Kawasaki's Olivier Jacque will take no further part in this weekend's Grand Prix of Qatar, after sustaining an injury to his lower back in a crash during yesterday's opening free practice session.
Making his debut at the Losail International Circuit, Jacque ran on at the second gear turn eight, lost control of his Ninja ZX-RR on the uneven gravel surface and fell from his machine at relatively low speed.
Jacque completed the session on his spare bike, but was admitted to the Clinica Mobile complaining of pain in his shoulder, neck and lower back shortly after the session ended.
From the paddock Jacque was transported to the local hospital in Doha for further diagnostic tests on his injuries. X-Ray results at the hospital proved to be inconclusive, but local doctors did not deem the bone scan required to properly identify the extent of the Frenchman's injury necessary under the circumstances.
Jacque will now return to Europe for further diagnostic tests and treatment to the injury, and is hopeful of making his race return at the Australian Grand Prix in two week's time.
"After the crash I was okay to continue the session, but then everything started to stiffen up once I got off the bike. By the time they transferred me from the Clinica Mobile to the local hospital I was in quite a lot of pain and walking was impossible. Today I feel a little better, but I am still walking like an old man and I'm nowhere near fit enough to ride this weekend. Now I will go back to Europe and concentrate on getting back to full fitness as soon as possible."
Harald Eckl: Team Manager:
"Olivier was unlucky; it was a low speed crash, but it looks like he landed awkwardly. The tests on OJ's injuries were inconclusive, but there is a possibility he's fractured at least one rib. We won't know for sure until he has had a chance to undergo further diagnostic tests in Europe. Hopefully the injury will prove to be a minor one and Olivier will be fit to ride again at the Australian Grand Prix."