Aoyama Fractures Vertebra, Out For Assen

Hiroshi Aoyama's vicious highside during the morning warmup at Silverstone is to have consequences which reach further than the British Grand Prix. After landing very heavily on his back in the crash, the Interwetten Honda rider was examined in the Clinica Mobile in the Silverstone paddock, where the decision was taken to move him to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford for further examination. A CT scan found a suspected fracture of the T12 vertebra.

After a night of rest, Aoyama underwent another CT scan this morning, which confirmed yesterday's diagnosis. The Japanese rider is to be flown back to Barcelona, where he will undergo another examination, and where a course of treatment will be decided upon.

Aoyama's injury means that the reigning 250 World Champion's injury will definitely miss Assen, is very likely to miss Barcelona, and could be out for the Sachsenring and Laguna Seca as well. So far, no news has been forthcoming on whether and when the Interwetten Honda team will field a replacement, but there was already talk in the paddock that Aoyama could be replaced perhaps as soon as Assen. With Aoyama joining Valentino Rossi on the injury list, the grid has been reduced to just 15 starters. There is a great deal of pressure on Dorna and from Dorna to ensure that replacements are found as soon as possible. 

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I'm hoping he recovers quickly and won't have to miss as many races as are feared at the moment.

But I can't help but wonder if there gonna be Get-well-soon cards and T-Shirts for him at Assen, plus hourly TV features and a special call in from him to say Hi to all the fans at the track.

Because if there won't, then something's really rotten, don't ya think?

All the satellite Honda riders seemed to be progressing. He's a great rider and I hope he gets a chance to recover and continue to improve.

Though I don't know if equal adoration should be required of a good rookie and arguably the greatest rider ever. I don't think there's a problem with such disparities.

I hope both teams sub riders. You never know if there's a diamond in the rough somewhere. Maybe another young Japanese rider in their production series? The team can always improve while he's off the bike as well. I'm sure they're all professionals, but they are a new MotoGP team right? This isn't just the same Scot team is it?

This bums me out. I loved watching Aoyama slowly reel the title in last season. I have been hoping his methodical approach would pan out this year but he seems to have been struggling some so far. He also strikes me as a genuinely nice guy.
Take care of yourself, Hiro.

So apparently Kousuke Akiyoshi has been drafted in to replace Hiro at Assen and Catalunya, but a more "stable" replacement is being sought after beyond that?

Wonder if Hiro's younger brother Shuhei Aoyama will get a look in?