Sandro Cortese faces a time out of competition after it was confirmed he has fractured his vertebrae after falling on the final lap of the first WorldSBK race in Portimao.

The double World Champion (Moto3 and WorldSSP) fell in the closing stages while battling just outside the points at Turn 12, the German racer taken to the medical centre for attention.

However, it was then determined he needed more specialist care and was airlifted to Faro Hospital, where WorldSBK has since confirmed he will need to undergo emergency surgery. Despite the impact, he has remained conscious throughout.

The series says he has ‘suffered a fracture of T7 vertebrae, he will undergo surgery at Faro hospital for the fracture stabilization. Currently, there is no neurological impairment. He suffered a fracture of the right tibial bone.’

According to German publication, the prognosis looks good for Cortese to be back on his feet again later this weekend

“The risk of flying him to Germany is too great," a spokesperson said. “This could damage the nerves with fragments of bone. If everything goes well, the operation lasts one and a half to two hours and Sandro can walk again on Sunday morning. He can move everything, his reflexes are intact."

Cortese is in the midst of his second season in the WorldSBK Championship after leaving the GRT Yamaha team at the end of 2019 and joining Pedercini Kawasaki ahead of the 2020 season. He has so fa scored a best finish of ninth position in the final race of the weekend at Phillip Island back in March.



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