Jonathan Rea's World Superbike racing seasion is over after the Ballyclare rider suffered a broken leg in a crash at yesterday's German round at the Nurburgring.
Rea (pictured) underwent surgery for a broken left femur last night but provided reassurance as to the extent of his injuries as he was able to tweet from his hospital bed: "Upset after what happened today. I have broken my femur and the plan is to undergo surgery tonight. Thanks for all your kind messages!"
Pata Honda rider Rea, whose wife Tatia is expecting their first child in the coming days, was airlifted to hospital following the Race One crash.
Ironically, both races were red flagged on the final lap – Race One due the high-speed incident involving Rea and Fixi Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier – both British riders going down on oil put down by a back marker.
Camier was also taken to hospital for minor back injuries; both men joining Kawasaki's Loris Baz who crashed heavily during Saturday qualifying.
Strong criticism was apportioned to race control for the slow reaction time by trackside marshals from Glengormley's ex-MotoGP rider Jeremy McWilliams in his role as RivaMoto team boss and former World Supersport champion Andrew Pitt.
Rea and McWilliams' fellow Ulsterman, Aprilia Racing's Eugene Laverty kept his World Superbike Championship hopes alive with a second placed finish in Race Two. Laverty also suffered a race one crash, bravely holding up his hands and taking responsibility for carelessly touching an engine casing on a kerb in the early laps, all but destroying any chances of double podium success.
Kawasaki Racing's Tom Sykes was awarded the Race One victory – his sixth of the season – despite GoldBet BMW's Marco Melandri leading when the red flags were deployed, with Welshman Chaz Davies, also BMW-mounted, third.
Davies went on to the give the German manufacturer their maiden victory on home soil in Race Two, with a fired-up Laverty second on the Aprilia and Melandri third.
Laverty, who now trails new series leader Tom Sykes by 40 points, said afterwards: "It was important to be up there on the podium, but I would have liked top spot and 25 points, and if the red flag hadn't come out I was going to have a go.
"I'm not sure if I could have won it as I thought I could win Race One and we saw how far that got me. Twenty points is a good result. My mistake in the first race was costly. From here on in we have to stay onboard and try to keep getting those strong points."
Dublin's Jack Kennedy finished eighth in yesterday's World Supersport race, won by Lincolnshire lad Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Yamaha) who extended his championship lead to 54 points over main rival Kenan Sofuoglu, who crashed out in the early laps.
David Haire and Cody Nally shared the Superbike victories at yesterday's round of the Mondello Masters in County Kildare. Lisburn's Haire also won both Supersport races.
Race 1: 1 Tom Sykes (Gbr) Kawasaki 32mins 38.184secs, 2 Marco Melandri (Ita) BMW 32:38.453, 3 Chaz Davies (Gbr) BMW 32:38.898, 4 Sylvain Guintoli (Fra) Ducati 32:44.611, 5 Davide Giugliano (Ita) Aprilia 32:46.710, 6 Michel Fabrizio (Ita) Aprilia 32:51.418, 7 Leon Haslam (Gbr) Honda 32:52.002, 8 Jules Cluzel (Fra) Suzuki 32:56.910, 9 Ayrton Badovini (Ita) Ducati 32:59.233, 10 Carlos Checa (Spa) Ducati 33:00.958, 11 Mark Aitchison (Aus) Ducati 33:11.468, 12 Matej Smrz (Cze) Yamaha 33:26.513, 13 Markus Reiterberger (Ger) BMW 33:26.811, 14 Vittorio Iannuzzo (Ita) BMW 34:10.714
Race 2: 1 Davies 34mins 36.933secs, 2 Eugene Laverty (Gbr) Aprilia 34:37.065, 3 Melandri (Ita) BMW 34:37.299, 4 Sykes 34:38.122, 5 Guintoli 34:38.554, 6 Giugliano 34:40.166, 7 Badovini 34:51.610, 8 Fabrizio 34:55.792, 9 Max Neukirchner (Ger) Ducati 34:59.058, 10 Checa 35:00.761, 11 Aitchison 35:07.377, 12 Reiterberger 35:13.352, 13 Haslam 35:36.720, 14 Cluzel 35:42.264, 15 Iannuzzo 36:04.314.