Randy de Puniet's nightmare German MotoGP weekend ended with the Frenchman heading for surgery on Sunday evening after fracturing his left leg.

de Puniet had been the innocent victim of Jorge Lorenzo's oil spill during Saturday qualifying and race day brought further bad luck when the LCR Honda rider fell from ninth place, on lap nine, and sustained fractures to his tibia and fibula.

The Frenchman's LCR Honda came to a halt on the track, where it burst into flames after being struck by Pramac's Aleix Espargaro and Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista. de Puniet was then hit by another rider (the team says Mika Kallio) causing the leg injuries.

de Puniet left the circuit by helicopter together with Doctor Costa of the Clinica Mobile and will undergo surgery at Hartmannsdorf hospital, where a pin will be inserted into his left leg.

The injury is very similar to that suffered by world champion Valentino Rossi at Mugello. Rossi made his comeback at Sachsenring, after a recovery time of six weeks, meaning de Puniet - the top satellite rider in the championship - is likely to miss at least the next two races.

"It can't be worse than this!" said a dejected de Puniet. "I took a bad start from the third row but I got back to ninth and my race pace was looking pretty good.

"I was pushing for sixth place, despite pain in my left ankle after yesterday's crash in qualifying. Suddenly I crashed at exit of turn four and another bike hit my left leg.

"I immediately realised that it was something serious and after the X-ray we discovered the truth."

Espargaro and Bautista were not allowed to take part in the restart as both failed to return to pit lane with their bikes within the allowed five-minute window after the showing of the red flag.

Espargaro then went for scans, which revealed a cracked C6 vertebra, although it is not yet clear if it is a new or old injury.

"Unfortunately I found de Puniet's bike that was lying on the track in front of me and I could not avoid it," he said. "My bike has brought too much damage in the accident and I was not able to bring it back to the box again.

"I had a big pain in my right wrist and in my neck and while in Chemnitz's hospital, where I was taken to have further checks, they found that my vertebra is broken.

"Tonight we will send the x-ray to Spain so that my doctor can see them and check if it is new or old fracture. I am confident and I hope to attend the upcoming US Grand Prix."