MotoGP rookie Cal Crutchlow fractured his left collarbone - and suffered concussion - during a hard fall in the opening minutes of qualifying for his home British MotoGP at Silverstone on Saturday.

The injuries come just eight days after Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Colin Edwards broke a collarbone at Catalunya and means the MotoGP grid will be reduced to just 15 riders for Sunday's race.

Edwards, who had surgery to help his injury heal, has returned to action this weekend, but Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa is still sidelined with his broken collarbone.

Crutchlow, who had been top-six in all three free practice sessions at Silverstone, slammed his left shoulder into the asphalt after being kicked from his M1 on entry to Turn 2 on his third lap of qualifying.

Crutchlow wears Spidi leathers, which are not thought to have an air bag system fitted (as available for Dainese and Alpinestars MotoGP riders).

The Englishman won both WSBK races from pole at Silverstone last season. He had been hoping to fight for a front-row start this afternoon, after spending his first five races on unfamiliar tracks.

"Cal's injury is a very big disappointment and I feel really sorry for him because he was desperate to do well in his home race here at Silverstone,2 said team manager Herve Poncharal.

"He's been fast all weekend, so we had high hopes that he could get a good place on the grid and be challenging for the top six in the race. But track conditions were quite cold and it was obvious from looking at the TV pictures that the tyre wasn't up to temperature.

"He is in pain right now but I think he is more upset than anything else because he wanted to put on a good show for the British fans.

"A lot of people have come to support him and he didn't want to let anybody down.

"Our luck seems to have completely deserted us at the moment when you think it was only eight days ago that Colin broke his right collarbone.

"I suppose the only small consolation for Cal is that Colin was back on the bike less than a week later, so we are optimistic that Cal will be back for the next race at Assen."

Edwards, who qualified a brave eighth on Saturday, said: "I'm gutted for Cal. I know what he's going through unfortunately and I'm really sorry that he's going to miss his home race. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back giving me a hard time on track in Assen."

Suzuki team manager Paul Denning also sent his best wishes.

"As a UK based team, everyone at Rizla Suzuki would like to pass our wishes for a very quick recovery to Cal Crutchlow," he said. "It's never nice to hurt yourself, but at your home Grand Prix it must be very upsetting - get well soon Cal."

Crutchlow, who would have been the first British rider to race in a British MotoGP since James Toseland in 2009, now has two weeks to recover before the Dutch TT.