The Spanish MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa broke his collarbone in three places after crashing his Honda in yesterday's practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.
His injury effectively hands countryman Jorge Lorenzo the MotoGP title, with Pedrosa his only challenger in the standings. Pedrosa, who trails Lorenzo by 56 points with five races remaining, suffered the injury after six minutes at Motegi. He is likely to miss the next three races.
"Bad luck for Dani and it's not good news for the championship," Lorenzo said. "The best way to win the world title is with all the riders in the best condition." Two victories or strong finishes would give Lorenzo an unassailable point gap.
"He [Pedrosa] lost control in braking," said Valentino Rossi. "It was very strange that the throttle stuck. This season is finished. I think Lorenzo has it."