Pramac Ducati's nightmare season continued at Laguna Seca on Saturday when Randy de Puniet suffered back fractures during a qualifying crash.

The Frenchman, who has failed to finish five of the nine races this year, walked away from the Turn 5 fall, but medical checks revealed a "fracture of the transverse process at L3 and L4 on the right side" and also "a suspected fracture of the pelvis on the right side."

Despite the injuries, de Puniet - who qualified 15th - intends to try and ride.

"Not much to say. I made a mistake trying to push when I just left the pits but the tyres were probably not yet ready," said the Frenchman. "It's really a shame because my feeling in this track was good in all practice sessions. The physical pain is also strong, I move with difficulties, but tomorrow morning I want to try to get on the bike to see if I can participate in the race."

Team-mate Loris Capirossi is returning from injury this weekend, having missed the past two rounds. The Italian struggled with pain from his shoulder on his way to 16th in qualifying.

"It 'was really hard. For each change of direction the shoulder gives me a lot of pain, but we came here and we will fight until the end to finish the race in the best possible way," said Capirossi. "I'm sorry for the whole team that is working so hard as usual to help me to always be faster. Tomorrow I will do my best for them."