Motorcycling: Criville in long lay-off

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The Independent Online
The HRC Honda rider Alex Criville will not race again until September after suffering severe hand injuries during practice for last weekend's Dutch Grand Prix.

His absence from the 500cc championship virtually guarantees a fourth consecutive world title for his Australian team-mate, Michael Doohan, who is already 68 points clear of Criville and 90 ahead of Japan's Nobuatsu Aoki.

Criville crashed in the first qualifying practice and the bike slid over the tarmac with his arm trapped underneath. He suffered tendon and bone damage as well as lesions of the blood vessels in his left wrist. His left thumb was badly injured.

Criville hopes to have recovered sufficiently to race in the Grand Prix of Catalonia on 14 September, though his injuries may mean he never races again.