Alex Lowes suffered a fractured left collarbone in the second World Superbike race at Sepang, an event Pata Yamaha team-mate Sylvain Guintoli missed due to injury.
Lowes, who qualified an excellent second on the grid, recovered from ninth to fifth after a mistake in Saturday's dry race. Sunday's wet final race saw the Englishman settle into eighth place, until he lost control at the fast Turn 12, on lap 12 of 16.
"I really struggled from the start of race two with rear grip coming out of the corners compared to the guys around me,” explained Lowes. “I tried my best to perform as well as I could, using different lines and changing my body position to compensate, and then with about six laps to go I tried to push a bit more.
“I actually managed to make some good passes and was looking at another top five finish but then ultimately I tried a bit hard for the grip I had and paid the price for it. It was quite a heavy crash and I'm in quite a bit of pain but I just need to get myself fixed up and hopefully be back as soon as possible."
Lowes, who may require surgery once he arrives back in the UK, now faces a race against time to be fit for his home event at Donington Park on May 27-29.
“Apart from only having one rider here, it was a positive start and negative finish this weekend,” team principal Paul Denning told Crash.net
. “We made solid progress and qualified very, very well. One mistake in race one cost us fourth place, but the recovery for fifth from so far back was just as encouraging as the performance in qualifying or at the start of the race. So lots of positives there.
“Unfortunately, in the wet these things can happen. Just really, really didn't need the bad luck of an injury. So let's see if we can recover the situation for Donington Park.
“We're developing a bike and the understanding within the team, and with the Yamaha engineers, of what the R1 needs to do to run at the front in World Superbike trim. But you also the riders to progress forward with that, and if they are getting these kinds of setbacks it makes life very difficult for them however well they are riding and confident they are. It's obviously difficult to ride hurt.
“So let's see where we are in a couple of weeks and go from there.”
Race two was the only wet track session for the World Superbike class all weekend.