Lorenzo severs finger as Stoner crowned

Phillip Island: Former MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo was rushed to a Melbourne hospital for emergency plastic surgery on Sunday to have the top part of his finger re-attached after it was severed in a crash during practice before the Australian Grand Prix.

The sickening injury to the Spaniard`s fourth finger of his left hand forced him to miss the race and ultimately concede the championship to Australian Casey Stoner, who won his fifth straight home grand prix at Phillip Island.

Lorenzo crashed at the exit of turn 12 on his final lap of the 20-minute session, high-siding off the bike and coming to rest on the edge of the circuit.

He walked away from the site shaking his left hand and was ruled unfit to start the race by the circuit`s medical centre.

A Yamaha team statement confirmed the injury but provided no further details.

"A post surgery report will follow," it said.

Riders expressed their sympathies to the 24-year-old, who had qualified second behind pole-sitter Stoner.

"When I saw Jorge`s crash I thought it was just a small crash," Stoner told reporters after his victory.

"I thought it might be just a small graze or something like that.

"Then I saw the replay and saw what actually happened and everyone was out there looking for the end of his finger.

"And it sort of made me feel a little bit sick because I`m a racer, I know what it`s like to go through these things and you can`t really wish them upon anyone."

The injury put paid to Lorenzo`s slim hopes of staying in the championship hunt as Stoner took an unassailable lead over the Spaniard with two races left

It was a grim day all round for Yamaha who were also forced to scratch Ben Spies.

The American had qualified seventh despite receiving a knock to the head during a high-speed crash in the session, but was also ruled unfit to race.

Bureau Report

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