Jakub Smrz has been ruled out of action for up to four weeks after suffering a broken thumb in a crash with Gearlink Kawasaki's Victor Cox during qualifying at Snetterton and will undergo surgery.

The Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati team has confirmed its Czech Republic rider will be absent from round five of the MCE British Superbike championship at Knockhill next month (3-5 July) and is a doubt for round six at Brands Hatch (17-19 July).

Smrz had been one of the front runners during free practice and set the third fastest time in Q1 at Snetterton, but just as the chequered flag fell on the first knockout round he collided with Cox on at the Brundle turn.

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His Ducati squad said via a statement Smrz will undergo surgery on Tuesday (23rd June) on his broken thumb and the team is yet to confirm who will replace the stricken rider on the Panigale R.

Smrz's team manager Steve Moore felt his rider was cruelly denied an excellent opportunity for some solid results.

"We were confident of a good result this weekend we had been quick during testing here a few weeks ago and had a good pace all weekend," Moore said. "We also had some new parts from Ducati, a new clutch which had made vastly improved starts.

"Nothing passed the bike on the straights or on the brakes and we were consistently fast all weekend - the results were there for the taking."