Reigning 250cc world champion Marco Simoncelli has withdrawn from Sunday's Qatar season-opener.

The Italian fractured the scaphoid bone in his right wrist while training on a motocross bike last weekend, and underwent surgery to insert a screw into the break on Tuesday.

The Gilera star insisted he would try and ride this weekend but, after being 16th and 14th in the two free practice sessions, announced his withdraw just prior to Saturday night's rain delayed qualifying session.

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