, so he was forced to miss the Le Mans race after what was supposed to be a relatively minor surgery in Jerez turned out to be more substantial.
Nevertheless, it was always anticipated that he would be prepared for Mugello. The MotoGP medical staff will evaluate the riders’ fitness on Thursday, the day before the race weekend.
Ducati’s Enea Bastianini is also anticipated to make a return after testing a Panigale V4S at Mugello in advance, among the other MotoGP full-timers who had been sidelined for Le Mans and earlier.
Long-time absentee Pol Espargaro’s rehabilitation is still going on, but the Tech3 Gas Gas rider hasn’t been able to return for Mugello owing to “a small edema issue around his vertebrae,” according to the team. As a result, Espargaro will once more be replaced by KTM tester Jonas Folger.