Nicky Hayden will miss this weekend's Czech Republic MotoGP due to the injuries he sustained in his huge qualifying accident at Indianapolis on Saturday.
The Ducati star fractured his right hand and was briefly knocked unconscious during the fall. The back-to-back race schedule means he has had insufficient time to recover.
“It's tough to miss another race,” said Hayden. “I don't have big problems, but my hand is still very swollen and I don't have much strength, and of course right-hand injuries are worse for motorcycle racers.
“I would have been at far less than 100 per cent, and if I used too much force or crashed again, I could displace the breaks and possibly be in big trouble. Obviously, the head is even more important, and with the amount of time I was unconscious, I'm still dealing with a headache.
“The main thing is all the doctors told me racing was a really bad idea and not smart, and everybody on my team agreed.
“As much as the racer in me doesn't like staying at home and missing track time and points, I need to listen to the experts and try to heal up and get ready for Misano. That's an important race for me and for Ducati, and I'll be doing all the rehab to come back as fit as possible. I don't like it, but it's the right thing to do.”
Team manager Vittoriano Guareschi announced that Hayden will not be replaced and Valentino Rossi will thus be the team's only rider this weekend.
Rossi put in his best 2011 qualifying performance at Brno, lapping +0.776s from pole for sixth on the grid, a position he then matched in the race (+12.6s).
The Italian will be hoping for a similar performance after a tough time at the two American rounds.
“Laguna and Indy were two very difficult races, so I'm happy that we race again in just a few days, at Brno,” he said. “The next two weeks will be very important for the rest of the season.
“I expect to do better in the Czech Republic, as it's a track that I like and that is more 'normal.' I had a pretty good dry race there last year with Ducati, also in terms of the gap to the front.”
“Then next week we'll have two days of testing at Misano, where we'll have some new things to try that I hope will help us to be faster in the last part of the season.”
“With Valentino we'll work to recover after two very challenging races. He likes Brno, he has won many races there, and last year he had a decent race.”