Reigning 250cc world champion Marco Simoncelli could be forced to miss this weekend's Qatar season-opener after fracturing the scaphoid bone in his wrist during a training fall.

The Italian, who emerged on top of an entertaining duel with title rival Alvaro Bautista at the recent Jerez test, fell from his motocross bike and will undergo surgery on Tuesday morning to insert a titanium screw.

"I have a strong desire to ride at the first race of the season in Qatar. I will try all that I can to be able to ride my Gilera bike in the first free practice session on Friday," said the Gilera rider. "Of course, I will have to wait on the approval of the medical officers to be able to ride, but I hope to be able to do so."

Simoncelli's injury naturally means he is not taking part in the current 125/250cc test at Qatar, taking place on Monday and Tuesday.

Bautista also had an injury-interrupted winter, fracturing his collarbone at Valencia in early February.