British independent-team star Cal Crutchlow is out of the Australian GP, and probably also the Sepang round next week, after a high-speed crash at Phillip Island’s notorious Turn One on Friday afternoon.
Crutchlow had just challenged for top spot with a time that was eventually a close fifth-fastest; and was pushing for more when the front slid away at the corner, approached at top speed and taken at close to 200 km/h.
He immediately clutched at his right leg, and was stretchered off.
At the track medical centre, doctors diagnosed “a bimalleolar fracture and anterior tibia part right ankle fracture”, according to an official statement.
Crutchlow was transferred to Melbourne’s Alfred City Hospital for surgery.
The former World Supersport champion and MotoGP race winner had been in a strong run of form after finishing second in the Japanese GP a week ago, and threatening Maverick Vinales for fourth overall in the championship. Now his chances of finishing top independent-team rider are in jeopardy, with Alma Pramac Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci just 15 points behind.