Kenny Roberts has withdrawn from the Dutch MotoGP race this weekend as his injuries, sustained in a fall at Mugello earlier this month, are more serious than initially thought.

Kenny Roberts has withdrawn from the Dutch MotoGP race this weekend as his injuries, sustained in a fall at Mugello earlier this month, are more serious than initially thought.

Yukio Kagayama will replace Roberts on the Suzuki GSV-R. Roberts collided with team-mate John Hopkins and it was thought he had only suffered a cracked sternum.

But Roberts missed the Catalunya race last weekend after complaining about chest pains. He had a scan, which showed deep soft tissue damage to his chest and upper abdomen. Doctors advised him to rest for six weeks, but the American is determined to race at the British Grand Prix at Donnington Park on July 13. "It feels like I just crashed yesterday," Roberts said this week.

Said team manager Garry Taylor: "It's a blow to lose Kenny at a crucial time of urgent machine development. Luckily John Hopkins appears to be just about over his injuries from Mugello, and he not only raced in Catalunya but put in a day's testing after the race as well. We know he will put in his usual 100 per cent, while Yukio's input will be another welcome source of data for the race engineers.”

Kagayama races a GSX-R1000 in the British Superbike series. A Suzuki rider since 1993, he already has GP experience on the 500cc two-stroke, with a best finish of sixth at Johor, Malaysia, in 1998.

"We've worked with Yukio before, and we know that he not only tries really hard, but brings a positive attitude as well. We join a lot of other people in admiring his hard-charging performance in the recent World Superbike round in Britain,” said Taylor.

Original article from Car