MotoGP rookie Alvaro Bautista, who missed qualifying at Brno to have back injuries checked at a local hospital, plans to race in Sunday's Czech Republic Grand Prix.
The Rizla Suzuki rider suffered a 140km/h highside in morning practice session and early indications showed he might have a severe spinal injury. Bautista was taken straight to the hospital, but further examinations and a CT scan showed no fractures and just some heavy bruising to his back.
Bautista will take to the track in Sunday's warm-up session and if he shows no ill effects he will be able to start from 17th on the grid, due to having posted a time in practice inside the qualification maximum.
“Fortunately there is nothing broken, so this is the most important thing and tomorrow I will try and do the race," said Bautista, who missed round three at Le Mans due to injury. "The crash was because as I entered turn three I lost rear grip and I couldn't do anything about it. I did a big jump in the air and I could do nothing to save it. Tomorrow morning I hope I feel much better and I will try to race because I need to do as many kilometres as I can.”
"The best news from the qualifying session didn't even come from the race-track, it was the report back from the hospital that Álvaro's CT scan had shown no broken or damaged vertebrae and apart from severe bruising he's fine and will attempt to race tomorrow," added team manager Paul Denning. "After the bad luck he's had with injuries this year it's nice to have the roll-of-the-dice for once and that he won't be forced to miss the next few races is a big boost."
Bautista's team-mate Loris Capirossi qualifying in tenth.