Max Neukirchner from Alstare Suzuki returned to track yesterday for the official Imola tests after being sidelined for 10 weeks with injuries picked up during the horror pile-up in Race 1 at Monza.
Ninety minutes into this morning’s session, Neukirchner crashed out at the Tamburello turn, the session was red flagged while he stretchered to the Clinica Mobile for a check up. The initial diagnosis was that Neukirchner had suffered only abrasions and bruises to his back, but further X-rays in a Bologna hospital have revealed that he has a fractured vertebra, but it remains unclear, as in Noriyuki Haga’s case, if the fracture is a result of this morning’s crash or is from a previous injury.
Doctors have advised the German rider to wear a body cast for 20 days and then re-evaluate the situation, but Neukirchner seems to have decided to return to Germany and be operated on. Later this afternoon further tests will be carried out.
According to the official SBK website Max Neukircher has been diagnosed with four fractures to his vertebrae. A D12 dorsal vertebra fracture in his lower back as well as minor cracks in the L1, L2 and L3 lumbar vertebrae. Neukirchner will return to Germany and remain in a plaster cast for 30 days.