Marco Simoncelli admitted he had an extremely lucky escape after emerging without injury from a violent crash in Sepang MotoGP testing today.
The Italian rookie had also fallen at the previous test earlier this month. His latest accident saw him land head first from a huge high-side between Turns 7 and 8.
Having appeared confused after the accident, Simoncelli was taken to a hospital for a CAT scan, which fortunately showed no bruising to his brain. The team felt the airbag system in Simoncelli's leathers had helped avert serious injury.
"I don't seem to have much luck at Sepang," he said. "We have had two MotoGP tests here and I have had two crashes, although luckily without any serious consequences.
"While I can remember how the crash at the start of February happened I can't recall anything about this one, which means I obviously took quite a blow to the head. The airbag helped limit the damage so I have to consider myself lucky in that respect.
"Just after the crash I was suffering memory loss, which worried everybody, but the CAT scan showed no signs of bruising so that was a relief. It was a lucky escape but, unfortunately for me, the test was over."
Team boss Fausto Gresini said it had been a frightening moment. The crash came shortly after a less dramatic fall for Simoncelli's teammate Marco Melandri.
"Today was unpleasant and disappointing, but given how it started we couldn't have expected anything else – firstly Melandri's crash and then Simoncelli, who did not look good," he said. "I was really worried about him; the fact that he couldn't remember anything about the crash had me holding my breath until the relief of the CAT scan results."