Iannone set to return for Ducati

Updated: 

Ducati have confirmed that Andrea Iannone will make his return from injury at this weekend's Malaysian Moto GP.

The 27-year-old suffered a vertebra fracture after crashing in free practice ahead of last month's San Marino GP at Misano.

He did briefly return to the track for the free practice session ahead of the Aragon GP a fortnight later, but reported feeling pain in his back and was forced to sit out the race along with the subsequent Japanese and Australian GPs.

The Italian, who is currently ninth in the overall championship standings, has admitted he is still not fully fit, but is intent on reforming his partnership with team-mate and compatriot Andrea Dovizioso at the penultimate race of the season.

"I'm very happy to finally be able to return to the track," he said "I hope it will be a positive weekend for us, even though I know that it won't be easy because my back is still not quite right.

"In any case I decided to return to racing here at Sepang, also because it's quite a struggle for me to sit at home and watch the races on TV and I was desperate to get back, for Ducati, for myself and for all my fans who always support me.

"I hope to be immediately fast and competitive, even though for sure I will have to understand my condition, my possibilities and my speed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but we are returning to the track with the aim of obtaining some good results."

Iannone secured Ducati's only win of the season so far when he led the field home in August's Austrian GP, but he remains two championship places below Dovizioso, who has recorded four podium finishes this year.

A Ducati rider has not won the Malaysian GP since Casey Stoner took the chequered flag in 2009.