Dani Pedrosa has been ruled out of Sunday’s MotoGP race in Japan after suffering a fractured collarbone following a crash during practice.
The 31-year-old Spaniard, sitting fourth in the world standings after 14 rounds this season, sustained the injury on Friday when he was involved in a huge crash at the Twin Ring Motegi.
He has been told he requires surgery.
Repsol Honda test rider Hiroshi Aoyama of Japan will replace Pedrosa for Sunday’s race.
Pedrosa told motogp.com: “I’m obviously very sad about what happened, as I was looking forward to racing in Japan at Honda’s home circuit and one of my favourite tracks.
“I was on the out-lap of my last run in FP2 when I momentarily lost the rear entering turn 11 and, when the tyre found grip again, it launched me in the air.
“There’s not much more to say; now, I just want to focus on recovering in order to get back on my bike as soon as possible. My best wishes to Hiro (Aoyama), who is replacing me and will race in front of his home crowd.”