Czech rider Karel Abraham will take no further part in the Sepang MotoGP
test due to back injuries he sustained following a crash at Jerez
Abraham managed only three laps in Malaysia before pulling out and has opted return to his home country to continue his recuperation.
The Cardion AB Racing rider's Ducati GP12 machine was taken over by Ducati test rider Franco Battaini, who clocked the 13th fastest time, 3.8s behind Repsol Honda pace-setter and reigning champion Casey Stoner.
A disappointed Abraham said: “It's a shame because we lost a lot of time that we could spend by working on the bike. But it doesn't make any sense to continue with such a pain and the chance that the injury would heal during the next two days is quite small.
“Now I'm heading back to the Czech Republic. The crash at Jerez
was unlucky. There was an oil spill on the track and the bike slipped on it. The crash was very hard, the bike even caught fire. [The scapula] causes me most of the problems,” he added.
“I underwent some tests in a hospital in Brno after I returned from Jerez
and there is a possibility that it's fractured. There are three weeks before the final pre-season test and I know that I have to be fit as soon as possible and continue in the training.
“We lost a lot of time and now we have only a few days before the first race in Qatar to minimise the gap between us and the other riders.”
Team technician Martin Havlíèek added: “It's a big shame for us, but we are staying at Sepang and we will try to get as much data as possible. Thanks to the cooperation with Ducati team, we could use the experience of Franco Battaini, who spent the morning on Karel's bike and then switched to Nicky Hayden's bike while Nicky decided to skip the afternoon practice due to his injuries.
“Tomorrow we would like to continue in the same mode, but it depends on Nicky. But Franco, who uses the same set-up of the bike as Karel, is very experienced and has very good feeling for the bike.
“Now we are not focusing on the lap times, our goal is to get as much data as possible.”