John Hopkins has had to abandon his MotoGP return at Sepang due to complications with the hand injury he sustained at Brno.
The American broke the third finger on his right hand in an accident on the last of his occasional MotoGP outings for Suzuki at Brno in August. He recovered for the final part of the British Superbike season, and returned to MotoGP in Malaysia this weekend, going 14th fastest in practice yesterday. But this morning it was discovered that he had aggravated the injury during yesterday's sessions.
"I knew my hand was sore after yesterday afternoon, because it was hurting when I was riding," said Hopkins. "It is definitely a lot more painful riding a MotoGP bike than it was the British Superbike, mainly due to the immense braking forces on the GSV-R.
"I woke up just before six this morning and I had quite a bit of pain so I tried to loosen it up and bend it, but that wasn't an option. The screws and the plates in the finger have come apart and there's just no movement in the knuckle at all, so I cannot bend the finger. If I get any further damage to the injury it could result in amputation and I certainly don't want that!"
He is optimistic that the problem can be resolved in time and will not become a recurrent issue.
"My doctor is totally confident that he can fix it, but I just haven't been able to rest it and give it the proper time needed to repair it over the last six weeks," Hopkins said. "I thought it would be fine to ride this weekend and had every hope of it working, but I didn't expect the amount of force that goes into riding a GP bike would cause such a problem."
He added: "It's heartbreaking and I can't express my disappointment. It's such a shame and I couldn't be more upset, but the priority now is to get it fixed and get myself ready for the 2012 season."