Sam Lowes is in a fight against time to make the grid for the opening round of the Moto2 world championship in Qatar after suffering a shoulder injury at Jerez.
Lowes-who moves to the multi-championship winning Marc VDS squad for his sixth intermediate campaign-suffered the injury after crashing during a private test at the Jerez circuit in Spain, immediately travelling to the University Dexeus Hospital in Barcelona for treatment.
He was subsequently diagnosed with a dislocated and fractured right shoulder, an injury that generally takes around four weeks to fully heal.
This means the Briton will miss the upcoming official Moto2 test at the same Jerez venue, while his participation in the season opening Qatar grand prix in three weeks time is also in doubt.
“Following a crash while testing at Jerez, Sam Lowes travelled to the Hospital University Dexeus in Barcelona to carry out the relevant medical examinations,” read a statement on MotoGP.com.
“Doctor Xavier Mir established the following diagnosis.
“Once the clinical, radiological and magnetic resonance examination was performed, it was confirmed the Englishman suffered a fracture and dislocation of the right shoulder.
“Specifically, the top of the humerus bone was fractured without displacement while the ligaments within the shoulder socket were ruptured.
“The initial recovery period will consist of rest and treatment. Lowes will then undergo radiological and ultrasound control to assess his suitability to begin active recovery.”
Lowes’ injury timing is unfortunate as he enters the 2020 season as surely one of the favourites for championship glory, the 29 year-old gunning to make a return to the podium for the first time in grand prix racing since his victory in the ’16 Moto2 Aragon contest.
He followed this with a sole year with the factory Aprilia MotoGP outfit, but a tricky season saw him move back to the intermediate class with the American Racing Team for ’18.
He struggled for speed across the year though-with a fifth at the Sachsenring his best effort across the campaign- before transferring back to his ’16 team of Gresini last year, where he again found it tough to find consistent pace.