Petronas SRT has said Franco Morbidelli is likely to be out of action until at least San Marino, as he recovers from a knee operation.

A few weeks ago, Morbidelli worsened an injury to a ligament in his knee, which causes his leg to lock, as was seen in the French Grand Prix. After having surgery, it was hoped the summer break would give the Italian enough time to rest before the Austrian double header next month.

Unfortunately, that situation didn’t arise, with Morbidelli out until at least the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano in September. SRT team principal Razlan Razali has said the 2020 runner-up is likely to miss both Austrian rounds, plus Aragon and Silverstone.

“Franco is recovering well from his knee surgery. We want to ensure that he is at 100% before he comes back, so I think that we won’t expect him to be racing again until Misano – although I wish it will be sooner,” he said.

This is a track that he loves, he knows well and it should be a good one to see his return at. We all continue to wish him well in his recovery and to come back only when he feels completely fit.”

It raises the question of who will replace Morbidelli for the next four rounds. Garrett Gerloff did a magnificent job subbing for him in Assen, doing what he could with the two-year-old bike to finish 17th of the 18 finishers, ahead of Lua Marini. He could be an option, as could British rider Cal Crutchlow, who competed in MotoGP for 10 seasons between 2011 and 2020, with three race wins.

Journalist, writing various articles for ASN. MotoGP specialist and ASN's resident motorsports history nerd. Can generally be found screaming at stupid strategy choices while watching the tv.