Nicky Hayden is facing a race to be fit for the first MotoGP test of 2012 in Sepang at the end of January after he suffered another injury blow while training two days after Christmas.
The American was riding at a private indoor flat track facility near his home in Kentucky when he was involved in a ‘freak accident’ and broke two ribs and his left scapula (shoulder blade).
It was the first time the 2006 world champion had ridden a motorcycle since he broke the scaphoid bone in his right wrist during a four-rider pile-up at the first corner of the final race in Valencia in early November.
Hayden underwent an X-ray and CAT scan on the day he was injured (December 27), and he has since undergone an MRI. At the moment, there are no plans for surgery, but Hayden will have the scapula reassessed next week by Dr Arthur Ting in Fremont, California, to see how his fracture is progressing.
Hayden is due back on track on board the new Ducati GP12 1000cc Desmosedici on January 31 in Malaysia and whether he will be 100% fit is now a major doubt.
Hayden, who is due to attend Ducati’s lavish team launch in the Madonna di Campiglio ski in less than two weeks, said: “Obviously, injuries are never good, but it’s part of motorcycle racing.
"Just like at Valencia, it was kind of a freak accident. I was starting to train again, like I normally do during the winter, at a private track near my house. I came up behind another rider, and he went to move out of the way.
"I wasn’t going that fast, but he clipped my front wheel and I went down and landed pretty hard on my left shoulder, and that was it.
"It’s disappointing, but there’s nothing to do about it but heal quickly. Anyway, this doesn’t change my expectations for 2012 which, fortunately, is just around the corner.”