Mika Kallio has been ruled out of this weekend’s German MotoGP after a major crash during Free Practice 2 while Franco Morbidelli has also been forced to withdraw.
Red Bull KTM wildcard/test rider Kallio ran off at Turn 8 early in the session, staying on his bike until near the end of the gravel trap when he was flung off and into the air fence.
He was hit by his RC16 as both came to rest and taken away from the scene on a stretcher.
The Finn will require surgery having damaged ligaments in his right knee.
“I was tipping into the corner on the front brake and the rear lost contact,” recounted Kallio.
“I had to pick up the bike and I knew I was into the gravel. I saw I had quite a lot of speed and unfortunately I could not turn enough and the barriers came closer and closer.
“Everything happened in one or two seconds and I had to make a decision really quick. I tried to put it down and avoid the big impact but I flew into the wall.
“Somehow the bike hit me because we went into the fence together and maybe it caused the problem with the knee.
“Anyway, considering the speed, I think we had a lot of luck with that crash. It could have been much worse. I felt that something wasn’t right with the knee but at the same time a bit relieved.
“This is definitely not the way we wanted the weekend to go. I’ve had broken ligaments before but not quite as bad as it feels right now. To move it means a lot of pain.
“I initially hoped it might just be a big impact but when they made the MRI the doctor said I need surgery. We need to make a plan now and hopefully come back when everything is fine.”
Kallio was also due to start in KTM’s home race at the Red Bull Ring in four weeks’ time but is now in doubt for that round.
Meanwhile, at satellite Honda team Marc VDS, Morbidelli has been replaced by former MotoGP full-timer and current Honda test rider Stefan Bradl.
The Italian carried a left hand fracture into the event after a nasty practice crash which curtailed his Assen weekend.
Morbidelli was 22nd-fastest in FP1 before withdrawing from the German round.
Jorge Lorenzo ended Friday fastest as Ducati dominated proceedings at the Sachsenring.
Jack Miller was eighth-quickest on his Pramac Ducati while Bradl finished 21st on the first day of his home event.
A further two practice sessions will be held before Qualifying 1 starts tonight at 2210 AEST.