Morbidelli has been advised by the doctors to refrain from taking part in any sporting activity for the next three weeks after undergoing further checks in Italy.
This means that he won’t be able to return to action until the first round of the season, which is scheduled at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on 10 March.
Morbidelli’s participation in this weekend’s Sepang test has already been in doubt since it emerged that the Italian had suffered a major crash during training in Portugal at the end of January.
But the news on Tuesday revealed that his recovery will take much longer than previously expected, with the 29-year-old now also set to miss the second and final pre-season test of the year in Qatar later this month.
“Following the dramatic crash sustained during a private test in Portimao last week, Franco Morbidelli underwent further examinations by Prof. Franco Servadei (neurologist) and Dr. Roberto Donati,” his team Pramac said in a statement.
“Despite being in general good condition, the Prima Pramac Racing rider decided to undergo a thorough medical check before deciding whether to travel to Sepang or not.
“After the results of various exams, which indicated a good overall clinical picture, Prof. Franco Servadei recommended, as a precautionary measure, that Morbidelli should refrain from resuming sports activities for the next three weeks. Consequently, Franco will not be able to participate in the upcoming official test in Qatar (February 19-20).
“His return to the track is expected for the first MotoGP race of the 2024 season, scheduled at the Lusail International Circuit from March 8 to 10.”
Franco Morbidelli, Pramac Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Morbidelli was riding a Ducati Panigale V4 road bike in a privately organised two-day test at the Algarve circuit on 29-30 January when he suffered a very heavy crash at Turn 9.
Marc and Alex Marquez were the first to arrive on the scene and provided initial assistance to Morbidelli, who was reportedly unconscious at the time, before an ambulance was deployed to pick him up.
Following initial checks in the medical centre, he was transported to Faro Hospital where scans revealed that a small blot clot had formed in his head.
A second CT scan was conducted just a few days later to check the evolution of the clot, before Morbidelli was given the all-clear to return to his home in Italy.
The crash and the subsequent layoff have severely hampered his preparations for the 2024 MotoGP season, a crucial year for the Italian as he begins life at Ducati satellite Pramac after a long stint at Yamaha.
His team-mate and last year’s runner-up Jorge Martin topped the opening day of the Sepang test on Tuesday.