Crescent Fixi Suzuki's John Hopkins' 2012 World Superbike Championship hopes were dealt a severe blow when he broke a bone in his right hand on the first day of testing at Phillip Island.
Hopkins was riding his 2011-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle when he fell going into the left-hand turn two. Hopkins landed on his right hand, the same one from which his ring finger was recently amputated. On his Twitter feed, Hopkins said he would soon fly back to California to consult with his hand surgeon.
"Well I'm absolutely devastated to announce that after a high speed crash I've broke a bone in my right hand! Severity is yet to be determined," he Tweeted.
"Unfortunately, I'll be having to fly home tomorrow to be fully checked out by my "hand surgeon" and then make a plan from there."
In a team release, Hopkins said it was unlikely he'd be ready to ride in time for the opening round of the World Superbike Championship on February 24-26th.
"I will fly home tomorrow and see my hand surgeon, Doctor Chao, and we'll decide what has to be done," he said. "I would say that my chances of racing at Phillip Island next week are very slim, but the important thing is to get the hand sorted correctly and be completely right before I race. It may be better to miss Phillip Island and then use the six weeks or so before Imola to get back to 100 percent - we'll see. I want to say thanks to the Crescent Fixi team for all its efforts and sorry to Suzuki and all the team's sponsors - we'll be back and fighting for the podium soon."
If he misses Phillip Island he could be at as much as a 50-point deficit to the championship leader heading into the second round in Italy.
Hopkins said he was on a used control Pirelli tire exiting turn one on his last lap before coming in "and might have been just a little bit too hot for the condition of the tire going into turn two, when suddenly the rear came round even before I got on the brakes. I was spat off and unfortunately came down on my right hand - the same one that is missing a bit of finger. The X-rays show that I have fractured a bone in the base of the hand near what's left of my fourth finger."
Leon Camier, Hopkins' teammate, will now handle the testing duties ahead of the curtain-raiser on February 26.