Hayden doubtful for Ducati race debut

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Following his high-speed crash in qualifying at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar Nicky Hayden may not be able to make his Ducati race debut this weekend.

In stark contrast to his pole-setting new team-mate Casey Stoner in Qatar, Nicky Hayden is suffering a nightmare weekend at the Losail International Circuit and may not be able to race on Sunday after a heavy crash in qualifying.

Trying to improve on his 16th place on the grid at the end of Saturday night’s 45-minute qualifying practice at the floodlit desert circuit the 2006 World Champion suffered a spectacular highside that has left him battered, bruised and doubtful for his Ducati Marlboro debut.

The American is suffering severe pain in his back and after undergoing some initial x-rays at the circuit medical centre, he was taken to the local Ahmad public hospital in Doha for further checks. Hayden required three stitches in a cut on his chest and a decision on his participation in the race will be made on Sunday.

Hayden was briefly quoted as saying cheerfully, “I don’t feel like going for a jog right now, I can tell you that much! It was a big crash and I’m in a lot of pain so we’re going to get some more x-rays done and see what the score is.”

A concerned Stoner added, “The whole team are keeping our fingers crossed for Nicky. Hopefully he can ride but the most important thing is that he’s okay.”

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