Following his high-speed crash in qualifying…

In stark contrast to his pole-setting new team-mate Casey Stoner in Qatar, Nicky Hayden is suffering a nightmare weekend at the Losail International Circuit and may not be able to race on Sunday after a heavy crash in qualifying.

Trying to improve on his 16th place on the grid at the end of Saturday night’s 45-minute qualifying practice at the floodlit desert circuit the 2006 World Champion suffered a spectacular highside that has left him battered, bruised and doubtful for his Ducati Marlboro debut.

The American is suffering severe pain in his back and after undergoing some initial x-rays at the circuit medical centre, he was taken to the local Ahmad public hospital in Doha for further checks. Hayden required three stitches in a cut on his chest and a decision on his participation in the race will be made on Sunday.

Hayden was briefly quoted as saying cheerfully, "I don’t feel like going for a jog right now, I can tell you that much! It was a big crash and I’m in a lot of pain so we’re going to get some more x-rays done and see what the score is."

A concerned Stoner added, "The whole team are keeping our fingers crossed for Nicky. Hopefully he can ride but the most important thing is that he’s okay."

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