Ducati's Andrea Iannone not fully fit ahead of Sepang MotoGP return

Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone concedes his fractured vertebra has not fully recovered, ahead of his return at the Malaysian Grand Prix

Ducati's Andrea Iannone not fully fit ahead of Sepang MotoGP return

Iannone crashed during practice for the San Marino Grand Prix in early September, and fractured the T3 vertebra in his upper back.

While he attempted to return at Aragon a fortnight later, getting only as far as first practice, he has missed the last four grands prix.

Ahead of his comeback at Sepang this weekend, Iannone said he is not sure how his back will handle the situation, but knows he is not at 100% fitness.

"I'm very curious to understand feeling with the bike and to understand my condition," Iannone, who is moving to Suzuki in 2017, said.

"My condition is not so bad; for sure I am improved from Misano, but [I have] not recovered 100%.

"I talked a lot with the doctor, and the doctor explained to me it's a very long recovery, because to recover to 100%, more or less is two or three months.

"But I wanted to come here - I missed a lot my bike, my team and I want to try my best during this weekend and my last two races with my team."

Iannone's Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso has finished second and fourth in the first two flyaway races.

That followed a disastrous Aragon outing, in which Dovizioso finished 11th with tyre issues, but the Italian believes the resurfaced layout could help improve Ducati's fortunes at Sepang.

Iannone and Dovizioso qualified sixth and seventh in Malaysia in 2015, more than one second off pole, and neither rider finished, due to a mechanical failure and clash with Cal Crutchlow respectively.

"We are interested to understand the conditions," Dovizioso said.

"In the past we have struggled a lot with the low-grip we have here.

"If there is good grip, I think with the improvement we did in the last races, we have a chance to make a good weekend.

"From Aragon we did a small step with set-up.

"At Aragon we were quite competitive other than the race, we had some problems with the tyres.

"From that weekend, we are closer closer to fight for the podium.

"I'm happy about that, we will try to keep that way and to make a podium here will be our goal."

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