Nicky Hayden is facing another tough MotoGP weekend in Japan after revealing he suffered a broken bone in his right hand in a horrific crash during the recent Motorland Aragon race in Spain.
Hayden was lucky to escape serious injury when he was catapulted onto the perimeter road in Aragon after hitting a trackside advertising board at over 40mph.
The American thought he had emerged completely unscathed but after returning home the 2006 world champion discovered a small fracture in his right hand.
Hayden is confident he will have no issues with the hand at the Twin Ring Motegi this weekend, though he can expect to be in some discomfort with the Japanese venue dominated by hard braking points.
Hayden, who broke bones in his right hand in a crash during qualifying for his home race at Indianapolis that put him out of the Brno round, said: “I thought I had escaped unscathed from the crash at Aragon, but unfortunately it looks like I picked up another injury.
"When I got home, my right hand was bothering me a bit, so I went for an X-ray and CT scan, and it turns out I have a fracture in my right radius. It’s definitely not the best situation, but as it’s not too painful and I have pretty good grip strength, I’m hopeful that it won’t cause too many problems this weekend.
"Racing’s full of ups and downs. We’ll try to ride this one out and hopefully get a decent result in Japan to get a little momentum going and get some confidence back.”
This weekend's Japanese round is the first of a gruelling flyaway triple header that also includes Sepang in Malaysia and Phillip Island in Australia.