MotoGP team boss Fausto Gresini remains in a "fragile" condition as he battles COVID-19 in hospital in Italy, but doctors says his recent progress has offered a "more optimistic" prognosis.
The double 125cc world champion and veteran MotoGP team boss was taken ill with COVID-19 just before Christmas and was taken to hospital in Imola.
As his condition worsened he was transferred to a specialist COVID care ward in Bologna just before the new year, where he was placed into a medically induced coma and hooked up to a ventilator to aid breathing.
In early January doctors slowly brought him out of the coma, though was kept under sedation and on a ventilator.
Having shown small signs of improvement over the coming days, Gresini was put back under sedation last week as the virus continued to seriously affect his lungs.
On Monday, the Gresini team has issued a brief update stating the Italian is still on a ventilator but his blood oxygen levels are steadily progressing, but will still require treatment for some time.
"Minor but comforting news on the state of health of Fausto Gresini, who has been hospitalised for over three weeks at the Maggiore Carlo Alberto Pizzardi hospital in Bologna," the statement began.
"Doctor Nicola Cilloni [said]: "Fausto Gresini's general clinical conditions are fragile, but slowly and progressively improving.
"He is conscious and combative. Radiological and laboratory tests also go in the same direction.
"He still needs to be supported by the mechanical ventilator, but blood oxygenation is progressively improving.
"He started physiotherapy to rehabilitate both breathing and muscles.
"He remains in critical and fragile condition with a long path of treatment, but the direction taken in recent days makes the prognosis, still reserved, more optimistic."
Much of the world is currently gripped by a second wave of the virus, with new, more infectious variants causing a surge in cases across the globe and necessitating stricter control measures.
This has had an impact on MotoGP already, with the Sepang pre-season test in Malaysia due to be held next month being cancelled due a state of emergency being declared in the country.
MotoGP issued a revised calendar last week, with two races set to take place in Qatar now followed by the third round taking place in Portugal and the American and Argentine Grands Prix being postponed.