Bastianini has officially been ruled out of Sunday's full race and next weekend's Argentina MotoGP. His return date will then be evalated but this setback is a huge blow to his title aspirations.

He was taken to hospital in Portimao for further examinations after the incident on Saturday, the opening day of MotoGP's new format which has divided the paddock.

It is a nightmare start to his factory Ducati career for Bastianini, who was knocked off his bike on the second lap by Luca Marini, his fellow Ducati rider. Marini lost the front end of his VR46 bike.

The crash is an early highlight to the worry that some MotoGP riders had about the addition to a sprint race at every round this year - the potential for injuries.

Many riders insisted that the additional risk on a Saturday, before Sunday's full-length race, may not be worth the physical toll.

Now Bastianini, who harboured serious championship hopes, is set for a spell on the sidelines.