James Toseland will be forced to miss at least two of the upcoming World Superbike Championship rounds after breaking his wrist in an accident during testing at Motorland Aragon.
The former WSBK champion was on track with new team BMW Italia in Spain when he came off his bike and landed heavily on his wrist.
Though initial scans suggested a small fracture and raised his hopes of being able to compete on home ground at Donington Park next week, further consultation would reveal a more serious injury.
A huge blow for Toseland, who has been beset with injuries over the last few years, the former MotoGP rider has since undergone surgery and has been quoted a recovery time of at least six weeks, putting him out of action for Donington Park and Assen for definite.
“My main priority was being fit enough to race at Donington,” said James, “so I was really pleased when I was told in Spain that I would be ok. But when I got back to the hotel, the pain in my right wrist was unbelievable and, considering that I had a race coming up in a week's time, I sent the scan on to a specialist I know in Manchester.
“From looking at the scan, he thought I'd be alright, but as he's a friend, he left a wedding anniversary party to come and check the wrist properly. They took a new X-ray from a different position in Manchester and found that I had badly displaced bones in my wrist. At that point, things were getting critical as there was no blood flow in the wrist, meaning that the bone could die if I wasn't operated on immediately.
“I had expected him to confirm that everything was alright and give me the all-clear, so it came as a bit of a shock, to be honest. I guess I've been lucky, but it's a massive disappointment from a racing point of view. I'm so sorry to everybody who has continued to support me.”
Having had wires inserted in the wrist, Toseland cannot expect to return before the fourth round of the season at Monza, to be held on May 8th.
BMW Italia has not stated whether it will field a replacement for Toseland alongside Ayrton Badovini.