The latest instalment in a punishing season for Pramac Ducati saw Randy de Puniet forced to withdraw from Sunday's US MotoGP due to injuries sustained in Saturday's qualifying session.

The Pramac Ducati rider suffered fractures to his vertebrae, and pelvic injuries, but had intended to try and ride in Sunday morning's warm-up. However the Frenchman was in too much pain and withdrew from the event this morning.

"I am very sad about what happened, we really didn't need this," said de Puniet, who has scored points in just four of the ten rounds this year, including Laguna Seca. "Until that moment it was a really good weekend for us - in all the practice sessions we were fast and today we could have done a good race."

de Puniet added that he now believes he was the latest victim of a cold-tyre crash.

"I thought it was my mistake but I have checked the telemetry with my engineer and I did the same thing as all the other times. In Sachsenring many riders crashed in their first lap out, I guess this time was my turn," he said.

"I wanted to believe until the last moment that I was able to race, but [on Saturday] night the pain was unbearable and I had to call the doctors from the mobile clinic to ease it. Contrary to what we thought, the pelvis seems to be the biggest problem: my hip is swollen like a football, and I can barely even walk.

"Now I am going to have further medical examinations in Los Angeles where we can see more clearly if the pelvis also suffered a fracture.

"We hope that after the summer break we will be able to return to the track without any problems and leave this bad luck behind. We must do whatever it takes now to turn around the second part of our season in the championship."

de Puniet's team-mate Loris Capirossi made his return from injury at Laguna Seca. The Italian, who had missed two events, crossed the line 12th out of the 13 finishers.


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