Phillip Island - British rider Cal Crutchlow was on Friday ruled out of the Australian MotoGP after a heavy crash in practice which left him needing surgery for a fractured right ankle.
The Honda hotshot, who won at Phillip Island two years ago and had clocked one of the best laps of the day, tumbled off his bike at high speed during the final session and was stretchered away.
"The fall left Crutchlow with a bimalleolar fracture and anterior tibia part right ankle fracture, an injury that will require the Honda rider to undergo surgery," MotoGP organisers said.
They added that he had been "ruled him out for the rest of the weekend".
It was a big blow for Crutchlow who had been hoping to build on his second place in Japan last weekend.
"I think that the momentum is there and I think I'm riding well at the moment," the upbeat Briton, who is fifth in the world championship, said on Thursday.