Max Biaggi's hopes of retaining his World Superbike Championship crown have taken a potentially decisive blow after it was confirmed he won't participate in the two races at the Nurburgring.
With just four rounds of the season remaining, Biaggi arrived in Germany 62 points behind Carlos Checa, but his participation had been in doubt after injuring his foot on the Friday when he was struck by a piece of loose debris.
Though it didn't prevent him from qualifying a strong third for the two races, the cracked bone in his foot is preventing him from getting his boot on and, coupled to his substantial discomfort when changing gears, has contributed to the decision not to race.
With Checa starting both races from pole position after smashing the lap record in Superpole, Biaggi's hopes of staying in title contention look to be slipping away.
Biaggi's withdrawal means Noriyuki Haga will move onto the front row of the grid, while Marco Melandri – who has a good opportunity to lift himself into second overall – will start third.