Canepa, who has already lost his 2010 ride to Espargaro, was injured during the first practice session of the Australian Grand Prix last weekend and severely injured his left arm. While immediately taken to a hospital in Melbourne, the Italian rider needed skin grafts to close his wounds.
While obviously unable to compete at Phillip Island last weekend, Canepa was not given the all clear by the doctors for the Sepang race either, but is expected to finally return to MotoGP action for the season finale at Valencia. The Spanish race will also mark his last presence on the MotoGP grid, as he's likely to return to superbikes next year.
“I am very surprised and happy to be back in MotoGP so early even if I am always sad when a colleague gets hurt. I hope Niccolo gets well as soon as possible and can be at his best for the Valencia race,” said Espargaro.
“I will take this weekend as a pre-season test: I have a lot to learn and this will be a great occasion for me. After the last race at Misano I have constantly trained and I am sure to be in good physical condition even if Sepang is always really hard due to the high temperatures and humidity,” added the Spaniard.
Espergaro scored 8 points in 2 races in the MotoGP so far, having highlighted an 11th place at Misano.