German Stefan Bradl has withdrawn from the Australian MotoGP race after being forced to abort a brave return to action just six days after he broke his right ankle in a Sepang practice crash.
Bradl had undergone surgery and intensive treatment after his FP4 tumble in Malaysia and had been declared fit to start practice at the spectacular Phillip Island track.
But he was subject to an additional medical assessment after FP1 and finishing only 20th and lapping almost four seconds off the pace, he was declared unfit to continue riding.
The 2011 Moto2 world champion now plans to rest ahead of another comeback at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan next week.
Bradl said: “There was a very small chance for me to ride here and we knew it would have been much better in Japan but I wanted to try anyway. Of course it was painful and even the mobility of the ankle is not perfect yet: this is the reason why I have been declared unfit and I agree with them.
"I had injections and painkillers this morning but I was too slow on the track and this is too risky for me and also for the other riders. The Clinica Mobile staff made an excellent job and I could jump on the bike only five days after the surgery, so I want to thank them because they are helping me to heal quickly.
"I am frustrated but I have done the impossible to be back here. Now we will concentrate to be as close to 100% fit as we can for Japan”.