Eight-times world champ Tony Cairoli crashed out of the lead of the Maggiora MXGP qualifying race and faced an agonising evening to find out whether his arm was broken - which could have effectively ruined his chances of catching Max Nagl in the world championship if he can't get fit again and back on the pace.

The KTM rider crashed hard and immediately grabbed his left arm, and walked off to the medical centre while his bike is still on the track.

He has shared a photo of himself in an Italian hospital waiting for news about X-Rays on his injured arm. "In hospital waiting for X-Ray. More updates later," he posed on one of his social media channels.

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Later news trickled in that TC222 has not broken anything but is badly bruised and will try to race tomorrow. Cairoli said: "Just come out of hospital and it appears nothing is broken." He had ice on the injury in a photo he just posted with a fan.

The factory KTM rider is currently 19 points behind his arch rival Nagl after eight rounds. Nagl went on to win the qualifying race. Third in the series, Clement Desalle, tried to ride but decided he's not fit enough after recent knee injury. He'll miss next week's German GP too.

With injuries to title hopefuls like Cairoli, Desalle, Ryan Villopoto, Kevin Strijbos, Jeremy Van Horebeek and Tommy Searle, this is the best chance Nagl has ever had to take a first world crown.