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MOTOGP – DUCATI PRAMAC: MARTIN REPLACED BY RABAT FOR THE SPANISH GP

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Pramac rider Jorge Martin, who crashed heavily in free practice for the Portuguese MotoGP Grand Prix, will undergo surgery and be replaced by his compatriot Tito Rabat for the fourth round of the season at Jerez de la Frontera.

Spaniard Jorge Martin suffered a serious crash in the third free practice session of the Portuguese Grand Prix at the Portimão circuit on Saturday and will be sidelined for several weeks. The Pramac rider has several fractures in his hand and foot, and took advantage of his time in hospital to reassure his fans during a live broadcast via his official Instagram account before his operation. The length of his absence will be established by the doctors during the postoperative controls, an absence for the moment estimated at several weeks. He will be replaced in the next race, the Spanish Grand Prix at the circuit of Jerez de la Frontera, by his compatriot Tito Rabat, the former driver of the Avintia team. The Spaniard, who was still present in MotoGP last season, finished 22nd in this particular year and will be able to return to the track at the wheel of a Ducati. Tito Rabat had to leave MotoGP at the end of the 2020 season after five years in the premier class, three of which were spent on a Ducati entered by the Spanish team.

RABAT TO JOIN ZARCO, BRADL ALSO PRESENT
On this occasion, Tito Rabat will once again ride with Johann Zarco, who was his teammate at Avintia last season. A solution that appears to be a second choice for Pramac, which had asked Ducati to obtain the loan of Michele Pirro, official tester of the manufacturer of Borgo Panigale. However, the Italian is due to take part in a private test at Mugello ahead of the Italian Grand Prix on April 29 and 30 and is therefore unavailable. For its part, Honda will use the first of its three « wild cards ». Indeed, the Japanese manufacturer will count on its test rider Stefan Bradl, who had been called to ensure the interim of Marc Marquez during the convalescence of the eight-time world champion. After eleven races last season, Stefan Bradl also started the championship in Qatar, before the Spanish rider made his return to Portugal. The German will take advantage of the fact that manufacturers are now allowed to enter wildcards again, a rule suspended last year due to the health crisis, in order to work towards reducing the number of riders in the races and limiting costs.

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