2009 World Superbike Championship leader Noriyuki Haga
has been airlifted to Derby hospital with a fractured vertebra - plus other injuries - after his violent race two crash at Donington Park on Sunday.
Haga fell heavily at Coppice, the fast right-hander which leads onto the back straight, on lap five of the second race, shortly after moving into second position behind double Donington winner, and title rival, Ben Spies.
In a near identical accident to that suffered at the same turn by Ducati Xerox predecessor Troy Bayliss
in 2007, the Japanese was thrown from his 1198 as he applied the power and then hit several times by his bike as he tumbled to a halt.
Haga, third in race one, eventually walked away with the support of marshals but was then airlifted to hospital.
"Haga was victim of a serious crash in which he has suffered a fracture of one of the spinal vertebrae," read a Ducati statement.
"He was immediately transferred to the track's medical centre where the doctors declared a fracture of one of his vertebrae.
"At this point it was decided to move him by helicopter to Derby hospital where he will receive further medical attention."
Spies is now just 14 points behind Haga after round nine of 14. The next event takes place at Brno on July 26-28 but Haga's attendance is in serious doubt.