Stefan Bradl has been ruled out of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix after fracturing his right ankle in a bizarre MotoGP practice crash.
The German lost the front of his satellite LCR Honda at Turn 1 in the final minutes of practice four at Sepang.
As he and bike skidded across the track he appeared to catch his ankle in a fold of artificial grass on the outside of the corner.
He immediately tried to stand up but was unable to do so and instead clutched his ankle.
Medical staff treated him at the side of Turn 1 before taking him to the medical centre for checks.
Shortly before the pole shootout commenced it was confirmed he had fractured his ankle, with news of his forced withdrawal from Sepang being subsequently confirmed.
Bradl will now fly to Barcelona where surgery will be carried out on Monday.
He will also be a major doubt for Australia next weekend and Japan – the penultimate round of the season – in a fortnight’s time.
Bradl had been challenging Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow for fifth and top satellite honours in the championship.
He had gained 13 points on the Briton over the last four events, finishing ahead on each occasion.