Alvaro Bautista leaves Qatar to begin recovery

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Injured factory Suzuki rider Alvaro Bautista finally left Doha today (Wednesday) to begin his recovery from the broken femur he suffered during final practice for the opening race in Qatar.

The Spaniard has spent five days in hospital after he suffered the cruel injury blow last Friday night, the former 125GP world champion suffering a heavy crash at turn 15 when he was caught out by a cold Bridgestone rear tyre.

The broken femur he suffered in the high-side will sideline Bautista until the French Grand Prix at Le Mans at least. He underwent surgery on Saturday to insert a pin in the femur.

The Spaniard left the Middle East earlier on a private medical flight bound for Madrid to begin his recuperation and factory team boss Paul Denning told MCN: “Alvaro is currently on his way back home to Madrid to begin his recovery.

"It has been a difficult few days for everybody at Suzuki but he’s looking forward to getting home and working hard to get fit as quickly as possible.

"It was a cruel blow before the first race because Alvaro had shown a lot of speed and potential in winter testing.  I’m sure with his determination and desire he’ll come back stronger.”

American John Hopkins will replace Bautista at the next round of the 2011 MotoGP world championship in Jerez on April 3.

Hopkins was only nominated as Suzuki’s replacement rider recently and he rode a factory GSV-R doing promotional work with Bautista in Qatar prior to the race.

He’d flown home to California though when Bautista got injured and couldn’t return to the Middle East in time to make qualifying on Saturday evening.

Hopkins, who hasn’t raced in MotoGP since a disastrous spell in 2008 with Kawasaki, told MCN: “Never in a million years did I wish Alvaro to get hurt and I was really sad when I heard the news. But I’ll be ready to step in.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt