Fogarty breaks arm as Australians advance

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The Independent Online

Carl Fogarty, the four-times World Superbike champion, may have suffered irreparable damage to his title aspirations here yesterday after breaking an arm. The British rider is expected to be out of action for up to seven weeks after he fell from his Ducati in a collision with a back marker on a fast turn during the second of the two races on a rain-sodden track.

Ducati said Fogarty had fractured the upper part of his left humerus bone.

The race was eventually cut short, with Australia's Troy Corser declared the winner ahead of Noriyuki Haga of Japan. Corser had crashed his Aprilia in the opening race when light rain began to fall.

The Australian rider Anthony Gobert benefited from being the only competitor to start with wet weather tyres instead of slicks. He steered the Bimota into the lead after rain began falling five laps into the race and went on to take the chequered flag almost 30 seconds ahead of Fogarty.

Fogarty's hopes of going one better in the second race were cruelly dashed when he crashed shortly after the start, allowing Corser to take the race.

By finishing second the Yamaha-mounted Haga moved to the top of the standings after two rounds, four ahead of the Texan Colin Edwards, on the Honda SP-1. Corser, Fogarty's team-mate last season, climbed to third and Gobert and Fogarty are tied for sixth.

It was during the fifth lap that Fogarty crashed as he was trying to overtake Robert Ulm on a fast turn. Ulm moved across slightly and Fogarty lost his racing line, crashing at high-speed on the wet track. The Ducati rider lay motionless at the trackside for several minutes before being taken to hospital.

He was later diagnosed as suffering from concussion and a broken upper-left humerus bone and is certain to miss next week's races at Sugo and is a major doubt for Donington in three weeks' time.

At Thruxton, the Glaswegian John Crawford scorched to his first pole-start in the British Superbike Championship with a brilliant 110.87mph lap of the Wiltshire circuit during final qualifying for today's Bank Holiday race.

Neil Hodgson showed his current form by qualifying second, with John Reynolds and Chris Walker completing the front row line-up for today's two 20-lap races. Niall Mackenzie, who quallified in 10th place, is expecting a fast race. "There's no doubt that the lap record is going to be broken if it stays dry," he predicted.

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