MotoGP rider Alex de Angelis has been airlifted to hospital following a crash in free practice for the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.
San Marino rider de Angelis, 31, crashed his E-Motion IodaRacing Team Aprilia 10 minutes into the FP4 session.
TV pictures, which did not show the crash itself, showed him lying prostrate on the grass behind his wrecked machine with medics rushing to his aid.
He was taken by ambulance to the medical centre, and then airlifted to nearby Dokkya Hospital in Mibu for “further checks and treatment” after being reported as conscious and breathing.
Jorge Lorenzo again set the pace in FP4 when it was resumed, 0.175s ahead of Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi, who appeared much happier with the balance of his machine.
Qualifying has been delayed, with the pole position Q2 session starting on the hour.
Following two CT scans, de Angelis has been diagnosed with a lung contusion and numerous fractures to his vertebrae and ribs.
"There's a thoracic trauma with bilateral ribs fracture, on the left and the right," said MotoGP's medical director Michele Macchiagodena.
"However, what needs more attention is the fact he sustained a lung contusion - we'll have to monitor it closely to make sure it doesn't lead to restricted breathing or any kind of infection.
"The early checks also report 5 fractured vertebrae, from which three seem to affect the body of the vertebrae - as of now there's no neurological damage but we'll have to make sure those fractures are stable so the medulla isn't affected. For now it needs to be observed closely in order to determine if surgery can be avoided."