Chris Vermeulen was left nursing bumps and bruises following a big highside during the closing stages of Friday's free practice session for the German Grand Prix.
The Rizla Suzuki rider's second big highside in as many events occurred when he hit one of the wet patches present on the drying Sachsenring track after an earlier rain storm.
Vermeulen lost traction from his rear wheel and it looked like he might simply slide into the gravel, but the tyre suddenly gripped and threw him high in the air before landing heavily on the same hip he hurt at Laguna Seca. The #7 limped away from the accident.
"It has not been the start to the weekend that I would have wanted!” admitted the Australian. “As I was going across one of the puddles I think I was pushing a bit too hard and had a bit of a slide and crashed. I landed on the same side that I injured in Laguna so I'm not in the best of conditions, but I am sure I'll be fine tomorrow and we'll make some big steps forward."
"The most important thing from today is that Chris wasn't badly injured in his crash, and despite aggravating the injuries from Laguna Seca, there doesn't appear to be anything that will stop him from gritting his teeth and carrying on competing this weekend,” added team manager Paul Denning.
While Vermeulen was sidelined during the closing stages, team-mate Loris Capirossi
claimed twelfth position, within one second of fastest man Casey Stoner.
"I stayed out as long as I could to try and find a good rhythm with just a basic setting so we could understand how the bike was working,” explained Loris. “We found out a lot of information that will certainly help us to work in the best way possible tomorrow. Although we are twelfth - which is a pretty poor position - we do have a lot of data to use tomorrow and I think we will make some big improvements."