Shinya Nakano suffered a spectacular crash in morning free practice at Brno, highsiding his D'Antin Yamaha at 140mph in a spectacular, but sickening accident that required the Japanese to be airlifted to a nearby Hospital.

Shinya had started the session with a good pace, and before his fall had posted top five times. After a pit stop, following his fourth lap, he returned to push harder, but on his sixth lap he found countryman Tohru Ukawa on his racing line in turn one.

Then, while accelerating out of the corner, his YZR-M1 spat him off at 224kmh/140mph, sending both man and machine tumbling across the asphalt, through the gravel trap, and into the soft crash barriers.

The affable Nakano suffered a big knock on his head, causing concussion, but results from a hospital scan proved he is otherwise unhurt - a miracle given the magnitude of the accident and the fact that his M1 was reduced to kit form.

"I can only remember that I found Ukawa very slow in my way so I had to change my line," recalled Shinya, who had been a provisional eighth fastest yesterday. "I want to apologise, see my mechanics and the whole team and tell them not to worry. I still want to race tomorrow."

This afternoon Nakano will have a further check-up and if the results are again positive, he will try and ride his bike in tomorrow's warm-up.

"Fortunately we are so happy because despite that big crash, Shinya is unhurt," said a relieved Luis D'Antin, "And, if he really feels good tomorrow, we expect he could race, he has been very competitive in this track."

Should he be fit for action, Nakano would line-up 14th on the grid after missing today's final qualifying session.