Ramsey’s Andrew Dudgeon crashed out of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix in his very first appearance on the notorious street circuit in China, early on Thursday morning.

Five days after finishing runner-up in the PokerStars Stages Rally (see report in this week’s Manx Independent), the talented all-rounder crashed the VRS Racing Kawasaki ZX10 only minutes into the first free practice.

He went down heavily, but managed to crawl off the racing line and out of harm’s way before being attended to and transferred to the emergency room of Conde S. Januario General Hospital with back pain.

The session got back underway 10 minutes later, only for Spain’s Raul Torras Martinez to hit the Armco barrier at Mandarin and his bike burst into flames, prompting another red flag.

The latest update on Dudgeon is that he has been diagnosed with a lumbar spine fracture and is likely to undergo surgery.

Less than 20 minutes of the scheduled one-hour session went ahead, during which Michael Rutter managed to take his Bathams Aspire-Ho backed Honda RC213V-S to the provisional top spot with a lap of 1min 29.232sec. Outright Mountain Course lap record holder Peter Hickman was 1.2s back in second on the Bathams BMW S1000RR.

The free practice session began at 7.30am Macau time (11.30pm GMT).