Qatar MotoGP: Marco Simoncelli withdraws from 250GP race

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Reigning 250GP world champion Marco Simoncelli has withdrawn from tomorrow’s opening race in Qatar.

The Italian bravely tried to ride just a week after breaking his right wrist in a motocross training accident, but withdrew after tonight’s second practice session.

Simoncelli had finished practice in 14th place overall with a best time of 2.02.701.

He was 0.5s slower tonight though having only undergone surgery to repair the damaged scaphoid bone last Tuesday before he flew to the Middle East.

He had been training with reigning MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi when he broke his wrist.

He will now fly back to Italy for more treatment to try and get close to full fitness in time for the Japanese GP at the Twin Ring Motegi later this month.

He said: “It is basically too painful for me to continue and I am not going to take any chances. I need time off the bike to try and recover for the next race in Japan.”

Simoncelli won the world 250 championship in 2008 even though he failed to score points in the opening two races.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt