The planned operation to help ease Regis Laconi's condition following his practice crash at Kyalami on Friday has been delayed for the time being on the advice of a neurological expert.

The French rider crashed heavily at the start of free practice for the South African round of the World Superbike Championship, and required immediate attention at the side of the circuit before being airlifted to Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg. Initial diagnosis pointed to spinal fractures, but it wasn't until Laconi was safely installed in hospital that a full evaluation of his injuries could be carried out.

Investigations on Friday evening confirmed that the DFX Corse rider had indeed suffered back injuries, with the cervical vertebrae C3 and C5 both broken, along with severe concussion and a lung contusion, but a CT scan proved to be negative in the search for nerve damage.

While the latter news is encouraging, Laconi remains in an induced coma, although his condition has been upgraded to 'stable'. The operation initially planned to install plates to stabilise the Frenchman's spinal injuries, however, has been delayed for at least 48 hours on the advice of South African neurosurgeon Dr Maurizio Zorzi, who was flown in from Pretoria to offer his opinion on the extent of the veteran's injuries.

The official WSBK website claims that, provided there are no further complications, it could still be as long as three weeks before an accurate prognosis of Laconi's condition is possible, during which time he will remain immobilised.

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